Emotions are running high and the legislative season is just beginning.
Minnesota’s Prickly Legislative Start Continues
The Minnesota legislature’s pre-session media briefing just weeks before the start of the session on March 8 doesn’t bode well for a peaceful—or productive—session, Inforum points out.
The dramatic exchange included a heated debate between Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt concerning the small business friendly—or not so friendly—climate in Minnesota, “with each accusing the other of cherry-picking statistics for political gain,” the paper wrote.
“Parts of the briefing turned into political sparring between the Democrats and Republicans, including testy points of contention not normally seen in public,” reported Inforum.
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and Daudt clashed over transportation, with Daudt claiming legislators needed to “focus on building a transportation bill around what everyone agrees on while looking to cast aside items that have held up bills in past sessions, namely public transportation,” the paper reported.
The already heated division between legislators portends a fierce session and has constituents wondering how much can be accomplished if such an explosive legislature is unable to agree on transportation.
During the meeting, Dayton also announced a possible gasoline tax increase to help fund transportation improvements—predicting more taxes for an already heavily strained state.
During the 2016 session, the legislature is expected to modify the two-year budget—a task that will prove difficult in the face of such aggressive division. Another item they’re looking to tackle? The surplus, which still has everyone arguing and could prove a boon or a bust to small business in the state.