House leaders Thissen, Daudt: The Twitter version

Minnesota Speaker of the House Paul Thissen and House GOP Leader Kurt Daudt talked politics and took questions this morning on the Daily Circuit program on MPR News.

Gun laws

Questions about Minnesota’s gun laws and whether to change them took up a big chunk of the time and questions in this morning’s interview. Thissen acknowledged divisions among DFL lawmakers based largely on where they come from across Minnesota. A compromise is under discussion.

“If it was up to me, we’d do universal background checks,” Thissen said.

The GOP caucus is also divided. “We can all agree we should do everything we can to get the guns out of the hands of violent criminals,” Daudt said.

Taxes and Budget

Deep divisions remain here. Callers pressed on the issue of taxing business services. Thissen said no one likes raising taxes.

He added that the tax mix will be important.

“Are there less bad taxes to raise than others? Are there types of business to business taxes that would be less damaging to the competitiveness of the state than others? We’re going to be looking very hard at those issues,” Thissen said

Daudt argued that letting the economy grow and generate jobs would raise enough tax revenue and that new tax increases were not needed.

“Taxes are going to cost jobs ultimately,” he said. “I think the answer is let the economy grow, create jobs and ultimately the state will get more revenue.”

Same-sex Marriage

Neither lawmaker wanted to talk about the efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

While a constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriage failed last fall, a new poll shows most Minnesotans do not want a law now that allows same-sex marriage.

“It’s undoubtedly true that the trend is for support of marriage equality,” Thissen said.

Comparing it to gun control, he said it was an issue that needs to be discussed but added, “Our focus right now more than anything else is on getting a structurally balanced budget.”

Daudt pretty much agreed. “What would unite Minnesotans right now is to talk about something that everyone cares about … the budget.”