On Nov. 15, we sent the following letter to Governor Walz:
We read the letter that you and Speaker Melissa Hortman sent to Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller. Once again, you are going outside the boundaries of your job by trying to legislate from the governor’s office. As elected representatives of the people, we will not stand idly by as you attempt to dictate legislative outcomes.
Your letter ignorantly tries to spell out the conditions that will govern a potential special session. Among your many demands, you require legislative leaders to shut down any amendments to the bills you want passed. Additionally, you stipulate that no topic should be voted on if you deem it “controversial.” You even attempt to dictate when special session will end.
Perhaps you need a constitutional refresher.
According to Article IV Section 12 of Minnesota’s Constitution, the governor can call a special session on “extraordinary occasions.” This special session allows the Minnesota Legislature to take up any issues that need to be addressed. However, the governor is not granted power to control what legislators do in special session, what is voted on, or when special session concludes. Those are all legislative roles constitutionally reserved for the Minnesota Legislature.
Essentially, you can call us into special session, but your authority ends there. We get to write the bills however we want to, and you will have an opportunity to veto them if they pass. It’s the governor’s job to propose, but the legislators get to dispose. You are not a legislator. Stop trying to dictate everything for once and listen to the people.
You have your role, and we have ours. If you want this special session so bad, then please call it. Just know that we do not abide by any of your conditions. Your prearranged terms mean nothing to us, but you can bet that we will stand against your extra-constitutional actions. Minnesota’s legislators do not have an appetite to meet the demands that you hand down from on high. Instead, we are concerned with the peoples’ business.
If a special session is called, we are prepared to tackle the most pressing issues that our constituents face today: emergency powers, vaccine mandates, and government overreach. In the event that you don’t agree to follow the letter or the spirit of our constitution, we are prepared to draft as many amendments as necessary to get the concerns of our constituents properly heard and entertained in the legislative process.
Please, Governor, stay in your lane by respecting our Constitution and the citizens of Minnesota that it represents.
Rep. Cal Bahr, District 31B, Minnesota House of Representatives
Cc: Representative Melissa Hortman, Speaker of the House; Senator Jeremy Miller, Senate Majority Leader