There are currently 690 bills in the Minnesota House that have been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, whose Democratic chairman can move bills between subcommittees with just his signature.
As The Minnesota Sun previously reported, the Democratic-controlled House kicked off the 2019 session by passing a set of temporary rules. Under these rules, Rep. Lyndon Carlson (D-Crystal), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, can move bills between subcommittees with just a memo instead of sending them back to the House floor.
During the 2019 session, Carlson will have 21 subcommittees, called “divisions” in Minnesota, under the control of his Ways and Means Committee. His signature, rather than a vote, will be the deciding factor in moving bills between divisions.
As of February 21, 1595 bills were introduced in the House, and 690 were referred to the powerful Ways and Means Committee. That means 43 percent of all bills are moved between subcommittees at the discretion of Carlson.
“If we adopt these temporary rules without this amendment, you’re not only taking away the public’s ability to know what’s going on, and follow the process, and participate in the process. But you’re taking away your right as a member of this body every time one of those bills gets amended to weight in on it,” House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said during a rules debate in January.
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