For Senate Leader Bakk, Session’s End Exposes Divisions
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The deal that put a $42 billion budget on the governor's desk saw plenty of defecting votes from Senate Democrats.
All eyes heading into this year's legislative session were on new House Speaker Kurt Daudt and his ability to keep 72 Republicans together. But several Democratic senators say dissenting votes show a simmering discontent with Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.
Twenty-nine Democrats voted against a budget for environmental and agricultural programs. Two other bills also required Republican support to pass.
Sen. Bev Scalze says Bakk didn't alert senators about some measures they didn't like in the environment bill. The Little Canada Democrat says several Democrats are upset with Bakk.
Bakk sent a letter to his caucus this week trying to soothe those tensions. He didn't return multiple calls requesting comment.