The Minnesota House DFL leader made a stop in Mankato during the legislature’s midsession break.

Representative Melissa Hortman said the break is important so that lawmakers can return to their home districts and talk with constituents about their priorities and also because, “We work with such intensity while we are there, and the staff works even longer hours than the members do because they’re drafting bills an amendments before we come to committee and after we leave so it’s important for everyone to get away.”

But with lawmakers back in session on Monday, Hortman said Democrats are ready to jump back into the fray and settle the tax conformity issues. “For the House DFL Caucus, our highest priority is Minnesota families and protecting them from any tax increase coming from the Trump tax bill, so the tax conformity is really important.”

Hortman also said it’s crucial to get the bonding bill written, proposed, and before the public as soon as possible, “In open committee hearings. I think the mistake in the last few years is cooking these bills up behind closed doors and not getting enough public input, then mistakes find their way into the bills and they don’t become law.”

Lawmakers should approve as many of the proposed projects as possible, Hortman said, because it makes good financial sense. “Right now interest rates are low for the state of Minnesota, our costs to borrow are low and so we should take advantage of this opportunity and put a lot of Minnesotans to work on these projects,” she stated, “Rather than waiting for the future on these projects, when inflation will make them more expensive.”

She added that conquering the opioid epidemic is a priority, as is dealing with sexual harassment both within the legislature and in workplaces across Minnesota.