CONTINUING CHAOS: The session is over – everything is settled. Right? Wrong! The tax bill included a provision to defund the Department of Revenue if the bill was vetoed. Even some key negotiators seemed blindsided that it ended up in the final bill. So, seeking leverage to bring the Legislature back to the negotiating table on a few items, Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed Legislature funding. Was that unconstitutional? Some say it violates the balance of power, but the statute doesn’t prohibit it. Was it unconstitutional for the Legislature to defund the Revenue Department if the tax bill was vetoed? Now the courts are involved. Let’s see what happens!
THANKS FOR GOOD BEHAVIOR/WORK AND PRAY FOR BETTER: Despite new lows for extreme partisanship and sneaky deals in the dark, some legislators maintained respect and civility throughout. Thank Majority Leader Paul Gazelka for his respect of everyone and for negotiating in good faith (regardless of policy positions). Encourage him to help limit incivility and posturing, and to take a lead facilitator role in future negotiations. Thank Gov. Dayton and his commissioners for negotiations that prevented some of the worst cuts and excesses, even if some provisions still hurt vulnerable people and God’s creation. Urge House Speaker Kurt Daudt to work for better civility, to let legislative action be more transparent, and to consider de-escalation training for the House and its leaders. Confrontation and posturing aren’t helpful; neither is adding provisions that weren’t part of negotiations.
FEDERAL ISSUES: The president’s budget proposal would cut and change many programs in very harmful ways for vulnerable people and God’s creation! Watch for coming action alerts!