MN lawmakers pass budget in overnight special session

The House and the Senate had to burn the midnight oil to hammer out the $48 billion spending bill.
Publish date:

After working through the night, state lawmakers have emerged from a one-day special session with a $48 billion budget bill.

Both the House and the Senate were able to approve the legislation by the agreed-upon 7 a.m. deadline Saturday morning, meaning the state government officially has funding for the next two years.

The budget bills cover a wide array of funding needs, including education, health care, road and infrastructure improvements, elections and even cybersecurity. 

There are some problems with the work that was accomplished, however; with such a speedy session, lawmakers did not have enough time to properly review the language of the bills.

As the Star Tribune notes, this was a concession that had to be made in order to make this morning's deadline, with the legislators voting to set aside rules that would normally mandate "first, second and third" readings of the bills.

The paper quotes Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, as saying "there will be mistakes" in the legislation.

The special session came about after the 2019 legislative session officially ended on Tuesday, with top lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz striking an agreement to go into overtime on Friday to get a budget passed.

Both sides have been in talks throughout the week, which gave them a head start going into the special session. 

"Minnesota is showing the rest of the nation that Republicans and Democrats can still find compromise and work together to get things done," Gov. Tim Walz (D) said in a statement, per KSTP. 

Walz says he will sign the bills next week, the station notes.

One bill he won't be signing is the Alec Smith Emergency Insulin Act, named for the Minnesota resident and diabetic who died at age 26 after he was unable to afford insulin.

The bill — which would have levied fees on Minnesota’s three largest insulin providers to fund an assistance program for those who can't afford the life-saving drug — had wide bipartisan support, but was not included in the final votes thanks partly to a miscommunication between the two legislative chambers.




Next Up

Xcel Energy Center

Fiala's goal gives Wild victory over first-place Golden Knights

Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves in the 2-0 victory.


Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.



MN Senate ends special session with no deal on police reform

Lawmakers failed to agree on other critical legislation as well.

Minnesota House passes bill to ban indoor vaping

The bill, which would greatly expand the indoor smoking ban, now heads to the Senate.

Minnesota lawmakers are getting a pay raise this summer

The citizen panel responsible for the decision has OK'd a small salary bump.

Legislature finally passes $46B budget – but is a Dayton veto imminent?

Health, transportation and public works bills were all agreed last night.

Lawmakers pass just 1 budget bill before end of session

Here's an overview of what got done, and everything left to do.