After a tough start, the pace is picking up at the State Capitol in St. Paul, where law makers are in Special Session this morning, trying to pass the final 7 pieces of a 46 billion dollar state budget package.
To this hour; the final incentive package to site Digi-Key expansion in Thief River Falls was included in the Tax Measure posted late last night and passed in the House at 5:20am this morning – 102 in favor/ 30 opposed – The measure now moves on to the State Senate for approval before going on to the Governor.
Touching base with Representative Dan Fabian; the house has also passed an Education Measure and has moved on to the State Transportation Bill.
Our Capitol Correspondent, Bill Werner, says Minority Democrats in the House held up the process throughout the early morning, offering seven amendments to the first measure to be discussed in Special Session; the Tax Package, over a labor measure known as “pre-emption” – the ability of cities to set their own workplace standards – with other special interests also in play. Key Teeters, Thief River Falls Radio
However, with passage of the Tax Bill, the pace of legislation appears to have picked up. Just after 6am the house passed the Education Package as the Tax Measure was being discussed in the Senate. As far as the remaining Budget, four of the five bills still scheduled for debate in special session have yet to be made public. At least one wasn’t expected to be ready for lawmakers until noon.
As far as remaining incentives for Digi-Key, they are now on the Governor’s Desk in the Jobs Bill passed Monday, and Representative Fabian says they have agreement on a signature.
With the Digi-Key incentives pieces now in place and the Tax Bill in progress – Thief River Falls could quickly go from preferred site status to confirmed site status; with the Thief River Falls City Council hoping to move forward with their own Special Session already on the calendar next Tuesday.