This week, most conference committee negotiations came to a close, and conference committee reports are being finalized. We hope to bring our budget bill agreements to the floor in short order. Our earlier timeline for this session remains on schedule, and we should have no trouble completing our major budget bills well before session’s end. Our hope now is that Governor Dayton will negotiate in good faith on these bills.
House leadership was disappointed when Governor Dayton chose to not participate substantively in budget target discussions. The House and Senate Republican majorities decided to come to an initial agreement without the Governor so that conference committees could complete their work on schedule.
I sincerely hope that the Governor intends to negotiate with the legislature to come to a compromise that addresses the needs of our state, which is our shared responsibility as elected officials. Minnesotans are not well-served by their governor vetoing bills he made no attempt to negotiate. If you have the time and inclination, please contact the Governor’s Office and ask that he come to the table and negotiate these bills so that we can finish our work in an orderly way this session.
I will continue to update you on the status of these negotiations as we complete these last few weeks of session.
Yesterday was National Day of Prayer, and I had the privilege of delivering the opening prayer for our floor session. I will leave you with the prayer below. The theme for the day was Daniel 9:19, which reads: "O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act!"
"Let us pray –
Almighty God, we ask today that you Hear us, Forgive us and Heal us.
We thank you that we are a state that has roots in many cultures and that we can practice a variety of religious traditions.
We praise you that our history is replete with leaders who have voluntarily called upon you, whether the need is great or small.
And that civic and national days of prayers have a long and venerable history in our constitutional republic.
We thank you that as Americans of national purpose and identity we have made the “laws of Nature and Nature’s God” the foundation of our United States of America and asserted that we have inalienable rights that are God-given.
As we ask “For Your Great Name’s Sake” on this National Day of Prayer, we are grateful that we have the opportunity to join in united prayer to acknowledge our dependence on your grace, to give thanks for your many gifts, to ask for forgiveness of our sins, and for healing for all who suffer physically, mentally or emotionally.
We ask your special blessing on all members of our armed services and their families and that you bring wholeness to our nation.
We also pray today for our men and women who protect us here at the capitol and throughout our state. Whether they serve as law enforcement officers, highway patrol or emergency personnel, we ask that you bestow upon them wisdom and discernment.
O Lord, you know the love we have for our families, especially our children, so we ask that the Holy Spirit fill them with renewed strength and courage to live each day serving you.
We plead for your guidance for our national and state leaders, especially for President Trump and for Governor Dayton. We ask for large doses of patience and understanding for lawmakers like us who serve in this legislature and for all who work beside us and for us.
O Lord, we humbly ask for your intervention in the challenges we face as we debate our conference committee reports with the Governor and his commissioners to work toward resolution of the 2017 session. We know that no problem is too great for you.
Great Creator, on this special day we pray that you will hear our every word, that you forgive us, that you heal us, and that you respond to our prayers according to your will.
In your holy name,