Next Minnesota House Speaker Will Dump Master Mute Button
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)-- The outgoing Republican speaker of the Minnesota House had the power to silence debate with the push of a button. His Democratic successor says one of the first things she'll do is remove the master mute button.
The GOP leadership quietly installed the button after the 2015 session. Speaker Kurt Daudt pushed it during an acrimonious debate in 2016. Democrats have been stewing ever since. They tried last winter to ban the button but lost on a party-line vote.
Now that they've retaken control of the House, the incoming speaker says the button must go. Melissa Hortman says every other speaker in Minnesota history has been able to maintain decorum with a gavel.
Lawmakers in Rhode Island, Ohio, and California also have muted microphones to silence opposition in recent years.