Good agreement

Published 10:44 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

Although it ought not be so difficult as to merit particular praise, in the current environment it is something of a triumph that Gov. Mark Dayton has brokered an agreement that will bring the fractious Minnesota Legislature into session to help the flood-ravaged Duluth area.

Divided by a tendency for each party to emphasize statements (unnecessary constitutional amendments, for example) over necessary business, legislative leaders would have surprised no one if they could not reach agreement on how to structure a special session to provide emergency aid to the Duluth area after torrential summer rains damaged millions of dollars worth of property. Finally on Wednesday, an agreement in hand, Dayton said he would call lawmakers into session on Friday. Only the governor can call a special session, but once it is begun the Legislature is free to conduct whatever business it likes; thus it was necessary for the governor to secure promises from leaders of each party in each house as to what would happen on Friday.

What will happen is a law that will cause the state to backstop federal flood relief work for public property and provide low-interest loans for reconstruction of homes and businesses.

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It’s good for Minnesota that when push comes to shove, the Legislature and governor can come together to do what is in the best interests of all Minnesotans.