The Republican majority in the Minnesota House re-elected Representative Kurt Daudt as speaker on this first day of the 2017 legislative session. Daudt says the first priority is Minnesota’s health insurance crisis — short term relief and long term reforms — and he says lawmakers must tackle the achievement gap. He say, “By pairing targeted dollars with proven reforms, we can ensure that those most in need receive the help they deserve.” Daudt pledged to balance the state budget while respecting taxpayers’ dollars. He also challenged lawmakers to modernize state government.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Majority Leader Paul Gazelka from Nisswa urged his colleagues, “where we don’t have to be partisan, we should not be partisan.” Gazelka says, “The election, yes, it was somewhat about Republican/Democrat, but it was I think more about, people just want their government to work.” Republican leaders and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton agree the first priority must be dealing with skyrocketing health insurance premiums. How quickly they can agree on legislation remains to be seen.