A limited, one-day Special Session which will focus only on the immediate needs in the aftermath of the natural disaster will take place beginning at 5:00pm tomorrow, the 11th of September.
"'It's, I think, the fastest disaster recovery special session that we've had in recent memory,' Pawlenty said. 'I know there has been some concern about timing, but the fact of the matter is that those two other floods, the special session was three months later. We've moved this up for understandable and good reasons and it needs to be moved up.'" Source: MPR, September 10, 2007Earlier, Governor Pawlenty was able to utilize existing executive authority, federal aid and existing money to get the state on track to replace the fallen I-35W bridge.
Some have recently sought to utilize the bridge and flooding as a springboard to increase the taxes and spending in advance of the regular 2008 session.
Unless the current deal is broken by Governor Pawlenty's political opponents, we should see a quick, focused session on providing much needed emergency relief.
Our legislative leaders have an opportunity in the Spring to openly debate a more expensive agenda should they choose.
They will just have to do so outside the heated passions of a recent disaster, as a time when greater deliberation and contemplation (you know, the kind that is supposed to accompany the legislative process) is available to our elected officials.