Minnesota lawmakers convene special session to finish budget

Published 2:07 pm Monday, June 14, 2021

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers returned to unfinished business at the Capitol on Monday as they convened for a special session to finalize a two-year budget and avert a potential government shutdown at the end of the month.

Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman, of Brooklyn Park, said during a news conference that four of the 13 unresolved budget bills were “completely ready to go,” including higher education, agriculture, commerce and energy.

Hortman said the public safety budget bill — which she called her number one priority — will likely be “the last bill to wrap” as lawmakers debate which police accountability provisions to include in the final package.

As required by law, the Legislature was called back into session on Monday as Gov. Tim Walz renewed his peacetime emergency powers for another 30 days.

Hortman said she believes it’ll take lawmakers between seven and 10 days to complete the two-year, $52 billion budget, matching Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s estimate.

Walz met with top legislative leaders late last week ahead of the special session to try to get closer to a compromise on budget targets and policy proposals. Failure by the governor and legislators to agree on a budget by July 1 will result in at least a partial state government shutdown.