The House passed the two most significant pieces of funding legislation in the middle of the night Monday as the Legislature races to finish a $42 billion budget ahead of tonight's parliamentary deadline.
Sometime after 4 a.m. this morning, the Republican-controlled House passed by 71-59 the $17 billion education funding bill, which includes $400 million in new spending.
The education plan does not include universal prekindergarten, which is the top priority of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, who has vowed to veto the measure and call the Legislature back into a special session to agree to an education budget.
Without an education bill, the commissioners of the Department of Education and Minnesota Managment and Budget warned that the state Department of Education would shut down, schools would be forced to lay off teachers and applications for teacher licenses would go unprocessed, among other repurcussions.
The DFL-controlled Senate is expected to take up the education bill this morning.
Also early this morning, the House also passed the budget for health and human services, a $12 billion measure that passed with bipartisan support.
Complicating matters is the planned construction that is to begin Tuesday on the House chamber that is part of the $300 million renovation of the aging state Capitol.