Will the legislature run out of time?

Some people have been asking, will the legislature run out of legislative days? The Minnesota constitution limits the number of days the legislature can meet to 120 per biennium. Any time the House and/or Senate meets in session is considered a legislative day. So far, they have used 94…this Thursday will make it 95.

So, with only about 25 legislative days left, will we run out before May 19th (which is the constitutional deadline for adjournment)?

Not likely, say the gurus in Senate Information. With only seven full weeks left, there are enough days left for the legislature to meet three times each week and still have a couple of days to spare. Since DFLers control both the House and Senate, they should be able to coordinate that without too much trouble…they’ve been doing it all session.

But here’s another angle…the legislature can not pass bills on the last prescribed day of the session. That last day of session is either the first Monday following the third Saturday in May (otherwise known as May 19th) or it is the 120th legislative day…whichever comes first.

And that last day of session begins at midnight (not 7 am, like some of us might think).

So, it looks like the legislature has until midnight on Sunday, May 18th to get all their bills passed. But here’s hoping that it happens much sooner than that!

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

Christina served as the Minnesota Budget Project's deputy director until January 2014.
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