Plan to avoid special session fizzles; Dayton, lawmakers to meet again

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Getting aid to Minnesota counties damaged by summer storms and floods will require a special session, after all.

Gov. Mark Dayton says finance officials have determined the costs cannot be covered with unspent money left over from previous emergencies, the Pioneer Press reports.

That idea was floated at the Capitol last week in hopes that the cost of convening the Legislature could be avoided.

Now that the money-in-the-couch-cushions prospect has been ruled out, Dayton and legislative leaders will return to the task of agreeing on the ground rules of a one-day special session.

All parties agree on allocating disaster relief. The sticking point is what else lawmakers should do while in St. Paul. Dayton wants to limit the agenda to repealing one of the business taxes that was enacted this spring. As the Star Tribune reports, Republican leaders want to get rid of all three of the new business taxes. Dayton objects, telling the newspaper that would open up a budget deficit of more than $300 million.

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