MN Lawmakers Reflect on 2013 Legislative Session

By KBJR News 1

May 21, 2013 Updated May 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota lawmakers are reflecting on what can only be described as a historic legislative session.

Both The House and Senate worked up until the very last second before adjourning at midnight.

The Governor and DFL leaders say they hit all the marks this session from passing marriage equality to giving childcare providers the ability to unionize.

GOP leaders say they wanted more spending reforms, not more taxes.

The goal for lawmakers this session was to come up with a plan to solve the state's $627 million dollar deficit.

The tax bill, now on its way to the Governor's desk for his signature, includes $2-billion in revenue.

Much of that money will be raised through initiatives like raising taxes on the state's highest income earners and a significant increase in taxes on cigarettes.

GOP leaders traveled across the state today, including a stop in Duluth, to address what they call a bloated budget.

GOP leaders traveled across the state Tuesday, which included a stop in Duluth, to address what they call a bloated budget.

"People will pay higher prices for goods and services that they buy. Gasoline. Everything from groceries to you name it, cigarette tax has gone up. $1.60 a pack. This is one of the most regressive taxes that you can put in place," said Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Minority leader).

"Most of the revenues we raised, were raised progressively. They're going to do things that will benefit middle class Minnesotans. A better education system, more jobs; better jobs," said Gov. Mark Dayton while speaking in St. Paul.

It wasn't all disagreement at the Capitol this session, however.

Lawmakers were able to work together on a public safety budget and a scaled-down bonding bill that includes $100 million to renovate the Capitol and $20 million for flood mitigation.

However, there were a number of issues that some lawmakers say fell through the cracks.

Gun control talks started off strong, but dwindled toward the end of the session.

The House approved a proposed anti-bullying legislation, but it never made it through the Senate.

There was much talk about raising the minimum wage. Both the House and Senate offered different proposals, but lawmakers weren't able to reach an agreement in the final hours of the session.

Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL leaders will travel to Duluth on Wednesday to address the budget and the 2013 session.

Kevin Jacobsen
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