Sen. Simonson calls end to 2017 session an epic failure

ST. PAUL, Minn – As the 2017 Legislative Session wound down as the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, May 23 – 70 percent of the budget remained unfinished. State Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) said the lack of agreements on budget bills was frustrating – particularly because Republicans had plenty of time to negotiate compromises, but walked away from the table.

“Republican leadership made a big deal at the start of session about being more accountable, having the people’s work take place in committee, etcetera. They even set early deadlines for budget targets but then they missed the crucial last step of negotiating in good faith with Governor Dayton. You can’t get a deal unless you’re at the table. Now we’re going to go into overtime, that costs extra taxpayer money and it puts thousands of state employees on edge as the threat of a government shutdown looms in the distance.

Republicans seem to be learning the hard way that governing is a lot harder than campaigning. Last minute deal making like what happened last night, means legislators simply don’t have enough time to properly read and understand the bills they are asked to vote on. This is not how we create great policy or smart budgets.

We began session with a $1.65 billion surplus. This isn’t how we should be finishing session, by going into overtime already. I’m disappointed,” said Sen. Simonson.

The following bills will be resolved during this Special Session which began at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, May 23 and will wrap up by 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 24.

2017 Tax Bill

2017 State Government Budget Bill

2017 Health and Human Services Bill

2017 Education Budget Bill

2017 Bonding Bill

2017 Transportation Bill

Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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