Minnesota State Capitol, Saint Paul, Minnesota by Ken Lund licensed under CC BY 2.0

Outrage and pandemonium erupted among Republicans at the Minnesota State Legislature Suday evening as the 2024 legislative session concluded. In the final hour of the session, the slim Democrat majority in the House of Representatives introduced more than 1400-page tax omnibus bill. HF5247 is a colossal Frankenstein combination of eight previous bills that were tabled earlier in the session. The bill will alter tax forfeiture law, increase payroll tax and add millions in new spending. This was the latest attempt by Minnesota Democrats to force more of their partisan legislative priorities.  

After the bill was brought before the House, House Majority Leader Jamie Long immediately called for a vote. This action sparked outrage among Republicans in the House, who weren’t given the chance to read the actual text of the bill and were denied the opportunity to study or even discuss their opposition to the bill. Shouts of “tyranny” and “communism” echoed the fury and frustration Republicans experienced. The harshest indictment came from House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth who said, “We request a copy of this bill of 1,430 pages. Not available on the website! Not available in this chamber! This is a horrible way to govern and do this to the state of Minnesota!” 

The acrimony spread to the State Senate as the Democrats who also hold a majority hastily rushed the bill to a vote without debate. Minnesota Republicans joined their colleagues in the House in disgust at the complete lapse protocol and decorum. At the adjournment of the session, Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson stated, “This is the biggest disappointment. I just feel gross coming off that Senate floor today. The abuse of the rules, the unconstitutional bills that are coming off of there, and by the way, they use an alleged felon to pass these bills — the number 34 vote on a number of the controversial bills that came through this year — all to protect an agenda.” 

Sen. Johnson is referring to the fact that in April, Sen. Nichole Mitchell was charged with burglary in the first-degree after she was arrested for allegedly breaking into her stepmother’s house. Republicans in the Senate has tried to curtail Sen. Mitchell’s ability to participate in the legislative process until the charges have been resolved, but their efforts have been blocked by Democrats desperate to maintain their slim majority at all costs. 

That someone under criminal investigation has been permitted to vote on HF5247 or any other piece of legislation is appalling. Although that can characterize the entire debacle that occurred on Sunday evening. Democrats decided to circumvent the legislative process and denied all elected officials the ability to debate the proposed legislation. This is a complete distortion of protocol and disgrace to the voters of the state of Minnesota. 

Once the legislature adjourned Rep. Demuth joined with Rep. Paul Torkelson to file an ethics complaint against Minnesota Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman for ignoring motions made by Republicans to stop the procedural violations conducted by Democrats and allowing this affront to decorum to continue. Rep. Demuth asserted that Speaker Hortman “violated the norms of House behavior, betrayed the public trust, and brought the House into dishonor and disrepute.” 

With its passage in the Senate, HF5247 has been sent to the Governor, who will likely sign it into law. The actions taken Sunday would embolden future Democrat majorities to normalize even more despotic tactics in the Minnesota legislature. Rep. Demuth perfectly described the uncertain future for the state by saying, “If the governor chooses to sign what was just done, this state will never be the same. We cannot trust Democrats in the state of Minnesota.”