2013 MN Legislative Session Underway, Priorities Set

Posted at: 01/08/2013 6:50 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Gun laws, gay marriage, and a billion dollar deficit, just some of the issues in front of the Minnesota legislature. The 2013 session started Tuesday afternoon.

This session is also the first in nearly two decades with democrats in the majority in the legislature, and governor's office.

With the swearing in complete it's time for Minnesota's legislators to get down to business.

"Today's a fun day, but we know that after that we need to roll up our sleeves and get to work," said DFL Senator Dan Sparks.

The first order on the agenda the budget.

“It has to be our top priority and I’m hopeful that we can work together and bring back a balanced budget,” said Sen. Sparks.

“I’m hoping that we balance our budget responsibly, we already have structured balanced budgets so we need to work on spending control,” said Republican Senator Carla Nelson.

But there are many other issues our state legislators are hoping to cover.

“I’d like to talk a little more about elections from an endorsing standpoint,” said Republican Senator Dave Senjum.

“On the health care side we have the health insurance exchange that has a lot to discuss,” said DFL Representative Tina Liebling.

This year may be the year the Mayo Civic Center gets their funding for their expansion.

"If we get a bonding bill I’m pretty confident the Mayo Civic Center will be in it,” said Rep. Liebling.

One constituent was already at the Capitol showing what issue he hopes is discussed.

"My husband and I would like to have the same rights."

While there are many different issues to cover this session the main goal will be what it always is.

"To make Minnesota a prosperous state," said Sen. Senjum.

While Tuesday was an important day and priorities have been laid out, don't expect much action. The first pieces of legislation will not be introduced into committee until Thursday.