Political analyst says Minnesota politics more divided than ever

The Minnesota legislature closed the session with chaos early Monday morning.

The floor of both chambers erupted in a loud cacophony of voices in the final hour as Republicans objected to last-minute actions by Democrats.

As Sunday night approached the 12 a.m. deadline, Democrats decided to combine several unrelated bills into the tax bill in order to get everything done.

"When the agenda becomes more important than the people, they abuse the process - they abuse the system – to get their agenda through," said Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson.

But Democrats blamed filibustering by Republicans last week for the last-minute rush.

"It was a deliberate effort to block progress, and we had to take extraordinary measures to pass the bills," said House Speaker Melissa Hortman.

Political commentator Blois Olson has been covering the Minnesota legislature for nearly 30 years and says while the theater on the floor Sunday wasn’t unusual, everything that led up to that was.

"You had several bi-partisan issues that people seemed willing to solve weeks ago that people just procrastinated on," he said.

Democrats spent all day Saturday negotiating a deal on rideshare legislation, leaving very little time for other bills.

"Minnesota… is looking more and more like Washington D.C. Bitter partisanship, not working together, not getting stuff done," said Olson.

Olson said it's also interesting how it appears Gov. Tim Walz largely stayed out of negotiations, saying, for the most part, he does not convene leaders and insist on getting a deal done.

"He likes to honor the legislative process and not play the upper hand and I think that gives them an excuse to wait until the last minute," he said.