Iron Range Lawmakers Express Disappointment in No Special Session for Miners

Four Iron Range representatives wrote to Speaker of the House Kurk Daudt to express their disappointment following the announcement that there will be no special session to help laid-off steelworkers. 

In a letter sent to Daudt Monday, Representatives Tom Anzelc, Jason Metsa, Carly Melin and Rob Ecklund wrote that “Everyday, we see anguish in the faces of workers who want nothing more than to provide a good life for themselves and their families.” They tell Daudt if he could see those faces and have those conversations, they have no doubt he would take action to provide relief to those in need. 

The Representatives blast Daudt’s latest proposal to instead hold hostage $40 million dollars in benefits that these workers need for a deal to provide $270 million in corporate welfare. 

The letter states “If you don’t feel that this crisis is worthy of a special session, it clearly merits immediate action once session starts in 34 days.” 

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk also expressed his disappointment, saying he stands with Governor Dayton and is ready to address the needs of struggling Minnesotan families.  

Bakk says he is holding out hope that at the very least, Republicans will take action on the issue the first week of session. 

Meanwhile, House Speaker Daudt issued a statement Monday morning regarding the possible special session: 

“The Minnesota Constitution gives the governor the sole ability to call lawmakers back to the Capitol to address emergency issues outside of regular session,” said Speaker Daudt. “As the governor knows, lawmakers are near agreement on REAL ID and an unemployment benefits extension. To date, the governor still has not specified how he would to spend $15 million to address racial disparities, which remains the sole holdup to agreement on a special session.”

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