MN Lawmakers comment on remaining work as session draws to a close

Minnesota Capitol
Minnesota Capitol(Quinn Gorham KBJR 6)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:46 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (GRAY) – Just four days remain in the 2023 legislative session, one that’s seen the introduction and passage of hundreds of bills. As the session draws to a close, DFLer’s are already looking back, proud of the work that’s been done.

“I think when the dust settles on this that there’s little doubt that this is probably the most productive session in Minnesota history,” said Governor Tim Walz after a bill-signing on Tuesday.

Leaders with the majority in St. Paul explained that they feel they’ve served their constituents well.

“We have continued to show throughout this session that we came here ready to work on day one,” said Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic.

Governor Walz believes Minnesotans wanted to see action, and feels his party has delivered.

“I’m proud of the legislature. I’m proud of Minnesotans. I’m proud that we’re keeping our promises to get this done,” Walz said.

Across the aisle, unsurprisingly, Republicans feel left behind.

“I don’t think there have been this many partisan bills passed on to the Senate or the House in my seven years here. These are straight-line partisan bills for the most part,” said Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson.

While the DFL enjoys a comfortable margin in the Minnesota House, they hold the Senate by just one seat. Senator Mark Johnson and others in his party have been vocally against much of the legislation passed this year, making for a contentious setting in the Minnesota Senate.

“We’re not having any impact in the outcome. Even when we do have the opportunity to get an amendment then that goes to conference committee and gets stripped out of there,” said Johnson, “So our communities aren’t being represented. Our districts aren’t being represented that through these budget negotiations through these bills, which is completely disappointing to us, and it’s not productive for the state.”

Johnson’s statement rings true for most bills, but bonding is a different story. It’s one of the few bills that require a supermajority to pass, and since the bill was introduced in March, Republicans have failed to push it through. The party has explained its stance won’t change until there are more tax cuts made, but the DFL has other plans.

This week, the DFL introduced and will vote on a “cash bill” meant to tackle projects with money the state already has rather than with bonding money.

Session adjourns on May 22 and DFL leaders remain confident that everything will be done on time.