The bills special session will consider
ST. PAUL -- Here is a look at what Minnesota legislators are expected to consider during a special session to finish passing a two-year, $42 billion state budget:
About $17 billion will be spent for early childhood-through-high school education. While Gov. Mark Dayton did not get his universal 4-year-old education plan enacted, the Legislature plans to provide more money for early childhood education.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development is to receive $228 million, Housing Finance Agency $102 million, Explore Minnesota Tourism $28 million, Labor and Industry Department $48 million, Mediation Services Bureau $2 million, Workers Compensation Appeals Court $3.5 million, Commerce Department $55 million and Public Utilities Commission $14 million. (These figures are tentative; the updated bill was not available when this list was compiled.)
Agriculture Department would receive $87 million, Board of Animal Health $10.7 million, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, $7.3 million. The avian influenza fight would get nearly $11 million, with another $10 million from the Rural Finance Authority to provide low-interest loans for farmers with flocks impacted by avian flu. The major environmental spending will be $187 million for the Pollution Control Agency and $526 million for the Department of Natural Resources.
A public works finance bill, with money raised by the state selling bonds, would provide $180 million in projects to be repaid by general state taxes. Overall, the legislation would spend $373 million with some bonds repaid by other taxes, such as the gasoline tax for transportation projects.
Set to be spent is $98 million on outdoor, $228 million for clean water, $89 million for parks and trails and $125 million for arts and culture projects from a sales tax increase voters approved in 2008.
Legislation that normally simply corrects spelling and other errors in already-passed bills, the revisor's bill this year is expected to have a more interesting provision. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says a drafting error on a bill funding several state agencies would cause the state auditor to lose her auditing authority on July 1. He said that the revisor's bill will restore the authority. The issue is separate from a dispute about whether the auditor should give up power to audit county books, a controversy that held up scheduling the special session.