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Political posturing continues at capitol

Not only did the state Legislature fail to complete its work on time, but it seems that our state politics cannot even come together on setting the parameters for a special session to finish the work.
Unfortunately, in Minnesota, the only person with authority to call a special legislative session is the governor. And Gov. Dayton is using that power to hold legislators hostage to his demands. Dayton is looking for pre-session agreement to additional funding for several college and university campuses, transit and programs and other items.
In addition, the governor threatened to let lapse a tax-cut bill that was one of the few bills that had wide bipartisan support.
Dayton claims that the bill, which provides tax cuts for veterans, working families, farmers, small business owners and, as House Majority Leader Kurt Daudt said, people of “every walk of life, every corner of the state,” has a flaw that will cost the state $101 million over the next three years.
Dayton said the flaw needs to be fixed before he signs the bill but, of course, only a special session will allow that to happen. Otherwise, the bill will and, indeed did, die from what is known as a “pocket veto.” In other words, if the governor failed to sign it by a minute before midnight Monday, it did not become law. And the governor did, in fact, let it die.
Once again, people in the state of Minnesota are suffering because its political leaders don’t care to compromise much.
The tax bill is not the only thing that will be lost in the wind if legislators don’t come to an agreement. The failure to pass a bonding bill means that several projects will not take place this year, unless there is a special session to get the bill passed.
An area newspaper reported on a woman’s appeal to her legislators to get a bill passed so that safety improvements would be made on Highway 12, on which her sister died in a tragic traffic accident.
Dassel-Cokato High School graduate Angela (Lars) Erickson recently told her legislators, “I stand before you today and implore you to do the right thing. It’s tragic that we have to be here to ask for a special session.”
It is indeed tragic that we have to beg our legislators to do the right thing.
If the governor calls a special session, it should allow legislators to have a fresh start at passing a bonding bill and a transportation bill. And the only condition should be that the flaw that the governor found in the tax bill is fixed, and that he signs it.
Please, do the right thing.
— L.C.