State Sen. Gretchen Hoffman has sent a written apology to state Sen. Barb Goodwin, in what observers hope will be the final chapter in a Twitter controversy that came up near the end of the legislative session last month.
An ethics panel ordered the apology.
So Hoffman delivered it today:
“This letter is intended to be the written apology from me to you indicated by the Minnesota Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct in its resolution June 13, 2011.
“I am certainly sorry for my own misundertanding of what you said and how I subsequently handled it.
“I am sure you share my unhappiness that this matter was not resolved between us on the floor on May 18, 2011, when the underlying incident occurred.”
The flap came during a floor debate on the Health and Human Services bill.
Concerned about cuts to mental health programs, Goodwin said:
“This is how far we’ve come. The way state institutions used to be — they were called ‘Institutions for Idiots, Imbeciles and the Insane.’ ’’
Hoffman, a first-term senator, then tweeted: “Sen Goodwin just called people with mental illness-idiots and imbeciles …’’
An ethics complaint was filed, a hearing held, and the apology demanded.