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Dayton suggests special session rules

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ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has given key lawmakers a proposed agreement to lead to a special Minnesota legislative session to fund disaster recovery and eliminate a farm implement repair tax.

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The draft agreement Dayton released Tuesday night calls for the session to begin at 2 p.m. Sept. 9 and adjourn no later than 7 a.m. the next day. He requires the four legislative leaders, Democrats and Republicans, to sign it before he will call a special session.

The governor asked leaders to sign the agreement by Friday.

It is common for governors to require an ironclad deal to keep legislators from taking up other subjects.

The draft agreement comes a day after House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, complained that he had not been consulted about the session, only told what the governor planned to do.

Eighteen Minnesota counties are eligible for federal disaster assistance after June 20-26 storms and floods. The special session is being called mostly to provide state funding to match federal money.

The state is expected to spend more than $4 million on the disaster.

After Dayton said he would only consider calling a session for disaster relief, he announced he also would allow lawmakers to vote to overturn a tax he and lawmakers enacted in May on farm implement repair. He said he would like the action to be retroactive, so farmers could receive refunds on taxes they paid since the law began July 1.

Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said farmers are expected to pay $2 million a month with the new tax.

The agreement Dayton wants would not allow any amendments to either bill after he and legislative leaders agree to them.

Republicans, especially, want another tax repealed during the special session: one that would tax goods stored in warehouses. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce leaders want more taxes repealed, and Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, wants the special session to increase the minimum wage.

Dayton said last week that he refuses to consider other items.

Late Tuesday, GOP leaders said they still want the warehousing tax vote, but did not specifically say they would refuse to cooperate without him agreeing.

Daudt said he asked the governor to meet in person with the four legislative leaders and Dayton agreed.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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