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Minnesota legislative leaders to ask for special session for flood relief

Minnesota state legislative leaders from both parties will tour the Duluth area today to view damage from last week's flood.

Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL Cook, who will be part of the tour, said the purpose is to gather estimates in anticipation of a special legislative session for flood relief, which he supports.

"I don't think there's any question (the governor) will call one. It'll be when all the assessment work is done," Bakk said. "You have to know what to do. You can't just pass bills without numbers in them."

Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL Kerrick, said he also supports a special session, and he wants a new Moose Lake high school to be on the list of priorities.

"It's too much to ask for locals (to pay for that)," Lourey said. "We have to ask, is it really worth the money to put that school back in shape, or would it be better for the state to intervene?"

In addition to the significant flood damage sustained by the school, the building has been out of compliance with school building code for years, Lourey said.

Lourey said he'll also ask for funding to repair damaged infrastructure in Carlton County.

Dayton indicated during a tour of flood-ravaged areas in Carlton County Tuesday that he expected a special session called to provide relief to those communities, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Republican leaders visiting the Duluth area include Senate Majority Leader David Senjem and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, who are in transit and could not be immediately reached for comment.