Planning a special session - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Planning a special session


St. Paul, Minn. (KTTC) --

The clock is ticking at the state capitol. Lawmakers have until midnight Monday to reach an agreement on a budget or they'll be forced into a special session. Governor Mark Dayton and Republican caucus leaders have met behind closed doors almost every day this week. And every time, they've reported no movement, causing some to wonder just how long it could take to reach an agreement even while in a special session.

Just hours to go until a session deadline. And the debate continues.

"We're going in to special session."

Calling overtime was a no-brainer on the last day of the legislative session. And without Governor Mark Dayton's vetoes on the actual budget bills, time to get things done had run out.

"There'd have to be a deal, bills would have to be reprinted, you'd have to get them to the house and senate, then to the governor. I just don't see how you can physically do it now," exclaims democratic representative Gene Pelowski.

"What do we do in the case of a government shutdown," asks republican representative Steve Drazkowski.

The stalemate between both party is so severe some lawmakers are preparing for the worst, in this a case, stopping government functions. That could happen if lawmakers don't agree on budget compromise by July 1st. Just a little more than 24 hours before the deadline, Drazkowski introduced a preliminary lights-on bill that could fund essential government jobs.

"We're starting the discussion. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So we plan not to fail."

Other lawmakers say introducing bills like these are just more gimmicks to show their party are in it for the long-haul.

"I think what is next has to be a move from being a politician to being a statesperson. And that's a different type of action. When you're a statesperson, you don't think of what's good for the party, you think basically of two things: what's good for your district, and then what's good for the state of Minnesota," says Pelowski.

The change may come sooner than later, once voters realize five months at the Capitol was not enough to get the job done.

Governor Dayton said earlier he will likely not call a special session immediately. Already, GOP leaders are making use of that free time. They've announced a 5-city fly-around the state Tuesday, where they will lay out their case once again to Minnesota voters. Rochester is one of their stops, and we will be there to bring you the details.

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