The 2019 Special Session wrapped up early Saturday morning with a budget sent to Gov. Walz after passing both the Minnesota House and Senate.
The House Democrats and Governor Walz’s obsession with tax increases forced the special session to happen. Minnesota was in a strong position to pass a budget that funded our priorities without raising a dime in taxes — much less the $12 billion in increases that passed the Democrat-controlled House.
The special session resulted in a budget that will raise the cost of health care by $2 billion on Minnesota families via the Sick Tax. Fortunately, Republican leadership helped blocked billions in Democrat tax increases and radical gun control proposals that would hurt law-abiding Minnesotans.
The special session was called by Walz after days of closed-door meetings, and a “tribunal” comprised of the governor, the speaker, and the senate majority leader. Some conference committees did not adopt a single provision in a public setting, resulting in entire bills being decided behind closed doors. The largest budget bill was not publicly released until after 4 p.m. —several hours after the special session had begun.
House Republicans successfully negotiated (in exchange for a conclusion to the special session by 7 a.m.) changes that will enhance transparency next session, including a change to the House committee structure that will increase transparency and fix flaws in the structure Democrats implemented this year.
The process at the end of session was unacceptable and Democrats failed miserably in their promise to deliver better transparency. Thanks to the efforts of House Republicans, next session should be more transparent for both the public and the legislators they send to St. Paul to represent their interests.
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