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At Session’s End, Was It Really A ‘Do Nothing’ Legislature?

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ST. PAUL (WCCO) — For the first time in many weeks, the Minnesota Vikings stadium is not a story at the Capitol. But that doesn’t mean politicians weren’t busy kicking off the election campaign.

According to Democrats, the 2012 legislative session ranks as among the worst sessions — ever. Now, Gov. Mark Dayton is asking Minnesota to give him a DFL House and Senate to break the gridlock he says has created a political standoff.

“It is much more difficult to accomplish things that you want to when you don’t have the majority in either the House or the Senate,” said Dayton, embarking on a statewide media blitz with DFL Minority Leaders of the House and Senate. “Governors propose. Legislatures dispose. And they (Republicans) were not disposed to doing anything constructive.”

However, there’s a lot on which the Governor and Republicans agreed:

- Thousands of iPad-sized pull-tab machines will be installed at corner bars to fund the new stadium.

- You can gamble without limits at some Canterbury Park poker tables.

- And you may soon bet on horses at nearby Mystic Lake.

- Democrats and Republicans also joined forces on the war against Asian carp in Minnesota waters.

- They raised hunting and fishing license fees to help the natural resources budget.

- They established a new wolf-hunting season.

- And for the first time, Gopher football fans can drink beer at TCF Bank stadium.

Less bi-partisan, and more controversial:

- Voters will decide in November if Minnesotans should show ID when they cast a ballot and whether or not to ban same-sex marriage.

And there’s a significant turnaround from deep deficit to fragile surplus for which Republicans take credit.

“If there were a theme, it would be ‘red to black”, said Rep. Kurt Zellers, the GOP House Speaker. “Bringing the budget from a deficit to a surplus and setting a course to fiscal stability.”

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