Elected leaders in St. Paul are looking at bipartisan solutions to issues facing Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton was joined by state House and Senate leaders in the Minnesota Senate Building Tuesday to let people in the state know what they can expect from this year's session.
Everyone involved in the session showed how well they intend to get along with each other as they work together to do what voters elected them to do. Governor Mark Dayton was joined by state House and Senate leaders in the Minnesota Senate Building Tuesday to let people in the state know what they can expect from this year's session.
Issues elected leaders tackled ranged from the bonding bill to the federal tax bill and the lawsuit involving State Senator and Lieutenant Governor Michelle Fischbach.
Housing is a big issue in Rochester, and representatives were asked about how to make housing more affordable for Minnesota homebuyers. Use of the bonding bill to bring down housing costs, lifting regulations on construction and raising wages for workers were all suggested.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka stressed the importance of having 34 votes in the Senate to make final decisions
"If you thought it was slow last year and you wondered why we had all these late nights and all of that, it's because we have to have 34 every day and we didn't have 34 every day.," he explained, "So, I would hate to have a 33-33."
Healthcare spending was another subject talked about during the briefing. House Majority Leader Kurt Daudt says something needs to be done to deal with the issue.
"The reality is the reinsurance stuff we did was temporary and there has not been a permanent solution coming from the federal government," says Daudt, "So, I'm aware that there is a ticking time bomb and we need to do some big reforms to change our system.
There was recently a special election that came after a scandal leading to the resignations of two members of the state legislature. Elected leaders at the briefing were also asked about how sexual misconduct would be handled in St. Paul.
Speaker Kurt Daudt suggested the House will have a zero tolerance policy in the future and Governor Dayton suggested the judicial branch of state government may become involved.