Editor’s note: Welcome to Capitol Retort, our weekly review of issues in state and national news, with a rotating cast of legal and political people in the know. Answers are edited for length and clarity. Any instances of agreement are accidental.
Question 1: During floor debate, a DFL legislator said the House insurance premium relief bill passed Thursday was reckless legislation that “won’t be signed“ by the governor. GOP House leaders say they are confident it will emerge from conference committee in a form the governor will accept. Who’s right?
Pat Garofalo, GOP House member and chair, Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee: I would say both but that would be too honest of an answer. Ninety percent of the compromise takes place in conference committee and this bill is no different—we will see the first of many very expensive bills to bail out MNsure.
Melisa Franzen, DFL state senator and Edina attorney: Ugh. I’m a lawyer—it depends! I’m joking. If it stands as is it won’t get the signature. It needs to be tweaked.
Mary Liz Holberg, former GOP House member: Well, they probably are both right. There will be changes in conference committee. And if they work with the governor, hopefully the bill that goes to him will be something that he has already agreed to. I am sure that the Republicans are hoping that the governor will engage in the conference committee process—either he will or his commissioners—and that they will come out of it with something that everybody can live with.
Question 2: Donald Trump is our new president. How are you feeling about that?
Garofalo: Well, I’m feeling pretty good. But I’m not sure it has anything to do with his election. It’s just because I am opening up my second bottle of Grey Goose vodka.
Franzen: Mmm… Do I have to answer that? [Laughs] It’s just not as inspiring as it was eight years ago, let’s put it that way.
Holberg: I have mixed emotions. I am harkening back to Jesse Ventura and his strong support from a population—while not a majority in that it was a three-way race—which he kind of squandered. I think in some ways he lost interest.
I am hopeful that Trump and the people that he has surrounded himself with will take the necessary time to build coalitions and actually get things done.
Question 3: A phenomenon called beer yoga—drinking beer while twisting oneself into a pretzel—has sprung up in Germany and is popping up at events around the world. When are you going to try it?
Garofalo: I think I am going to ease into it the next couple of weeks by starting out drinking more beer. I’ll try the bending later.
Franzen: When I can enjoy a pint of beer. I just had a baby; I’m not at a point where I can drink beer. And with my lack of sleep, it would just make me even sleepier. But soon enough. I’m sure in Minnesota, it will get here soon.
Beer and yoga—it’s not a bad combination. Just make sure you drink water afterwards.
Holberg: Not even in my dreams. [Laughs] I don’t drink and I certainly don’t do yoga. I can’t think of anything farther from my list of possibilities.