ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton says a special session to assist laid-off Minnesota steelworkers facing expiring unemployment benefits is "imperative."

Hundreds of idled workers face the imminent cutoff of benefits so Dayton wants lawmakers to step in and approve a temporary extension. His call received the backing Tuesday of Senate Democrats, who say they'll work to set the terms for a session.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told Dayton in a letter that lawmakers could also address a dispute with the federal government over driver's licenses that could mean trouble for Minnesota residents boarding flights as soon as next year.

But Dayton says the REAL ID issue could be held over until lawmakers return to the Capitol in March. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt hasn't commented on Dayton's special session suggestion.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says other governors declaring their states closed to Syrian refugees are guilty of "showmanship" and are turning their backs on people trying to escape terrorism in their homeland.

The two-term Democrat lashed out Tuesday at calls by roughly half of the nation's governors to halt migration of Syrian refugees to the United States. Other governors, mostly Republicans, are raising concerns over the possibility that radicals will attempt to blend in and carry out attacks once on U.S. social.

Dayton says such postures only serve to erode trust among neighbors with different nationalities or religions and foment fear over newcomers.

He says it's possible to protect the state's citizens from harm without walling off refugees.

Minnesota has had fewer than 10 people arrive from Syria since 2009.


ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — As far as Gov. Mark Dayton is concerned, Senate Republicans can keep their offices where they're at.

Dayton commented Tuesday on a declaration by GOP senators that they'd forego a move to the new Senate Office Building when it opens early next year. The Republicans say relocating isn't worth the cost or hassle for what is expected to be a short 2016 legislative session and that they're content in a nearby building.

Dayton says there are costs to senators moving and staying put. He says he's instructed his Department of Administration to "let the senators stay where they want to stay."

The building has been a political issue since it was authorized in 2013 and Republicans have used it as a campaign argument against Democrats.