The 2019 legislative session and special session have now ended. All sides walk away with various polices they are happy with ... and others they wish could have been passed.
It is hard to determine who "won" or "lost" though many pundits may try. Governor Walz, in his first year, got agreement through a divided government and was able to increase K12 funding. Majority Leader Daudt was able to fight off a Gas Tax increase and pass some tax relief.
The biggest loser in this session was the process, continuing the recent trend of closed door, behind-the-scenes negotiations. In doing this, not only is the public largely left out, but the rushed manner of it all also lends itself to many mistakes.
There once was a time when the threat of legislative leaders taking control of a conference committee was seen as enough motivation to create agreement. However, this year it seemed as though chairs were content to hand over their control to legislative leaders.
It is true that deals have always, and will always, be made behind the scenes but traditionally after the deal is made they will affirm the deal in public, with some discussion. But now - with little public action - entire bills are released and voted on with very little notice.
Thank you to all of my regular readers who have commented about your appreciation of this newsletter. I do enjoy writing it and hope that the information I provide is useful to some degree.
Enjoy Your Summer and we will see you next year. The 2020 legislative session will begin on February, 11th!