Legislators Talk Priorities as Legislative Session Starts

February 20, 2018 11:36 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Local lawmakers returned to the capital to start this year's state legislative session. Last year, the focus was on the budget.  This year, it's all about bonding and aligning Minnesota's tax code with the federal overhaul.

In the Senate, 85 bills were introduced, while representatives introduced around 200 bills in the house.  


ABC 6 News reporter Hannah Tiede talked to local lawmakers about their priorities for this session.

"I have been speaking with legislators, public safety officials and school officials about one, what do we do to keep our kids safe in schools?" Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, said.

"Some of those needs are health care and how do we help people to manage their healthcare affordability?" Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, said.

Health care is also on the mind of Republicann senator Dave Senjem.

"I'm going to be working very hard on a mental health bill that we frankly brought forward last year. and this is the year and we are going to make sure it passes," Senjem said.

2018 is an election year, with every Minnesota house seat up for a vote in November.  ABC 6 News asked representatives if it raises the stakes for the session.

"The fact that we are in an election year going to cause legislators to act differently? That is an absolute yes," Rep. Duane Sauke, DFL-Rochester, said.

"I like to be me, whether it's an election year or not," Rep. Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, said.

The legislative session wraps up the third week in May.



Hannah Tiede

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