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Possible Early Adjournment Jeopardizes Local Legislative Efforts

It’s still unclear what legislators would be unable to accomplish if they adjourn at the Easter/Passover break.

An early adjournment of the Legislature that could come as soon as next week’s Easter/Passover break would leave many bills unheard, but the uncertainties of scheduling mean it’s unclear which proposals would lose out.

“I don’t think there’s any way to know because we don’t know what’s going to get done before then,” said Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44), who represents Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley.

Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-District 44A) speculated that adjournment next week could prevent consideration of an omnibus liquor bill. Simon has two measures in that bill—a proposal to allow liquor stores to host periodic "tastings" with outside experts for a small fee and the “Four Firkins proposal” to let liquor stores sell store-branded merchandise. He also has a domestic violence bill pending.

On a broader level, early adjournment could mean no outdoor funding bill, no public safety bills and no property tax relief bill. And Latz added that the Vikings stadium bill’s chances of being heard get smaller and smaller as time goes on.

But both lawmakers said any predictions are just conjecture that could change based on the decisions of leadership.

“The rumors are rampant. And the legislative leadership is very coy about the ultimate adjournment date. At this point, there's no clear message about when we'll adjourn,” Simon said in an e-mail interview. 

Latz said the Legislature hasn’t been all that industrious to this point. Bills are moving through slower than they have in the past—although each session has its own dynamics and, technically speaking, nothing constitutionally has to get done because this is not a budget year and there’s no budget deficit.

Still, he accused Republicans of wasting time and money on measures they knew had no chance of clearing the governor’s desk.

“I wouldn’t say the discussion (on early adjournment) is premature. I would say so far they haven’t gotten a lot done that’s productive. A lot of what’s been done is just politicking,” Latz said. “From my standpoint, I’m just ready to close up shop because it is a waste of everyone’s time and money.”

Brad Kadue March 29, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I'm with Sen. Latz on this one...the longer the session drags on the more money they spend. Mothball the legislature until next February when there's real work to be done.

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