Lawmakers Return To Work, With Eyes On The Budget

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was back to work for state lawmakers Tuesday following a weeklong break for Easter and Passover.

With just five weeks left in the regular session, Republicans and Democrats will be busy trying to come to an agreement on several crucial pieces of legislation.

Taking center stage will be the budget.

Party leaders from both sides of the aisle have brought varying ideas of how they would like to see the state’s money spent.

Republicans who control the House and Senate want nearly $1 billion in tax cuts and some drastic cuts to government services.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wants a smaller amount for tax cuts, while boosting state spending on preschool.

Lawmakers will need to pass a two-year budget, and it will likely exceed $45 billion in total spending.

Hortman’s Rally

Also on Tuesday, dozens of Minnesotans rallied at the Capitol in support of House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park).

Earlier this month, Hortman called out “white male” representatives who she claims ignored House member speeches given by women of color and indigenous women.

At the rally, Hortman said her fiery statement earlier this month was inspired by a popular book about female leadership, “Lean In” by Nell Scovell and Sheryl Sandberg.

“A few years ago my daughter and I read the book ‘Lean In,’ and we decided that we weren’t going to – forgive my French – take the bull—t anymore,” she said.

Hortman went on to say that the budget is a “moral document” that reflects on the values of Minnesotans.

“Let’s fight for a budget that’s for all Minnesotans,” she said.

Real ID

Lawmakers don’t just need to work on the budget, but they also need to reach a compromise on the Real ID bill.

If nothing is done at the state level, Minnesotans may need more than just a driver’s license to get on flights next year.

The last day of the 2017 legislative session is May 22.

More from Mary McGuire
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