Blame game follows chaotic end to Minnesota legislative session

Blame game follows chaotic end to Minnesota legislative session

Blame game follows chaotic end to Minnesota legislative session

Gov. Tim Walz on Monday signed a “junk fees” bill into law requiring businesses like restaurants, hotels and credit card companies to disclose mandatory fees up front and eliminate hidden fees consumers often find out about too late.

“So I congratulate the authors of this,” the governor said just before signing the bill. “Congratulate the bipartisan effort that this received, overwhelming bipartisan support on the votes and that’s an exciting thing.”

It was certainly a refreshing thing after the chaotic finish to the legislative session on the House and Senate floors on Sunday night. Frustration and anger rose to the surface after DFL House leaders brought a massive bill to the floor encompassing everything from transportation to gun control to rideshare pay to paid family leave.

“Madam Speaker, the minority has the right to be heard under our rules but the majority also has a right to govern,” said DFL House Majority Leader Jamie Long of Minneapolis.

The bill totaled more than 1,400 double-sided pages, bringing the bill to more than 2,800 pages.

“Two thousand eight hundred 60 pages that were not available to any member in the chamber,” said Republican House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth at a news conference after the session adjourned at midnight Sunday.

“I had to do what I had to do to get the bills across the finish line,” DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman responded at a news conference a short time later.

Ultimately, the massive bill that passed included rideshare driver pay legislation, updates to the paid family and medical leave act that will increase taxes, and a gun safety bill that increases penalties for illegal straw purchases of guns and prohibits binary triggers. Several prominent issues fell by the wayside including a bonding bill, an Equal Rights Amendment and legalization of sports betting.

Although some supporters of those issues have called for a special session, the man who could call one quickly quashed those hopes on Monday.

“Nope. No special session,” Gov. Walz said at the junk fees bill news conference. “Next question.”

The next question is how will Minnesota voters respond when all 134 House members are up for election in November.