Today, the Senate Republicans refused to adjourn the special session, even though the House adjourned sine die, and all 2of the budget bills have been signed by the governor, including the tax bill. On the Senate floor this morning, it was confirmed that the Republican Majority is planning to take up commissioner confirmations next week and extend the special session indefinitely.
In response to this news, Senate DFL Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) released the following statement:
“The Senate has been in session consistently over the past 18 months. Our members and staff worked tirelessly to create and pass a $52 billion budget for the people of Minnesota and were ready to adjourn sine die, as the House did early yesterday morning. We were surprised to hear that the Senate Republicans plan to keep the Senate in session indefinitely to consider confirmations of commissioners from the Walz administration.”
“The Senate majority could have taken up commissioner confirmations at any point during the last three years. It would have been especially appropriate to have taken them up immediately after they were appointed. Instead, Senate Republicans have chosen to use these confirmations as political pawns as a way to express their frustration with the administration, as they did last summer when they ousted Commissioner Leppink and Commissioner Kelly with no warning.”
“This is a blatant abuse of power, a dangerous precedent, and it puts a stain on the way this institution is supposed to be run. For Senate Republicans to try to use one chamber to single-handedly dismantle the administration at their whim is an improper use of the Senate’s constitutionally mandated role for advice and consent. It is a political agenda – at taxpayers’ expense – because it is not cheap to keep us in special session. Minnesotans deserve better than these political games from Senate Republicans.”