GHENT (KMHL) – An area lawmaker was expressing some frustration with the governor following a special session that concluded early Saturday morning in St. Paul.
Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent) said it seemed the special session was mostly about Governor Walz’s emergency powers, and there wasn’t a lot of desire for deals on other issues.
According to Swedzinski, lawmakers had bipartisan agreement on a bill for COVID-19 relief that had cleared the Senate near unanimously earlier in the week. He says the governor went back on that agreement and tried to attach his supplemental budget to it as an amendment.
“Governor Walz put pressure on the DFL majority in the House and forced them to put very controversial deficit raising measures onto that bill,” said Swedzinski. “We caught wind of that on Wednesday and attempted to bring the bill forward just as the Senate passed it and were blocked.”
Swedzinski says now with the executive powers extension another 30 days, the governor can spend the money on his own. He says the governor now has spending ability without legislative approval.
“Your word is your bond at the legislature and to force the Democrats, because they are in the same party to go against their own agreements, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this happen in such a large bill, that had agreement to be moving forward,” said Swedzinski. “Ultimately, you saw those agreements break down.”
He said if lawmakers get called back to the capitol again, the majority and minority parties need to sign off on deals ahead of time for work to be completed.