Given the challenges building through the latter part of the legislative session, things went OK, according to Rep. Larry Howes (R-Walker).
Legislators faced a budget deficit, controversy - and the ensuing court case - over the governor's 2009 unallotments, and recession.
Legislators and the governor ended a special session Monday with agreement on a budget-balancing bill that included ratifying many of the governor's unallotments and including a delay in aid payments to school districts.
However, the legislature was unable to come to an agreement on a K-12 education bill prior to the session adjournment.
House Republicans felt that since they had agreed with the governor not to address new legislation during the special session that they should hold to that committment.
"When you have an agreement on all things with the budget bill - and you add something in the end that's not part of the agreement, that negates the agreement," Howes said.
Howes said that the legislature ratifying some of the governor's unallotments was a good compromise.
"In the end, (the Democrats) took what he did as a compromise and I voted for it...because I thought it was an agreement between the Republican governor and the democrat-controlled legislature and that the onus should be on all of us," he said.
The budget bill also gives the next governor the opportunity to opt-in to an expansion of Medicaid enrollment and a potential of $408 million in congressionally appropriated Medicaid match funds.
The agreement also includes $10 million additional to fund General Assistance Medical Care.
Sen. Mary Olson (DFL-Bemidji) voted against the budget bill. She told the Brainerd Dispatch that she was concerned about long-term financial problems created by the bill and was against the shift in payments to schools.
She was glad that the bill did not hurt nursing homes or state-operated services.
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