Northeastern Minnesota lawmakers react to 2023 legislative session
DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) — The 2023 Minnesota legislative session adjourned Monday night, and it was a historic legislative session.
The DFL used its first trifecta in eight years to accomplish almost all of the party’s goals.
Republicans are fuming, saying they were shut out of most negotiations.
Now that the session is complete, Northeastern Minnesota leaders are reflecting on their work done in St. Paul.
“I’m in the minority party, but it doesn’t change my mood. I’m here to represent the people of 3B and make a presence for Northeastern Minnesota down here, and I feel like I’ve done that,” said Republican Representative Natalie Zeleznikar.
“This was a historic session. We’re providing the largest tax relief in state history,” said DFL Senator Grant Hauschild. ”So, I’m really excited about what we’re doing.”
Zeleznikar and Hauschild both represent portions of St. Louis County
Each served in their first session this year.
Zeleznikar said while she’s happy funding for certain issues like nursing homes passed, she’s frustrated with some of the DFL’s priorities, like the Northern Lights Express and public safety measures.
“We have a train for $194 million going to Duluth in this budget and people aren’t riding the trains down here,” Zeleznikar said. “I’m right now in St. Paul, there’s one that runs right behind me, there’s crime all the time, we don’t even walk outside, we’re not supposed to because it’s not safe.”
Hauschild, meanwhile, said he’s thrilled a bonding deal was reached.
“What I’m most excited about is that we had a grand deal right at the end of the session for a historic bonding project,” Hauschild said. “$2.6 billion in local projects, infrastructure, and needed necessities at the local level.”
In the next session, both Zeleznikar and Hauschild said they want to focus on economic development for the region.
“If we have fewer businesses coming into town from the tax issues that are coming, I’m just hoping that we are able to find solutions, and I’m going to keep working for next year in the time to come,” Zeleznikar said.
“I wanna make sure that we’re figuring out ways to get folks to move up to the Northland, for businesses to start here, and having housing and childcare and some of that infrastructure is going to be a critical piece to that,” Hauschild said.
With massive wins for the DFL and some setbacks for Republicans, another session has gaveled in and out.
The session will reconvene February 12 of next year.