Minnesota GOP and DFL lawmakers trade remarks over intense end to legislative session

Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)
Photo by: WDAY Radio File (Canva)

(Moorhead, MN) -- "It wasn't a great day for Minnesota last night."

Senator Rob Kupec (04-DFL) made the statement about the session's end in an exclusive interview with WDAY Radio. Members of the GOP shouted towards DFL colleagues after an Omnibus bill was crafted, presented, and passed through both the House and the Senate without a debate in the final hour of the session. This led to chaos in the legislative chambers. Kupec says the GOP was filibustering and shouting towards DFL party members in an attempt to slow down the session.

"Democrats refused to even recognize Republicans to debate the bill and just kept on voting, despite our protest and despite them breaking the rules." said Senator Jordan Rasmusson (R-Fergus Falls), who expressed his frustrations with The Flag's What's on Your Mind. "This is really the Democrats playing partisan politics, not being able to manage their own caucus, and a complete unwillingness to work with Republicans."

"[The GOP] knew everything that was in that Omnibus bill, they had people on the committee who put it together. That is a little bit of a false statement that they didn't know what was in it," said Kupec, in response to GOP Colleagues criticisms. "We try to not limit the ability to talk, but the last couple of weeks the caucus has been ridiculous [...] The debate on [paid family and medical leave] in the House, which was basically a fix bill for paid family and medical leave [legislation], that lasted longer than last year's debate on the entire bill [...] Go back and watch the Senate debate the other night, there are eight hours where they just repeatedly ask the same question over and over again."

"It was a clearly orchestrated way for the last three weeks to put a stop on what was, oftentimes, bipartisan legislation," said Kupec.

Moving forward, both Kupec and Rasmusson spoke about the need to further clarify the rules on debate in legislative sessions. According to Kupec, the National Conference of the State Legislatures has told the Minnesota legislature they are considered the "Wild West" of lawmaking bodies across the country, due to a lack of specific rules regarding the length of debate. 

Original Air Date: 
Monday, May 20, 2024