High impact bills questionable as finish line approaches for legislators

The finish line is in sight at the Minnesota Capitol, but some very impactful bills may not get there.

Democrats are finding roadblocks in the last stretch, as Republicans showed Monday that they can control how much gets done between now and Sunday, even though they’re the minority party.

House Democrats had a plan for Monday, but as the Scottish poet Robert Burns said, "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

They had to make new plans on Tuesday.

At the top of the DFL agenda to start the week was passing a bill sending an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to Minnesota voters.

"Today we are going to make history," said House Majority Leader Jamie Long, (DFL-Minneapolis).

Spoiler alert: They did not.

With at least five bills on the calendar Monday, Republicans filibustered the day away.

"In 1776, Adam Smith wrote a book," said Rep. Marj Fogelman, (R-Fulda), in between repeated references to hamburgers from her GOP colleagues.

The House passed only two bills before the clock struck midnight, darkness surrounded the Capitol, and members called it a night — leaving ERA for another day.

"We have our voice," said House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, (R-Cold Spring). "They have their votes."

GOP leaders promised to keep the last four legislative days difficult without some concessions from Democrats.

Along with ERA, there are high-impact bills on sports betting, cannabis, Uber/Lyft and almost a billion dollars in roads, bridges, and other capital projects.

DFL Sen. John Marty says it’ll come down to the wire Sunday and which bills get through is unpredictable.

"One thing can change things overnight," said Sen. Marty, (DFL-Roseville). "And we will be seeing a lot of that. It's going to be an interesting week."

A Republican offer to speed things up Tuesday asked DFL leaders to dump some of their top priorities, including ERA.

"If we can come together and talk about these bills and have four leaders sign off on them on a bipartisan manner, we could get through these bills very quickly," said Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, (R-East Grand Forks).

They’re back in session Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with an 11:59:59 "sine die" deadline to get bills passed on Sunday.