There was an apparent outbreak of bipartisanship this morning during a state House committee hearing.
Staunch conservative Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan, won an amendment on a narrow voice vote in the State and Local Government Operations committee.
Vice Chairwoman Jeanne Poppe initially decided the amendment failed when the members voiced their votes. When Buesgens called for division, however, the outcome came out in his favor.
Buesgens and DFLers are rarely if ever on the same page during floor debates.
Things were different concerning HF 1395, which is a complex bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, that deals with the sale of tax-forfeited land. Buesgens said some of the language in the bill would leave the definition of “important” conservation areas up to interpretation. He said he was concerned the legislation could impede road construction and other projects because land that seldom holds water could be determined to be a wetland.
“My concern is who gets to decide,” Buesgens said.
The issue is of concern to areas that have experienced lots of recent development, such as Buesgen’s district southwest of the Twin Cities. Enough DFLers felt the same way, including Reps. Michael Nelson, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth.
Alas, a similar thaw between the two political parties on the state budget deficit doesn’t have the same prospects.