The Minnesota Legislature's long-awaited special session is now underway in St. Paul. However, the big question is whether it will actually be successful.
There's no guarantee there are enough votes to pass all of the bills — some Senate DFLers aren't happy with the agriculture and environment budget bill that they say rolls back environmental protections.
• Live updates: Special session underway
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If lawmakers can't come to an agreement Friday, they could stay even longer — legislators are already 25 days late in finishing their work.
The Legislature has until July 1 to finish before a partial government shutdown.
1) Why do we have special sessions?
In many cases, political squabbling — the governor and legislative leaders failed to agree on a budget by the end of the regular legislative session.
In other cases, overtime sessions were called in regards to disaster relief and assistance.
2) Who can call and end a special session?
Only the governor can call a special session. However, only a vote of the Legislature can end it.
3) A historic meeting
Lawmakers convened outside the Capitol for the first time in 110 years because of the renovation project.
They're meeting in temporary chambers in an adjacent office building and using old-fashioned voice roll-call votes on bills.
4) Not-so-special sessions anymore?
Including this year, there have been 51 special sessions of the state Legislature and the Minnesota Territorial Legislature since 1857.
They've ranged ranged from meeting to complete the passage of budget bills to stadium funding to regulating intoxicating liquor for American Indians (that was in 1862).
These sessions appear to be becoming less "special." This is the 16th of the last two decades (there were three in 1997 and two in 2010).
In the 1970s there were just two.
5) How much do they cost?
WCCO reports special sessions cost an estimated $51,000 per day, with the money going toward things like per diems and security.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.