Legislators Hope To Shirk Deadline And Put State Budget On AutoPilot With No End Powers Bill
Governor Walz called a special legislative session on Monday for two reasons. The first of which was because he extended his emergency powers for another 30 days, and he is legally required to give the legislature a chance to revoke those powers. The second reason was to allow the legislature to negotiate a budget for the upcoming biennium.
If the Republican Senate and the DFL House cannot agree on a budget by July 1st, the State Government will shut down. However, in an effort to avoid backlash from his constituents, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka is looking to eradicate the July 1st deadline.
In his bill introduced on Monday, Gazelka proposes that the state government continue to operate regardless of whether or not legislators come to an agreement before July 1st. This bill is bad for a variety of reasons.
- By eliminating the July 1st deadline, legislators can go to St. Paul and collect their per diem for as long as they like! If the state government can fund itself, there is no need to actually get a budget done.
- By introducing this bill, Paul Gazelka and the Republican Senate Majority are forfeiting their seat at the bargaining table. If there is no pressure to meet a legislative deadline, then the DFL House and DFL Governor can steamroll Paul Gazelka into submission. That July 1st deadline is the one thing that forces Governor Walz and Speaker Hortman to listen to Gazelka.
- This “de facto budget” will not include any kind of proposal to eradicate Governor Walz’ emergency powers -- something that Senator Gazelka claims to care about.
If legislators put the state budget on “autopilot”, then they are further forfeiting their ability to legislate to bureaucrats and Governor Walz -- who already have too much power.
If Gazelka truly does care about Walz’ far-reaching emergency powers, then he would pass HF2204 (SF 2356 in the Senate) to eliminate Governor Walz’ power to unilaterally declare an emergency.
Contact Senator Paul Gazelka NOW and tell him that he must force Governor Walz and Speaker Hortman to include HF2204 -- The Never Again Bill -- in budget negotiations.
Sen. Paul Gazelka - 651-296-4875 - [email protected]