Continuing a DFL critique of the new House GOP majority, Rep. Ryan Winkler Thursday sent a letter (pdf) to House Majority Leader Matt Dean asking him to consider a proposal to make job creation and the state’s $6.2 billion deficit the Legislature’s top priority over any legislation on social issues such as gay marriage.
The first day of session saw the House DFL fail in its attempt to block social issues from coming up early in the legislative session before the budget was addressed. Minority Leader Paul Thissen offered that amendment on the first day of session, and it was defeated 74-60. With the letter, Winkler asked Dean to quickly hold a Rules Committee hearing on the proposal that would put the economy and the state’s budget at the top of the Legislature’s agenda.
“With 209,000 Minnesotans out of work and the state in fiscal crisis, we should not spend our time debating divisive social issues,” Winkler wrote. “The partisan nature of these issues would do little more than inject divisive politics into the legislative process at a time when we should be doing the work Minnesota voters sent us here to accomplish.”