During the annual “Session Priorities” dinner of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, a panel of legislative leaders was asked a series of questions by host Tom Hauser.
A fixture of his Sunday interview program “At Issue” on KSTP, Hauser’s lightning round asks guests to give one-word answers to questions both serious and silly. Here are the questions and answers from DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park; House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown; Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa; and Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL- Cook:
Q: Dog or cat?
Q: Single payer health insurance: yes or no?
Bakk: Not yet
Q: Tax conformity bill: January or May?
Gazelka: NOT January
Bakk: Maybe not
Q: Business permitting: onerous or appropriate?
Hortman: (pause) It depends (afterward, Hortman added, “It depends on your perspective.”)
Q: Transit: light rail or Bus?
Q: Redistricting: can’t wait or too soon?
Daudt: Too soon
Hortman: More time needed
Gazelka: No court needed
Bakk: It’s gonna make me run in ‘20
Q: Sunday morning, church or “At Issue?”
Gazelka: Sorry, Tom
Bakk: I have to go to church
Q: Increase in the gas tax?
Q: Twitter or Instagram?
Q: Extend the health care reinsurance program?
Bakk: Probably can’t afford it
Q: Recreational marijuana: legalize or decriminalize?
Daudt: It’s a federal issue
Hortman: There’s no rush on that
Bakk: Not yet
Q: Autonomous vehicles and when: five years or 25 years?
Daudt: Five years (afterward, Daudt said it would be less than five years)
Bakk: 10, but only in First Class cities (cities with more than 100,000 residents)
Q: Hands free cellphone law: yes or no?
Daudt: It’s gonna happen
Bakk: It will depend on the penalty. (Bakk added that some bills make violations a felony which, he said, would trigger more debate)
Q: Funding for opioid response: state general fund or from drug industry?
Daudt: General fund
Gazelka: Small industry contribution
Q: Renewable energy mandates: yes or no?
Bakk: I have a long answer and if I don’t get to use it I’ve got to say no
Q: Special session: yes or no
(answered in reverse order)
Bakk: Not up to me
Gazelka: Help me out Tom, No
Hortman: Hopefully not
Daudt: (in reference to Hortman’s answer and an earlier joke by Hauser) So you learned that’s a 75 percent chance.