We weren't expecting a "Hail-fellow-well-met," backslapping and handshaking kind of session Monday when Governor Mark Dayton and legislative caucus leaders met with the news media to talk about the upcoming session this year. But it looks like some Republicans are not going to be willing to play with the other kids when the session starts. The attitudes were somewhat frosty.
Sen. David Hann, the incoming Minority Leader in the Senate, had this to say about the possibility of collaboration in the upcoming session:
"The votes from our caucus are not needed by the majority to do anything they wish to do," said Hann, an Eden Prairie Republican, and a past and potential future candidate for governor. "The necessity to have Republican input on anything is not there."
This is certainly one possible strategy for Republicans in the upcoming session after losing the House and Senate to the Democrats in the last election. They could sit on their hands, let Democrats draw up the budget and set the state's policies for the next couple of years, then use that as campaign ammunition in the next election.
There's a lot of work to do in the next session. There's the budget, tax reform, school finance and job creation. Democrats expressed willingness to collaborate with Republicans, but collaboration is easy when you control the majority in both houses and the governor's office. It would make for better legislation if Republicans were involved in the process.