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< Some rowdy Senators | Main | Lawmaker pay and special sessions on the ballot? >

Does that make Rep. Seifert Han Solo?

Posted at 12:04 PM on May 6, 2008 by Michael Marchio

There aren't many more quotable lawmakers than Minority Leader Seifert. Along with Rep. Tom Rukavina and Sen. Steve Murphy he could go in the MFL hall of fame for delivering zingers. Rep. Seifert said what he saw on the floor last night reminded him of one of his favorite movies.

"A not so long time ago, in voting booths not so far away, voters thought they were voting for some real change and put in a cast of characters at the legislature to construct solutions to their problems."

"Rep. Lenczewski and Rep. Marquart, I appreciate your hard work but you have created the death star of tax policy."

"The governor has his lightsabre ready to slash this bill down because it hurts a majority of the taxpayers out there."

"The House Democrats are like the storm troopers in those movies - they're many in number but they're really poor shots when it comes to accomplishing good policy."

"Members, stick with the good side of the force today, do not be compelled to the dark side of higher taxes, more complication hurting your constituents and making them pay more taxes under the guise of tax relief. It cannot get much more weird than this unless it was revealed that Sen. Pogemiller is my father."

So it went with HF3195, the omnibus tax policy bill that was the subject of our floor-a-palooza.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Lenczewski, for her part, delivered a humdinger of a speech, though no references to death stars, that got her a standing ovation at the end of the night. You can check it out here at the 10:07 mark. Yep, that's ten hours. How your lawmakers have the endurance to debate for that long is a mystery to the Commish.

If you want it short and sweet, basically the bill recalibrates how much you pay in property taxes based on your income, so, according to its proponents, the wealthiest people don't also receive the most tax benefits. It also stops the state from entering into any more JOBZ tax free zones, but maintains the ones that currently exist.The only significant amendment added was one that exempts military pensions from the income tax, which passed 75-54 and I'll have up for you on VoteTracker shortly.

The Senate version of the bill includes money for the Mall of America's expansion, and not the exemption for military pensions, so they'll have to figure that out in conference.