Back into session, lawmakers begin process of disaster funds approval
September 9, 2013 — 1:01pm
Lawmakers are back.
"We're here and ready to do some work," House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, announced on the House floor Monday morning.
The Legislature reconvened for a one-day special session with the expectation that by day's end they will approve spending about $4.7 million on disaster relief. Nearly all the money will go to match federal disaster funds for communities damaged by the June storms.
Lawmakers are expected to meet in committee to discuss the disaster relief measure, then in short order return to the House and Senate floors to approve the bill.
Just because Democrat and Republican leaders agreed with Gov. Mark Dayton to only take up that measure doesn't mean lawmakers won't try to score political points on other issues.
House and Senate Republicans and a few Democrats introduced bills to repeal various taxes, including a cigarette tax increase, a new tax on warehousing and sales taxes on equipment repair.
Republicans hoping for higher office were among those who put forth bills, knowing full well they will not receive votes during the special session. Gubernatorial candidates Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, and U.S. Senate candidate Julianne Ortman, a Republican state senator from Chanhassen, all introduced tax repeal measures.
Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville, also introduced a measure to bring more openness to the state's dealing with the Minnesota Vikings regarding the new stadium to be constructed in Minneapolis and Rep. Jim Davnie and Sen. Scott Dibble, both DFLers from Minneapolis, brought out anti-bullying proposals.
Although those issues may see floor discussion before the session ends, they will not get any votes.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
Homeowners would see a one-time increase in homestead credits, providing $12.1 million in property tax relief to 500,000 Minnesotans. Renters will get a one-time increase in a tax credit, totaling $12.5 million for 350,000 Minnesotans. Farmers will get $18 million in property tax relief.