Lawmakers Wait For Special Session To End Shutdown

By KBJR News 1

July 15, 2011 Updated Jul 15, 2011 at 8:59 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (Northlands NewsCenter) -- An agreement has been reached in the Minnesota budget negotiations but the shutdown is not over yet. Governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders are in the midst of finalizing the deal.

LeAnn Wallace takes a look at how long it could take before people can get back to work.

The longest government shutdown in recent history left 22,000 people out of a job, vacationers kicked out of state parks and construction projects on hold.

"You know, those are drastic unintended consequences and that part needed to end," said Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL - Duluth.

Governor Mark Dayton said he plans to have the revised bills ready for a Special Session by Monday morning.

"I expect to be here all weekend and expect to do everything around the clock because of the urgency of getting the lights back on and Minnesota back to work as soon as possible and I think that's going to be very soon."

"I think that's realistic if not a bit concerning that a $35 and a half billion dollar budget bill is being written in a day," said Reinert.

Meanwhile lawmakers are on standby.

"I would expect a special session for Monday, where we would be asked to vote on these two revenue components and then be asked as well to vote on a bonding bill," said Reinert.

Part of the budget agreement is a $500 million dollar bonding bill, which means more spending, something the GOP doesn't want.

"None of us got exactly all of what we wanted but we will have a deal that is done and a budget that will be balanced and a state that will be back to work," said Rep. Kurt Zellers, R - Speaker of the House.

It was getting Minnesota back to work...that prompted the Governor to accept the GOP's proposal.

But even when workers do get called back, projects that were put on hold, and businesses that were shut down, will have their work cut out for them as they pick up where they left off.

The Governor set a 10–pm deadline Friday night to have these bills sorted out before calling lawmakers into a Special Session on Monday.