How did the Minnesota Legislature do this session?

In addition to legalizing same-sex marriage, lawmakers raised taxes by $2 billion and passed a bill that will let some child and home care workers vote to unionize.

Session highlights from the last 48 hours:

  •  Legislature approves budget that increases taxes by $2 billion
  • Legislature approves pared down bonding bill
  • No minimum wage hike this session
  •  Minnesota House approves daycare and home care unionization bill, 68-66
  •  5 DFLers voted against the bill
  •  Minnesota Senate won’t take up anti-bullying bill
  •  House drops measures to increase transparency around campaign donations
  •  House passes Legacy bill, shifts more parks money to metro area
  •  Bill that would spend $485 million more for schools, and includes funding for all day kindergarten heads to Gov. Dayton’s desk
  • Democrats pushed through plans that they say will help job growth. They include state money to help Rochester handle a planned Mayo Clinic expansion, tax breaks for phase 2 of the Mall of America and subsidies to help a pharmaceutical company expand in Brooklyn Park.

Today’s Question: How did the Minnesota Legislature do this session?

  • I’ll be turning 65 next year, all in Minnesota, meaning I’ve seen many a legislative session. I’ll stop short of saying this was the worst, but it’s certainly among them. The DFL’s “top priority” (HF 1) didn’t pass. The “jobs, jobs, jobs” focus was anything but and it could have been worse (minimum wage, bullying). I think a fair summation is “Union Yes!”

    • Onan

      Is the sky falling??

      • Gary F

        California here we come.

  • sb

    I’d say the Legislature did a good job. The provided us with a budget that is balanced and makes needed investments, without the gimmicks we’ve seen recently. I was glad to see that Mayo was funded in the end and a bonding bill for the Capitol passed. We need to continue to make smart investments in infrastructure.

    Passing same-sex marriage was historic and the right thing to do. Every family in Minnesota deserves the same recognition and protection of their love. This is a session that results in more freedom and more opportunity, and it does a bit to restore my faith in the legislature after Republicans threw divisive constitutional amendments on the ballot and caused a state government shutdown in 2011.

    There is still work to be done. The Republican obstructionism of the Safe Schools (anti-bullying) bill in the Senate was disgusting. In particular, Sen. Hann was mean spirited and nasty. I hope someone better fills his seat in 2014. We still need to raise the minimum wage so more people can earn a real living through their work.

  • USA1stVince

    Horrendous! No longer “We the People”! Unions and the DFL Lawmakers they control passed legislation (unionizing childcare workers) that NO one outside their community wanted and will drive up daycare costs and will raise automatically union donations to the DFL, which is what it was all about all along! Minnesota Families will, on average pay $1000 more per year in taxes! Etc. etc.

    • kevins

      Maybe I missed something, but does not the bill simply allow a vote on the issue? You seem to have concluded the affair before it has started.

      • Onan

        “does not the bill simply allow a vote on the issue? ” – Well, yeah, but don’t tell that to the “Chicken Little” folks.

      • Gary F

        The vote will be a scam. It will be twisted and manipulated to get passage. Good ‘ol Marx Richie will make sure of that.

        • kevins

          Lighten up Gary. Not everything is a government conspiracy.

  • Gary F

    Business will now have to pay more to attract and keep top management. Business will now have to pay higher utility costs because of the solar mandate. Watch the slow drain of private sector business from Minnesota

    The moderate and lower income people that smoke will have to make sure they have enough money left after buying cigarettes to still buy Powerball, scratch offs, and e-pull tabs! Will they be able to smoke at the new Marx Dayton’s Marlboro Stadium

    Unions will run a scam election and force unions on owner/operator daycare providers. Some will go out of business, some will no longer accept government vouchers(wait for the new law coming that will force them to, and all will have to raise their price. Then, families will notice their daycare costs going up, thus demanding more government handouts, thus making the DFL raise subsidy rates, all while money goes into the DFL campaign fund. Tyranny.

    The gay marriage law doesn’t come close to having the protections for religious organizations.

  • Paul Hardt

    The failure of the legislature to pass a new, higher minimum wage bill was an example of terrible leadership. Working families will suffer, because the House and Senate couldn’t agree. The legislature should also have passed a larger bonding bill. The University of Minnesota needs the improvements.

  • Jim G

    A solid B. The same-sex marriage law is a historic achievement and thankfully the starvation funding of K-12 education needs has been reversed a bit. But there’s room for improvement. Higher minimum wages must be addressed next session and there are many worthy bonding projects that were needlessly killed by the Republican leadership. Legislation is like sausage making: the end result is determined by the quality of ingredients and the seasonings used at the beginning of the process. I prefer the DFL recipes over the Republican ones, which gave me nothing but indigestion.

  • Carrie

    All in all, not too bad. At least they’ve started to clean up the mess from the T-Paw years. No more of these budget shifts and shell games. Yea!!!

  • Steve the Cynic

    We’ll find out in a few years when the results become apparent.

  • Michael

    What did the legislators do to end the prohibition of the world’s most utilitarian plant, hemp/cannabis? for every good purpose.

    Minnesota is conscientious enough of a state to understand and take action on this, lift your eyes and your feet.