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.
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At 8 a.m. Tuesday, your state lawmakers – who decide things like whether you can buy a silencer for your gun, or get booze on Sunday – will be back on the job after a holiday break.

They'll have about five weeks to finalize what they can. The legislative sessions (the designated period for lawmakers to pass bills) has to wrap up before May 22. Once midnight hits, it's over. No more passing bills until the next session.

And as we enter the stretch run here, Republican leaders and the Democratic governor appear to be bracing for another end like the last two years, which included lawmakers yelling and protesting about bills up through 11:59 p.m.

Where we stand right now

A lot of the lead-up to the Passover/Easter break last week was spent passing big budget bills – tax cuts, money for roads and bridges, education funding, environment and agriculture spending, and more.

The House and Senate both have a majority of Republicans compared to Democrats, so they can dictate a lot of what gets passed.

But for something to become law, an identical bill approved by both chambers has to then get signed by the governor. Right now that'd be Democrat Mark Dayton.

And he's got some problems with the current bills from lawmakers.

Governor: Be more specific

In a letter sent to Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, Dayton outlines two major issues.

One, he argues budget cuts proposed by Republicans in these bills aren't necessary. Since there's a $1.5 billion projected surplus, Dayton says the idea of cutting services "arbitrarily" – when previous legislatures and governors have approved them– is unnecessary.

And two, he argues the cuts are unspecific. If lawmakers insist on cuts, Dayton says he wants to know more than just dollar amount – he wants to know which programs and services will be eliminated.

"We will not begin to discuss any budget cuts which do not provide specificity," the letter says. "Furthermore, any budget reductions must be comprised of actual savings – not conjecture."

Dayton also provides 55 different letters from state commissioners detailing concerns they have with the the budget and spending proposals.

Will things end messy again?

The last couple years, the end of each legislative session has gone ... poorly.

In 2015 there was a mad scramble to pass bills before the midnight deadline – resulting in yelling and protests, with some arguing they'd just been forced to vote on a giant bill they didn't even get to read.

Then in 2016, things like transportation funding and a bonding bill didn't get done, as yelling and confusion won out all the way up until 11:59 p.m.

Both Dayton and Daudt appear to be setting things up to put the blame on the other if this happens again in 2017.

Dayton in his letter references meetings last year between he and top state lawmakers that "resulted in a chaotic conclusion" to the end of the session.

"That end-of-session gamesmanship must not be repeated, if we are to have a successful and timely conclusion to this Session," his letter says.

Daudt in early April meanwhile said it's the governor who is playing the politics game, as Session Daily wrote.

"I know the governor feels like he has an advantage if he can push everything right to the brink at the end of session and force everybody into these last-minute passing of bills," he said.

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