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Compromise before stubbornness during session

The Associated Press preview of the Minnesota Legislature that appears on today’s front page focuses on a divided government. Minnesota is presently the only state where Democrats control the House and the Republicans control the Senate.

Does that sound kind of familiar? That same scenario has been playing out for the past year in Washington, D.C. Everybody’s gripe — nothing gets done in Congress.

This is Minnesota’s opportunity to show the rest of the nation how government should work.

Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said in an interview earlier this month that she expects both chambers to pass bills that reflect their conflicting priorities — and point it out to voters. She said she doesn’t consider that unproductive.

“There will be areas where we work together and we try to find common ground to get things done for the state of Minnesota, but there will also be some equally important work where we communicate with Minnesotans what direction we think the state should go,” the speaker said.

We appreciate Hortman’s honesty, but we would urge Hortman to stress the concept of compromise as the session progresses. Too much is at stake as far as infrastructure needs, education and insulin affordability.

Gov. Tim Walz offered a reminder that both Democrats and Republicans came through with compromise at the end of the 2019 session to approve a balance budget. It did take an extra day, but the two sides eventually came through with compromises on sticky issues.

We urge the Legislature to carry over that momentum in compromsing into the new session. There’s too much at stake for stubborn attitudes to take hold throughout the session.

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