ST. PAUL -- About 600 Minnesota Iron Range workers will not know until after the holidays if their unemployment benefits will be extended.

Black Minnesotans will not know if the state Legislature can begin working on their economic plight. People who want to fly or enter federal buildings will not know if their state identification cards, mostly driver's licenses, will be updated to meet federal rules.

Talks among Gov. Mark Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Speaker Kurt Daudt on Thursday produced no agreement to schedule a special session to consider those and other topics. The next step, legislative leaders said, is to expand discussion to House and Senate minority party leaders, then to all 201 lawmakers.

Bakk, D-Cook, said his fellow senators may want other topics discussed in a multi-day special session. Daudt, R-Crown, said he needs to check with his members to see if they even want a session before their regular 2016 session starts March 8.

The three met at mid-day in the governor's residence, emerging saying they had good talks, but no firm agreements.

Complicating scheduling a special session is a $307 million Capitol building restoration project. Democratic senators have no offices and neither body can meet in the Capitol.

Bakk said that senators may move into the new Minnesota Senate Building Jan. 11, so it will be available for committee and full Senate use. The House may need to use a committee room in the State Office Building for sessions.

The senator said he expects any special session to take more than one day because of the need for many committees to consider the complex issues. Daudt said he wants the bills to be debated in public, not behind closed doors and then completed bills handed to members.

On Nov. 12, Dayton asked Bakk and Daudt to consider a special session to help about 600 Iron Range workers expected to run out of unemployment benefits before March 8. If benefits are to be extended, lawmakers must vote on it.

Bakk said a national steel downturn threatens "the security of thousands of families."

The 600 running out of unemployment benefits are a small portion of those laid off or facing layoffs in a steel industry downturn blamed on cheap steel imports. However, many of them still will be receiving regular unemployment benefits when lawmakers return to work.

Extended benefits often are provided to workers in industries facing major problems, like northeast Minnesota's taconite mines are now.

Soon after Dayton wrote his initial special session letter to legislative leaders, he and other Democrats said the session also could begin work toward repairing economic disparities between black and white Minnesotans. That issue was pointed out in a report released earlier this year.

Dayton suggested approving $15 million to help the economic disparity problem, but has not spelled out how it would be spent.

Several other topics also were mentioned for a special session agenda, including meeting federal requirements for an enhanced driver's license. Bakk said the federal Homeland Security Department will release "any day now" a requirement that the enhanced identification cards will be needed to board airliners and to get into federal buildings. However, federal authorities have said Minnesota will be given plenty of time to conform.

Under the state Constitution only governors can call a special session, but they generally seek to make a deal with legislative leaders first to ensure that a session remains on topic. Once legislators convene a special session, they can take up any issue they wish.

Daudt had said he planned to meet with Dayton earlier this month, but it was postponed when Dayton entered Mayo Clinic in Rochester for back surgery.

Since special session discussions began, Daudt has said that the Iron Range needs a long-term economic solution more than a "Band Aid" unemployment extension. He said Thursday that he does not know if he will insist that long-term solutions be part of a special session.

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