What happened at the Minnesota Capitol last night?

The legislative session came to an end – here's how things stand.
Publish date:

As of the first second of Monday the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session was officially over – and as has become the norm in recent years, negotiations went right down to the wire.

Here are the main headlines from what is being described as a shambolic end to the session:

Legislature votes through tax conformity bill

Minnesota lawmakers needed to agree on a tax conformity bill to bring the state in line with federal tax changes, otherwise some 860,000 residents face a tax hike averaging just under $500 when they do their returns next year.

Governor Mark Dayton had vetoed an earlier bill because he wanted some corporate tax cuts removed in order to use $139 million to cover the shortfall faced by dozens of school districts in 2018-19.

The tax bill passed late on Sunday, which included $225 million of spending for schools taken from other sources. The bill would also see state tax cuts for most households, as well as for businesses.

Today's Top Stories

– Money pouring in for Mankato vet willing to trade hearing aids for a car.

– Human remains possibly found in Otter Tail County.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

1,000-page supplemental spending bill also passes

A 1,000-page long, $131 million supplemental spending bill that covers a huge range of policies, including money to combat opioid addiction and sexual misconduct, as well as funding for school safety measures, passed the House and the Senate.

Republican leaders said the bill removed or amended 60 percent of the policies Dayton objected to in a previous version, but some Democrats were unhappy that the final 989-page bill was presented less than 48 hours before the end of the session.

BUT ... Gov. Dayton threatens to veto both

Calling the legislative session a "debacle" and "badly-mismanaged," Dayton accused Republicans of favoring big business and corporate special interests in a Sunday night news conference.

Dayton has 14 days to sign into law the bills passed on Sunday, but indicated that he could veto the tax and supplemental spending bills.

While very keen to improve school safety measures in the wake of recent mass shootings, Dayton said the supplemental spending bill still contains far too many objectionable spending proposals for him to pass.

He said he had implored GOPers to keep the school safety bill separate from the 1,000-page omnibus spending bill for this very reason.

"They send me umpteen standalone bills about the most trivial subjects, and here we've got something that's vitally important, and they're putting in the omnibus budget bill because they know I'm not going to sign that, so they can go around saying 'Oh, Dayton vetoes school safety.'"

As for the tax conformity bill, he called the additional $225 million in school money added by Republicans "fake" education funding, as much of it is taken from existing sources that pay for teacher training and community education, rather than from the removal of corporate tax cuts as he requested.

Dayton also says the GOP tax bill gives those earning $250,000 a tax cut that's proportionally 13 times that of someone earning $20,000.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, however, argued Republicans have delivered "one of the most productive two year stretches in recent history," saying he's "confident" that Dayton will sign the bills "because it's simply the right thing to do."

"We successfully addressed countless concerns and objections raised by the governor, and know that this represents a good-faith effort to send him bills that can earn his signature," said Majority House Leader Joyce Peppin.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka meanwhile said that the ramifications of Dayton not passing these bills would be too large for Minnesota.

What else was passed on Sunday?

After the Democrats in the Senate voted down a $825 million infrastructure bill earlier this week, a reworked public works bonding bill was approved.

The infrastructure bill passed on Sunday was valued at $1.57 billion, but $400 million of that is transportation spending that's delayed until at least 2022.

Meanwhile, there was a failed attempt by Republican lawmakers to override a previous veto by Dayton that stops $9 million earmarked for private DMV deputy registrars who stand to lose money because of the problems with the MNLARS vehicle licensing and tabs computer system.

Dayton supports the funding, but vetoed it because he wanted the bill to include money to fix MNLARS. That money, however, was instead included in the supplemental spending bill that he wants to veto.

Rep. Daudt accused Dayton of "twisting arms" to encourage Democrats to vote against overriding his veto, something Dayton denied.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.


When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.


Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.


Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.


Once again, the Minnesota legislative session is ending in acrimony

We're hurtling towards the Monday deadline with no agreement on two hugely important bills.

Why is Minnesota now forecasting a budget deficit?

It's the first time since 2013 the state is projected to lose money.

Should we be ready for another last-minute mess at the Capitol?

The past two years, the legislative sessions have wrapped up with yelling, rushed votes, and unfinished bills.

doctor, blood work, needle

What is Minnesota's provider tax and what happens if it goes away?

The tax is due to sunset, and Democrats want to keep it, but Republicans don't.

What's in the tax reform bill just passed by the House?

Also, find out how your Minnesota representative voted on it.

Debate over food stamps turns nasty at the Capitol

Proposed changes to a SNAP benefits loophole saw tensions rise.

2 gun control bills fail at the Minnesota Capitol, as Republican majority proves too strong

The bills would have expanded background checks and allow families to prohibit a loved one from possessing a gun.