Today, the sun rose on the harsh reality of Minnesota’s broken two party system of government. We got what we always get, broken promises and the sixth special session in the last eight legislative biennial sessions.
Budget Surplus Refunds – We now see that this promise was just a publicity stunt.
The Transportation Session – The one issue that Republicans and Democrats agreed was going to be a focus of this session became the first victim of Democratic and Republican agreement.
Election Reform – This didn’t get any news coverage, but it did get passed. The public’s participation in their government was severely damaged by the end, again, of the State’s Political Contribution Refund program as well as the end of the State’s Tax Check-off program.
Bipartisanship – Despite the failures of this legislative session, the representatives of the people did their jobs and passed legislation before the deadline. At least we got that. Or, did we?
Our legislators advocated for the issues that were important to them. They argued and debated and then sat around and waited for a handful of people to make last minute decisions on behalf of 201 legislators and 5.5 million Minnesotans. The agreement between Republican House leaders and Democratic Senate leaders appeared to put governance ahead of politics, if only for a brief moment. A brief moment later, the Governor demonstrated his regard for their work by threatening to veto the agreements they just announced on his front lawn.
If the negotiations, agreements and veto threats had arisen before the final hours of the session, we would have supported ongoing negotiations. That did not happen.
For this reason the Independence Party of Minnesota calls for the special session to focus on a bipartisan override of the Governor’s education budget veto.
Legislators, we will still hold you accountable for your poor legislation, but the special session lies entirely in the Governor’s hands.
Mark Jenkins, Chair
Independence Party of Minnesota