May 21, 2024 - Politics

Governor rules out special session after priority bills fail to pass

Illustration of trail mix with elephant and donkey pretzels

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz shut down talk of a special session after the Legislature's messy midnight finish Sunday.

Why it matters: Backers of two big bills that didn't cross the finish line — the capital investment package and the Equal Rights Amendment — pivoted Monday to petitioning for an overtime session to get them done.

What they're saying: "Nope. No special session," the governor said Monday after signing a law banning "junk fees."

🔎 While we know the big takeaways, it'll take us a while to pore over the thousands of pages of new laws approved in the final days.

  • But here are some buzzy provisions that prevailed or failed:

✅ Passed: A crackdown on copper wire theft, a ban on book bans, a permitting reform package, $22.5 million for a new State Patrol headquarters, and a change that will allow 23,000 University of Minnesota staff and student workers to unionize.

☠️ Died: A bill that would have paved the way for ranked-choice voting in more local elections, proposals moving the state toward the public option for health care, free milk for school kids, guaranteed insurance coverage for IVF, and new storage requirements for guns.

💬 1 quote to go: "The spectacle will fade, but the work will remain," Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) said at a news conference early Monday.

Between the lines: The line encapsulates majority Democrats' bet that the policies they've passed will outweigh in voters' minds the chaos and procedural maneuvers it took to get it done.

The other side: Republicans plan to take their argument to the campaign trail that Democrats abused the rules and silenced their voices to pass an "extreme" agenda.

The bottom line: The voters will return their ultimate verdict in November.

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