For everyone who thinks politics has gotten too partisan, we have examples of lawmakers from both parties and both chambers who are working together on bipartisan bills. For example, there’s  action at the State Capitol on an effort for mandatory testing of rape kits and better notification for victims.

Republican Rep. Marion O’Neill has been working on issues surrounded the exploitation of women for some time, and she has allies across the aisle, including Rep. Kelly Moller. The Democrat freshman lawyer with a Notre Dame degree was told by voters to be bipartisan. “I heard that a lot when I was door knocking – so many people said I just want you to work together because we’re so tired of the partisan nature of things going on,” she recalls.

From the House to the Senate, the issue of the prescription drug affordability is bringing Democrats and Republicans from the Doctor’s Caucus together. It’s bipartisan group of physicians working on a variety of bills. Sen. Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights) says, “If you ask your patients what the number-one issue is, it’s prescription drug affordability. They all say my drugs are too expensive.”

Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) adds, “We can’t let the political parties decide what’s a partisan issue and what’s not. Health care is not a partisan issue – it’s a Minnesota issue.” Republican Sen. Jensen is leaving the legislature and he’ll be missed by many, including Democrats.

For ongoing coverage of the 2020 legislative session, tune into Almanac at the Capitol, which airs Wednesdays on TPT MN at 7 pm and on TPT2 at 10 pm.

________________________________________________________________________

Almanac and Almanac at the Capitol political reporter Mary Lahammer offers up a preview of the 2020 Legislative Session that kicked off in February and what may turn out to be an increased focus on bipartisan measures. 

In the wake of news about the state’s budget surplus, one issue remains true: Minnesota’s infrastructure is aging, and several projects across the state could benefit from bonding money. Mary Lahammer accompanied lawmakers on a trip to southern Minnesota to learn more about the area’s needs.