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Bad politics, bad policy

House Speaker Kurt Daudt stated over the weekend that it is appropriate for legislators to join in the decision making with Gov. Tim Walz over how to keep Minnesotans safe during the coronavirus pandemic. And therefore, the GOP members of the House won’t be voting on a bonding bill until the governor gives up the emergency powers he has been exercising since March 13 when he declared a peacetime emergency in the state.

That type of coercion makes for bad politics, though it is what has passed for political give and take in recent years. It is also a bad way to make policy decisions, especially decisions that may need to be made quickly.

Daudt claims the Legislature should have a voice in the health emergency decision making. But if the Legislature can’t pass a bonding bill, the main and most important piece of legislation the Legislature has to work on this year, how are they going to come to a meaningful decision on reopening the state’s economy while protecting the citizens from the spread of the COVID-19 virus?

We’ve said before, our legislators have not shown they are able to work together and support the public good, even with life-and-death issues like making insulin affordable for diabetics, an issue that took nearly a year to pass. If the Legislature can actually come to a civilized agreement on a bonding bill, it might prove it is capable of working on emergency health decisions too.

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