GOP’s new muscle may remake Minnesota Capitol agenda

November 26, 2016


From guns to workplace benefits, the new power alignment at Minnesota’s Capitol is certain to reshape what issues rise or fall when the Legislature returns in January.

Republicans will have full control of the Minnesota Legislature starting Jan. 3. That means they’ll determine the agenda, too, and dictate which parts of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s wish list get traction.

Groups that wanted expanded gun background checks in Minnesota thought they were on the verge of making it happen. They spent loads of money and time in select House races in search of a Democratic majority to get them over the top. But in the election, they fell considerably short there and went backwards in the Senate.

Now, the other side sees opportunity.

“With Republican majorities, with strong pro-Second Amendment majorities in both houses, I don’t anticipate any hearings on gun control legislation like we’ve seen in the past,” said Bryan Strawser, chair of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and Political Action Committee.

Instead of playing defense, Strawser said he hopes to see movement on bills to reframe the state’s self-defense laws, to reduce fees for handgun permits and to recognize more carry permits from other states.

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