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Minnesota has something in common with the U.S. Congress. It has a split legislature. Republicans control the state Senate and Democrats have the House. It’s the only remaining state house like that in the country in the country.
So Democratic Gov. Tim Waltz has kind of a tricky job. He was elected in 2018 with 55 percent of the vote.
As fans of all state fairs, we’re sitting down with the governor live from the Minnesota version.
When we asked our listeners about what they wanted to hear from the governor, they brought up gun control, treatment for mental health issues, and balancing environmental safety and mining projects as topics they wanted the governor to address.
And the fair itself is a time for lawmakers to meet with their constituents — or make their political priorities heard in other ways.
In the Education Building, there were one-on-one interactions between politicians and constituents at the Minnesota House and Senate booths. Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, was on duty Friday afternoon and said a couple of topics he heard about were gun regulations and copper-nickel mining. He said people on both sides of the issues approached him.
Bakk, a rural Democrat who has expressed concerns about new gun restrictions in Minnesota, said he told those who asked about gun control that he doesn’t see a path in the Senate to pass any of the recently proposed DFL gun bills.
In true Minnesotan fashion, many people chose not to talk to the legislators but instead quietly filled out the House and Senate’s annual surveys, which gauge public opinion on a variety of topics that lawmakers could take up next session.
Kristen and Jake Holsten, from Stillwater, stopped by with their two young children to take the House and Senate surveys. Kristen, a teacher, said she supports expanding paid family and medical leave. Jake said he owns a number of guns, is a hunter and shoots recreationally, but he wants criminal background checks on all gun buyers.
We put your questions and thoughts to the governor live from the Minnesota State Fair.
Produced by Stacia Brown.
1A Across America is funded through a grant from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting. CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 that is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting.
- Tim Walz Governor of Minnesota; @GovTimWalz
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