Melissa Hortman: 'Neither one of us see it as a win-lose thing.'

The incoming Minnesota House Speaker says that there are plenty of areas of agreement between her and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka

Paul and Jordana
December 18, 2018 - 6:25 pm

USA Today

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Incoming Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman sees plenty of areas where the Democratic controlled House can agree with the Republican controlled Senate. She recently sat down with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka to find areas where they could compromise.

“We agree on a couple of things,” Hortman told Paul and Jordana, “The biggest thing we agree on is all 201 lawmakers should be involved in making the laws. If our chairs can come to an agreement, who are we to screw that up?”

So what kind of issues can be addressed early in the session and passed by both chambers?

“Some of the things we talked about over dinner were allowing Steve Simon to get the federal money to make our election systems safer,” said Hortman, “There were some crimes that we made some adjustments to, just really little technical things. Another one we talked about, and we’re hopeful, is repealing a seven-percent cut in pay to folks who take care of people with disabilities. It’s something that never should have happened, and we can prevent it if we pass just a simple measure.”

Passing legislation to fight the opioid crisis is another priority for the upcoming session.

“There was a bill that passed the Minnesota senate 62-5 during the regular session,” Hortman said, “that provision was not in the bill that we refer to as ‘omnibus prime’. But I do think if it passed 62-5 in the Minnesota Senate, we should be able to bring that up pretty early in the Minnesota House and pass something a lot like that.”

The bottom line to Speaker Hortman is changing the political perspective in Minnesota.

“I think the thing that’s really different is Paul Gazelka and I both see that the other person has to get a win,” Hortman told Paul and Jordana, “In order for there to be a compromise there have to be some win-win solutions where each of us walk away and we say we’re happy with what we got out of the deal. Neither one of us see it as a win-lose thing where in order to feel successful at the end of session we have to feel that we’ve denied the other person any victories on any issues.”

Hear the entire interview: