The Minnesota Legislature will convene in special session today to approve about $4.7 million in disaster relief funds.
By agreement with Gov. Mark Dayton, lawmakers will only be in St. Paul for one-day and will not vote on anything besides state help for communities damaged by recent storms. The House and Senate are expected to begin floor sessions at 10 a.m.
Despite that iron clad agreement that no ancillaries issues will be approved, legislators are expected to use the one-day session in St. Paul to rail against other issues. Chief among them: new business taxes approved this year.
Republican lawmakers, among them Rep. Kurt Zellers and Sen. Dave Thompson who are running for governor, have said that the Legislature should have used the special session to repeal the new taxes. Dayton has said that he approved but does not support the taxes but lawmakers would have to come up with cuts or cash to fill the hole in the budget rescinding the taxes would create.
After several negotiating sessions this summer, Dayton and lawmakers could not agree on repealing any taxes during today's session so those issues are expected to wait until next year.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."