Yesterday, the MN House of Representatives was set to consider four Budget Bills, HF0013 Legacy Fund Budget Omnibus author Rep Leon Lillie (DFL-43B, North St Paul), HF0008 Agriculture Budget Omnibus Author Mike Sundin (DFL-11A, Esko), HF0007 Higher Education Budget Omnibus author Rep Connie Bernardy) and HF0006 Commerce/Energy authors Reps Zack Stephenson (DFL-36A, Coon Rapids and Jamie Long (DFL-61B, Minneapolis). They commenced with HF0006 and after an extended tirade from House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-31A, Crown) proceeded to debate a motion to re-refer the bill back to committee.
This discussion hinge mainly on the issue that the decision on this bill and the other subsequent 12 pending bills was made among a small group of people, had no public hearings and disallowed any participation from voices of the Minority. All of which are true and beg the question of these bills being decided on as we have called it a Star Chamber.
The result of the debate last night into the early morning hours was to lay all of the bills on the table.
Now, we have argued, and continue to argue these bills have not had a real hearing, although in some cases, have had informational hearings, without any action on them being allowed or voted on, because they are the result of the agreement of the Triumvirate, i.e. Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN), House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa).
In an attempt to address these bills in regular order, there has been no legislative parliamentary tricks such as a call of a State Emergency and as a result the suspension of the State Constitution and House Rules. We think, it would behoove the House Leadership to reconstitute the various Conference Committees from the regular session, and pass these bills which are not able to be amended and voted on up or down in each legislative chamber.
With the end of the Fiscal Year coming June 30th and a Government Shutdown looming, the DFL House Majority should not believe the Republican House Majority will tire of the course they are currently on. This way there can be a public hearing, amendments can be offered and the will of the conferees considered if there is any need for appeasement this will at least provide some political cover with the general public.