It took less than an hour’s work for Minnesota lawmakers, who reconvened this afternoon, to pass five bills, the first of several that Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to sign.
The House and Senate took their seats in the legislature at around 3 p.m., opened the special session, observed a moment of silence for the late Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and then recessed for more than three hours.
When they reconvened at around 7 p.m., they got to work. Within an hour, the Senate had passed six bills; the House had passed five. The legislature then went into recess again; lawmakers are expected back at their desks later this evening.
As it stands now, listed below are the bills and the votes that passed them:
Judiciary/Public Safety bill: 57-7
Environment bill: 43-22
Jobs and Economic Growth bill: 42-23
Transportation bill: 38-27
Higher education bill: 35-30
Legacy bill: 65-0
Minnesota House of Representatives
Transportation bill: 71-56
Higher education bill: 71-57
Judiciary/Public Safety bill: 77-51
Environment bill: 71-57
Jobs and Economic Growth bill: 76-50
The remaining bills include some of the most complex and contentious pieces of legislation faced this session. They include: legacy (House only), health and human services, taxes, K-12 education, bonding, pension and state government.
As for the votes, Sen. Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), who represents Wright County, said they're in hand.
"We're confident, yes," she said. "We've been busy caucusing and our membership is on the same page. There's mixed emotion. We were really excited about the bills we (had) passed in May. But there are still reforms in this package. We're excited to see the effect of those reforms."
Dayton has maintained that he will not sign any bills until all 12 have passed both the House and Senate.