Dayton, Lawmakers to meet to Discuss Special Session to Help Laid-Off Steelworkers

Governor Mark Dayton and top Minnesota lawmakers are meeting Thursday to discuss a possible special session to help laid-off steelworkers. 

Talk of a special session has swirled for weeks as politicians worry about the crisis on the Iron Range. 

Multiple mine closures has led to hundreds of layoffs, and steelworkers have started to exhaust unemployment benefits. 

Northshore Mining in Babbitt and Silver Bay announced a massive layoff in mid-November.  A large portion of the 540 workers will be out a job indefinitely. 

Magnetation also announced it could soon be idling its Plant 2 in Bovey. The layoffs could impact another 163 workers. 

As of early December,  an estimated 1,433 workers affected by mine layoffs on the Iron Range applied for unemployment benefits. 

Governor Dayton was in a private meeting Thursday morning with Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Speaker Kurt Daudt to discuss the framework of a possible special session. 

Dayton first floated the idea last month of extending unemployment benefits for those impacted by the layoffs, however not all lawmakers signed on.  

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