Democrats to wield power when Minnesota Legislature convenes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democrats in Minnesota will control both the House and Senate for the first time in eight years when the state’s Legislature convenes Jan. 3.

That’ll give them power to decide how to use a $17.6 billion projected budget surplus.

It also means new opportunities to pass liberal initiatives that the outgoing Republican majority in the Senate had blocked.

But the Democratic majorities are narrow in each chamber, so there could be some tough, closed-door deal-making ahead.

Democratic priorities include protecting abortion rights, legalizing marijuana, more money for education, creating a paid family and medical leave program and passing gun safety bills.