May 20, 2013 at 5:56 am
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) When Minnesota lawmakers finish their session Monday, they'll have a full nine months to cook up plans for next year's session.
Legislative leaders on Saturday set their return date. It's February 25th.
The late start leaves a shorter window for the Legislature in 2014 because they still must finish by mid-May before heading out on the campaign trail.
Next year's main focus will be on a construction budget and dealing with any unanticipated surplus dollars or deficit projection. They will be coming back right around time that a key economic forecast is due.
There's a side benefit to starting late: Candidates and caucuses face fundraising restrictions during session. The schedule gives them two more months to stock up on campaign cash from lobbyists and political action committees.
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