There was some confusion during Gov. Tim Walz held a press conference to promote the new, enlarged tax rebate plan.
If this is such a popular idea why wouldn’t the DFL governor call an emergency session to pressure the Legislature, especially the Republican-led Senate, to pass it? They would not want to make Minnesota families feel like they are standing in the way of two grand per family.
His reasoning was not related to checks, elections or success chances.
span style=”font weight: 400 Because i want a health commissioner, and because i’d like to a public safety commissioner,” Walz stated, referring to Jan Malcolm and John Harrington, who have been subject to criticism and threatened with removal by GOP senators. Two commissioners were fired in 2020 by the Senate. A third was forced to resign in 2021 after being threatened with his removal.
Walz stated that he had seen the outrageous political behavior of commissioners being removed at will. “We won’t return until we reach an agreement on this .”
Has Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller reaffirmed his threat to hold confirmation votes for additional commissioners? No, Walz said. He’s only making sure.
He said, “font-weight 400 Fool me once, fool my twice, fool you three times.” “I don’t want to go for four. Based on the history of the GOP Senate’s actions around confirmations, I believe I should be extremely skeptical. If they are called back, and they don’t want to be there, we’ve seen them take retribution span on good public servants without any reason except political vindictiveness span>
Miller stated that the Senate will not bring up confirmations in a special session.
Miller stated that there was no reason for any commissioners to be present at this time. “As of now, we don’t have any plans to bring up any commissioners. .”
Walz had to call special sessions last autumn to address issues like drought relief and economic assistance for pandemics. But, the threat of firings, particularly Malcolm, was a major obstacle. Miller didn’t offer to remove appointees, but he did offer the trade of keeping Malcolm and limiting Walz’s ability to require vaccinations from state workers. Walz refused to accept the offer.
The pair disagreed about commissioners in a panel discussion . Miller said that the Senate could pass judgment on commissioners, while Walz complained that the judge should be made at the start of a governor’s term and not over an administration for four years. They were also used to retaliate for Walz’s policies.
However Miller stated that he would not bring up commissioner’s for a vote during a session at the MinnPost Festival in March.
span style=”font weight: 400 There are three and a quarter weeks of session. Miller stated that confirmation votes are unlikely to be cast between now and the close of session unless there is something else.
Miller stated that Walz’s renewed fear of confirmation fights was “new to me”. Miller stated that the governor had not raised any concerns about the special session, rebate checks, or commissioners after the pair spent Saturday together at a Winona veterans facility dedication.
Minnesota, like many other states, allows political appointees before being confirmed by the state Senate. Many of these appointees stay in their positions for their entire lives without receiving an up or down vote.
However, the Senate can bring up any appointees for a vote at anytime. This means they are subject to constant pressure from lawmakers. But the catch is that only while the Senate is in session can it exercise its constitutional authority and confirm or deny a governor’s top appointments.
A governor can call a special session, but they cannot limit what can be done once it is called. This includes the time and the subject matter. In the past, legislative leaders and governors have reached agreements about what can be considered and other ground rules. Walz stated that he would expect the same from Senate leaders. Miller said that he doesn’t want a special session, and does not support Walz’s request for large tax rebate checks. He prefers the Senate GOP’s higher tax rate reduction.