Monday, May 18, 2009

No Deal Yet. With a mere 5 hours left in the 2009 legislative session, we are still without a global deal on the budget. It appears that the Legislature is, if not satisfied with the absence of a deal, resigned to the fact that the Governor is not going to support the permanent revenue increases they are proposing and if that's the case, they are willing to let the Governor use his statutory and constitutional authority to correct the budget gap.

A few other bills are coming through the process and there's no shortage of energy as we head toward the witching hour. SF 191, the school bullying/harrassment prevention bill, passed the Senate 46-8 including amendments approved in the House. Because the Senate accepted the House amendments, the bill will now go directly to the Governor.

SF 191, the omnibus pensions bill conference committee (now without any pension provisions relating to education) passed the Senate 54-8. Because this is a conference committee report, it will also have to be approved by the House. With only two-and-a-half hours left before adjournment, things may get pretty tight. The House is discussing the cultural and outdoor resources dedicated funding bill (distributing the revenue generated from the 3/8 dedicated sales tax approved my Minnesota voters last election) and that may take a little time.

There still doesn't appear to be any type of deal brewing. Speaker Anderson-Keliher is chairng the House floor session, so she's not negotiating with the Governor. Senator Pogemiller is in caucus with his DFL members, so he's not with the Governor negotiating. And I haven't seen the Governor.

Back later with a wrap-up.

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