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< The Turtle Award | Main | What is going on at the Capitol? >

"Democratic Kangaroo Court"

Posted at 11:11 AM on March 22, 2007 by Bob Collins (2 Comments)

I've been watching Rep. Torrey Westrom for years and I've never seen him as mad on the floor of the House as he was a few minutes ago.

The issue is HF464, which deals with school employee health insurance. Theoretically school=education, so Republicans wanted it sent to the Education Committee. DFLers didn't want to send it there, it apparently in the Commerce and Labor Committee (according to the Web site), or the Finance Committee (according to the Reps), where -- judging by the discussion -- it's going to die soon because it hasn't gotten a hearing.

From what I understand, this is quite the hot potato out there in Minnesota schools.

But the bigger picture is why it hasn't gotten a hearing. DFLers said there's too many bills to hear and they're running out of time. Rep. Marty Seifert, the House Minority Leader, says that's because the DFLers set up too many committees this year, and he issued the obligatory minority leader i-told-you so.

Then Westrom rose.

(Audio soon) Here's the audio.

An AP story a few minutes ago also alluded to this "crunch" takings it toll on bills.

Despite the fact it cleared a second House committee Thursday, the chairman of its next scheduled stop said he doubts he'll hold a hearing this year because of a crush of legislation already on his plate. Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, said action on the bill could spill into next year.

The proposal by Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, has already won the support of two House committees, including the House Public Safety Finance Division on Thursday. He isn't ready to give up for the year.

Comments (2)

How many committees does a bill need to pass through before it gets sent to the floor?

Posted by trevor | March 22, 2007 12:02 PM

It depends, Trevor, on what's in the bill. If there's a tax component, it might go to Taxes, and/or Finance. Education would go to Education or K-12 or E-12 or any number of divisions or subcommittees. If you look at the play by play page, and pick a bill (I suggest HF196), you can see just how many stops one bill can make; sometimes it can get to the same committee more than once.

Posted by Bob Collins | March 22, 2007 1:22 PM