Capitol Watch – Minneapolis bill died on the House floor – what happened?

Minneapolis funding bill stalls in House
A bill failed on the floor of the House this week. This shouldn’t be newsworthy, except for the fact that once a bill makes it to the floor of the House or Senate these days, the votes are usually there for passage. Some wrote that it was embarrassing for House DFL leadership, but this early in the session, letting a bill die on the floor actually can pay dividends later .

Ryan Winkler
House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler

It’s not easy to manage a caucus of elected officials, even if they all belong to the same party. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler tried and failed to broker a deal with several new liberal Democratic legislators on a bill to set aside money for the Derek Chauvin trial. These new members wanted policy changes related to police oversight and accountability, having watched from the sidelines this summer as the legislature passed a comprehensive set of reforms.

By letting the bill die, Rep. Winkler and Speaker Melissa Hortman allowed these new members to vote against the bill (a priority for Gov. Tim Walz) and answer to their peers and constituents. The package to help Minneapolis in advance of the big trial will be renegotiated and eventually pass, proving the adage at the legislature that no bill is really ever completely dead as long as there is time left before adjournment.

This piece originally appeared in our Capitol Watch newsletter. Click here to receive the weekly Capitol Watch newsletter.