The Minnesota House concluded its three-day mini-session Friday, and some Republican lawmakers think it was a waste of $100,000 in taxpayer money.
The mini-session kicked off Wednesday in Winona as more than 100 legislators convened in the southeast Minnesota city. The last time the Minnesota Legislature held a mini-session was in 1997, but House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) wanted to renew the practice as a way of making “the Legislature more accessible and responsive to Minnesotans.”
“In addition to welcoming citizen participation in the State Capitol in St. Paul, the Legislature should go out into communities across the state,” she said in a statement.
Since lawmakers weren’t allowed to vote on any bills or hold any formal hearings during the mini-session, some Republicans fear it was a waste and called it “the southern Minnesota apology tour.”
“We could have saved the taxpayers $100,000. This week we saw the Metro-Centric House Democrats hold their rural apology tour in southeastern Minnesota. They are getting smoked in elections in rural Minnesota because of their radical big government agenda. Last session saw House Democrats pass a full-on socialist agenda, including their economy-crushing ‘green new deal,’ their radical sex education plan, and their gun confiscation plans for law abiding citizens,” State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) said in a press release.
“This week we saw them pretend that they care about what Greater Minnesotans think. The over-regulation, high taxes, and radical social agenda of the Democrats is hurting rural Minnesota families. Southeastern Minnesota doesn’t need their apology. We need them to stop doing things to us,” he added.
Rep. Jeremy Munson (R- Lake Crystal) said calling it a mini-session is “an exaggeration,” since no formal action could be taken.
“It’s good for people to see us out in the community, but I am not sure we needed to have all the other expenses devoted to the tour buses, lodging, and meals for 100 legislators and staff,” he said.
Rep. Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel) agreed, saying he does not “see the need for the Legislature to gather and spend the people’s hard-earned money, when we cannot act on anything brought forward while in Winona.”
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