Special Session Negotiations Break Down with no Deal

The following article by Ricardo Lopez was published in the August 19, 2016 edition of the Star Tribune.

Special Session Negotiations Break Down with no Deal

Gov. Mark Dayton won’t call legislators back after impasse over light rail. 

Gov. Mark Dayton said he has given up hope of calling a special legislative session to pass tax breaks and millions of dollars in statewide construction projects after last-ditch negotiations with legislative leaders failed to break the deadlock.

“I am not going to call a special session,” Dayton said Thursday after a brief, 30-minute meeting with legislative leaders.

Dayton and top legislators have met for three months after the spring session collapsed without agreement on millions of dollars in construction projects. Legislators were seeking a special session to pass the construction measure and to fix a tax package that included an error that would cost the state $100 million.

The breakdown in negotiations ends hope for $260 million in tax breaks for veterans, farmers and students with college debt, at least for this year. It also kills a property tax break and liquor license for a proposed professional soccer stadium in the Midway area of St. Paul.

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