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"If Republicans Can't Get Bonding Bill Passed, DFL House Will"

Rep. Paul Thissen continued his push for a special session to pass a bonding bill.  

It has been 11 weeks since the end of the 2016 session without resolution on a bonding bill, tax bill, or transportation package, yet legislative leaders have not reached an agreement on a special session to finish the work of Minnesotans. Today, House DFL Leader Paul Thissen renewed his call upon all parties to reach an agreement to proceed with a Special Session as soon as possible. If an agreement is not reached, Thissen has pledged that a House DFL Majority will hold a floor vote on a bonding bill within the first 30 days of the 2017 session.

"Behind closed doors negotiations have produced little progress and all of the political obstacles to compromise, including Speaker Daudt’s primary, are behind us," said Thissen. "After nearly 3 months of indecision, this week is crunch time for a special session decision. Once we hit the State Fair, it's too late and we need some time for the promised public hearings. I continue to believe we should finish our job, but if agreement is not reached, I pledge that under a House DFL Majority we will bring a robust bonding bill to the House floor for a vote in the first 30 days of the next legislative session."

There is precedent for moving quickly on a bonding bill after a previous legislature failed to do its job. In 2004 the legislature failed to pass a bonding bill. Then in 2005 the new House of Representatives passed a nearly $1 billion bonding bill in February.

“The window has nearly closed this year to begin construction on important bonding projects across the state because of inaction at the legislature,” said State Rep. Alice Hausman (DFL – St. Paul). “If the current House Republican Majority doesn’t have the will to pass a bonding bill that will create jobs and strengthen communities across the state that is extremely unfortunate. But if that’s the case, the least we can do for Minnesotans is to pledge to work with them and work quickly to pass a significant bonding bill in 2017.”

In July, House DFL Leader Paul Thissen sent a letter to legislative leaders with recommendations to find consensus on an agenda for a special session, including to open up negotiations to the public. Since, zero negotiations or committee hearings have taken place that would move legislators closer to a special session.

“House Republicans barnstormed the state after the end of the legislative session in May, pushing for a special session to pass a bonding bill, but we have learned those calls were insincere. For months they have done next to nothing to actually deliver results for Minnesotans,” said Thissen. "If Minnesotans elect a House DFL Majority, we will take swift action in 2017 to move Minnesota forward.”