'We have no idea what's in this bill': A chaotic end to the legislative session


The final moments of the House's 2015 legislative session were loud, fast and messy, despite lawmakers approving a new two-year budget. (Click here for those details.)

In the waning seconds of the session, the House approved a jobs and energy bill – all while a number of lawmakers yelled in protest. Watch the video of the session's final seconds below, courtesy of The UpTake.


At least two representatives were asking for a copy of the bill – which was approved in the Senate minutes earlier – when House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said there was no further discussion and put the bill up for a vote.

It passed 75-9.

"They just adopted an amendment of unknown page length that we have not received. We have no idea what's in this bill," one representative, believed to be DFL Rep. Melissa Hortman, said during the final vote count.

A post on Forum News Service's Capitol Chatter blog said the words "crooks" and "shameful" could be heard amid the shouting.

Not even 30 seconds later, the session was adjourned.

(For a quick run-down of what did – and didn't – get done this year, check out this guide.)

Here's some more video of it.

The people's house #mnlegpic.twitter.com/zfVYrJMjxQ

— Kris Fredson (@krisfredson) May 19, 2015

Calm, but late in the Senate

The finish in the Senate was calmer, but still featured some last-second gymnastics.

The jobs and energy bill that sparked the House's fervor was introduced in the Senate with less than an hour to go before the deadline, the Session Daily says.

It was quickly discussed, and the amendment and bill passed the Senate at about 11:55 p.m., the Daily says.

With just minutes remaining before the midnight deadline, the bill was literally run from the Senate to the House floor for a hasty vote, (an event Twitter user Jake Loesch captured).

Jobs bill just ran from Senate to House floor. 3 minutes to pass it. #mnlegpic.twitter.com/QyCs16JNCE

— Jake Loesch (@jakeloesch) May 19, 2015

In addition, the Senate passed a bonding bill – but at 12:02 a.m., technically three minutes after the 11:59 p.m. deadline, the Star Tribune says.

At that point, the House was already adjourned and could not vote on the bill, meaning it could be discussed at an upcoming special session – or put on hold until next year.

Before the senators left the chamber as-is for the final time (preparation for the renovation work started almost immediately after the session ended), Majority Leader Tom Bakk, a DFLer from Cook, gave a speech about the history of the building.

About that special session ...

Most lawmakers seemed resigned to the belief a special session would be called to finalize a number of things that didn't get done.

Capiol Chatter noted the late-to-pass bonding bill is still up in the air, and legislation to fund outdoors and arts projects never made it through.

Plus, there's that education financing bill that both chambers passed but doesn't include universal pre-K – which Gov. Mark Dayton looks intent on vetoing.

The current budget runs through the end of June, so if Dayton does veto it, there will be more than a month to reach an agreement and call lawmakers back to St. Paul to approve it.

The problem is, a major renovation of the Capitol building is about to shift into high gear, leaving it unclear where the Legislature would meet, The Associated Press says.

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Dayton over the weekend suggested pitching a tent on the Capitol lawn is a viable possibility, but as the Pioneer Press reports, the historic St. Paul Hotel offered to give legislators free use of their ballrooms.

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