As Governor Dayton, Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen continue to negotiate final budget targets, conference committees for omnibus budget bills continued to meet and agree to some provisions unrelated to appropriations. With the final full week of session approaching next week, budget targets will be announced and conference committees and floor sessions will be busy debating and adopting final budget, omnibus and policy bills.

Marriage Equality

On Thursday afternoon, roughly 6,000 people came to the Capitol to watch the House debate and ultimately pass HF1054, the marriage equality legislation. Sponsored by Rep. Clark (DFL-Minneapolis), the bill expands the definition of the word "marriage" to include same-sex couples. After 2½ hours of debate, the bill passed with a vote of 75-59, with four Republican members voting in favor of the legislation and two DFL members voting against it.

The Senate will debate the bill on Monday, and the Governor has indicated that he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.