MINNEAPOLIS– Perhaps the biggest local election surprise was the win for House and Senate Democrats in the Minnesota legislature.
Even the most optimistic DFLs never saw it coming.
The Democrats retained the Minnesota House and, by one vote, now control the Minnesota Senate.
In January, the DFL will only have to blame itself if things don’t get done on Capitol Hill.
Minnesota is still sitting on a $9 billion surplus. Some of the initiatives they will tackle include making abortion rights a state law, more money for education, paid family leave, and even legalizing marijuana.
Gov. Tim Walz, on the campaign trail, reminded voters he wanted to use the surplus for “Walz checks,” giving up to $1,000 to most individuals and $2,000 to couples.
The problem is that not all Democrats agree. Powerful House Speaker Melissa Hortman was a guest at WCCO on Sunday morning.
“We have to have 68 votes to get anything through the Minnesota House of Representatives. I don’t know if we have 68 votes for that,” Hortman said. “We haven’t had a chance to appoint our fiscal chairman and determine if that’s the direction we’re ready to go.”
Hortman recognizes that this is a unique opportunity for the DFL to get things done. The last time there was a “trifecta” in state government was a decade ago when Mark Dayton was governor.
Among other things, the legislature that year passed free all-day kindergarten and legalized same-sex marriage.