Mayor Larson Disappointed With Failed Special Session
Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders are abandoning their hopes of a special session.
Minnesota’s top politicians have met routinely for months to try to find an agreement for an overtime session. A $260 million tax relief bill and package of public construction projects were at the top of the to-do list since the Legislature adjourned in late May.
But an ideological disagreement about building a light-rail train to the southwestern Minneapolis suburbs proved too much. Dayton said Thursday he won’t call a special session this year.
Republicans dislike the project but Democrats say it’s essential. The outcome means it’s likely to become an issue in the fight for legislative majorities this fall.
Dayton says he’ll incorporate tax and construction measures in his 2017 wish list.
Meanwhile, Mayor Emily Larson released the following statement after hearing the news about a failed special session.
“The news of no special session is extremely disappointing for us in Duluth, others in our region, and around the state. The City of Duluth along with our partners, presented and advocated for a critical steam renovation project, among others, that would have improved aged infrastructure and demonstrated sound stewardship of our resources. Our disappointment is shared by many business and community partners who lent their support, time and energy. We recognize that those partners worked equally hard for projects related to the Lake Superior Zoo, the Duluth International Airport, Western Lake Superior Sanitary District, St. Louis River restoration, and higher education institutions.
Also of impact to Duluth is a Local Government Aid proposal that would have posed an increase of over $400,000, which due to this recent decision, results in a negative impact to our fiscal base.
Hundreds of hours and thousands of miles were traversed over the past year to help strengthen and promote our projects by City staff, Duluth and Northeast legislators. We appreciate legislators, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor who recognized the regional significance of our plans. Though our hopes for a productive legislative process have been dashed, we continue to strive for excellence in representing the best interests of our community and plan to work towards a new and better day.”