Dayton wants special session for storm damage; criticizes sex offender release
- Blog Post by: Baird Helgeson
- August 6, 2013 - 1:23 PM
Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he wants to call a one-day-special legislative session after Labor Day to approve state aid for storm ravaged counties in southern Minnesota.
"We want to provide the financial assistance to the counties, cities and townships that were affected as quickly as possible," Dayton said.
The governor ruled out expanding the session to consider a much-criticized new tax on warehousing services and other new business taxes.
Dayton noted the warehousing tax doesn't kick in until April, giving lawmakers plenty of time to repeal with the tax next session. He said he does not want the special session to get bogged down by a highly partisan fight over taxes.
Dayton said he made his special session proposal to legislators, but has not heard back from GOP leaders. House and Senate GOP staffers say they have been communicating with Dayton's administration about the terms of a special session.
Southern Minnesota got socked with storms and flooding earlier this summer, prompting Dayton to issue a disaster declaration for about a dozen counties, allowing the state to draw federal aid. Local officials have been assessing the damage as Dayton and lawmakers prepare to meet.
Dayton also weighed in on a Star Tribune exclusive story published Tuesday about a sex offender who was accidentally released by a state facility.
"I am very concerned," Dayton said. "It's a terrible blunder, a series of blunders...and failures."
Dayton said was told the patient, Raymond Traylor, 23, was not committed as a sexual offender, but taken in due to mental illness and was not considered dangerous.
"But that doesn't in anyway absolve the responsibility for handing the situation properly," Dayton said.
Traylor was released from the Minnesota Security Hospital last week and dropped off on a Minneapolis street corner after security officers did not deliver him to the right homeless shelter.
Traylor is receiving supervised mental health medication, Dayton said.
© 2013 Star Tribune