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Governor Dayton faces Republican-led legislature

From the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 18, 2016

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor

ST. PAUL  — Minnesota’s unions worked hard this election to send labor-friendly majorities to the state legislature so that DFL Governor Mark Dayton could move forward with his agenda in his last two years in office.

Instead, in a year observers are calling a “wave” election favoring Republicans, Minnesota Republicans increased their current majority in the Minnesota House and likely reclaimed a majority in the Minnesota Senate.

Republican control of both houses of the legislature may bring a repeat of the 2011 and 2012 sessions, which brought gridlock and a government shutdown.

“I’ll work with Republicans as much as I possibly can while recognizing we have very different views of what’s best for Minnesota — and they’re going to try to enact theirs and I’m going to stand up for mine,” Dayton said in a MPR interview. “The divide is deep and the differences are significant.”

The outcome of the 2016 election on the control of the legislature raises the already-high stakes for the “off-year” 2018 election, when the Minnesota House will be up for election and the office of governor and other state constitutional offices also will be on the ballot.

The DFL generally fairs better in a presidential election year. But not this year.

If Republicans hold the legislature in 2018 — and win the governor’s office — Minnesota could well join neighboring states in passing union-crippling “Right to Work” legislation.

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