By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This past legislative session ended with a deal on budget bills after a one-day special session.

But Democrats and Republicans were also left pointing fingers at each other for creating obstacles to achieving their goals.

With Minnesota being the only divided legislature in the country, both parties are looking ahead to the next election.

With the DFL in control of the Minnesota House and the Governor’s office and Republicans in control of the Senate, it has been a recipe for roadblocks at the state legislature.

While the 2018 election saw Democrat Tim Walz convincingly take the Governor’s office and the DFL regain control of the Minnesota House, none of the Minnesota Senate was on the November ballot — so it was basically a done deal that Republicans would continue to maintain Senate control.

But in 2020 the entire legislature is up for re-election.

Now, Republicans are hoping to take back the Minnesota House so they can have both the House and Senate to check the power of the Governor.

But the DFL sees 2020 as their prime opportunity to win back the Senate and keep the House, which would leave them in full control of state government and allow them to push for all the things they didn’t get this past legislative session, like a gas tax for roads and bridges, paid family leave, gun control and climate change measures to name just a few.

Governor Tim Walz was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I am going to be talking to Minnesotans and whether you call it campaigning or talking about moving Minnesota forward, these were not, for example, transportation — I didn’t propose the transportation funding based on ideology. I proposed it based on need — that need is still in those districts,” explained Gov. Walz.

Walz says he will be out on the campaign trail for Senate DFL candidates especially in Republican Senate districts that he won in 2018.

In all, Walz was able to win 573 precincts that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Esme Murphy