2018 MN Legislative Session Could Trigger Lawsuit 19 Feb 18

(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) Observers are anxiously waiting to see whether Tuesday’s opening day of the 2018 legislative session triggers a lawsuit. 

Democrats want a shot at taking back the state Senate majority and are threatening legal action if Paynesville Republican Michelle Fischbach tries to remain a state senator at the same time she’s lieutenant governor. Democrats say that would be unconstitutional. Republicans respond there’s much legal precedent to the contrary. 

Senate Democratic Minority Leader Tom Bakk says, “I think the first move really belongs to the Senate Republicans. I think the question is, is she going to assume her role as president of the Senate when we convene on Tuesday?”

Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says, “We’re all gonna wait together to see what Senator Bakk does. I would like them to leave it alone so we can actually do the people’s work.”

Fischbach became lieutenant governor after Governor Mark Dayton appointed former Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith to fill the U-S Senate left vacant when Al Franken resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment.  A Democratic constituent of Fischbach already sued over her holding two offices at the same time, but the judge ruled the issue wasn’t “ripe” until the 2018 legislative session convenes and Fischbach actually takes some action that can be disputed.