Legislative preview: What will DFL ‘trifecta’ do for an encore?
In their second year in control of the Minnesota House, Senate and governor’s office, it will be tempting for DFL Party lawmakers to continue to be aggressive in passing legislation off their policy wish list. However, getting too aggressive could have consequences on Election Day in November.
“I think, this year, the Democrats need to be strategic again and make sure they do leave some money in the pot and make sure they are not pushing initiatives that most Minnesotans are not on board with,” says former Minnesota DFL Party Chair Brian Melendez. “I think they did a good job last year of threading that needle. If they can do it again then they may be headed for another majority.”
Republican political analyst, Annette Meeks of the Freedom Foundation, is convinced Democrats will go too far in 2024.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt they have and they will continue to overreach,” she says. “That’s who they are.”
Meeks says she anticipates more extreme legislation this year.
“They spent the entire budget surplus, they raised taxes in a multitude of ways, including some of the most onerous taxes on average families — gas taxes, things like that — but more importantly, they’ve promised so much to so many that they’ve now put us in a structural deficit.”
Meeks says a DFL proposal to make Minnesota a “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants is one example of extreme legislation.
“They deluge the public services,” Meeks says of the undocumented immigrants who come here illegally. “The schools, everyone racks up massive expenses because of these people who come here with nothing.”
Melendez agrees Democrats should tread lightly on that issue while lawmakers in Washington try to reform immigration law.
“There are some noble impulses behind the idea of a sanctuary law,” Melendez says. “Doing it in an election year is maybe not the wisest move. If I were them I would be more cautious about moving rapidly forward with this. I think there could be some political blowback.”
You can hear more analysis of the upcoming legislative session on “At Issue with Tom Hauser” Sunday at 10 a.m. on 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS.