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Friday, May 26, 2006

Fergus Falls Daily Journal Says Nix the Special Session Idea Governor Pawlenty of Tax Increases


Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Friday, May 26, 2006

Special session bad idea

It is less than a week since the legislative session ended and already some lawmakers are suggesting there is a need for a special session. Although the goal of the proposed session — to raise funds for the outdoors, conservation and arts — is good, bringing lawmakers back to the Capitol is not a good idea.

Lawmakers spent much of the regular session's last two weeks working on a bonding bill and on plans to provide new stadiums for the Gophers and Twins. A plan to let voters amend the constitution to increase funding — and taxes to provide that funding — for the arts, outdoors and conservation got tied up in differences between the House and Senate, and fell by the wayside.

This was just another instance when Minnesota lawmakers could not come to agreement during the constitutionally defined limits of their annual session. Voters need to hold lawmakers accountable, on principle, when they can not get their jobs done, rather than allow yet another special session. On a practical note, special sessions are expensive and, once begun, could yield to any number of actions by the Legislature. That all adds up to a special session being a bad idea.

Our elected representatives and senators should do their jobs in the time allowed. They should not need a special session to handle routine business, even when the cause is good.

A certain Summit Avenue Resident should take note.