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Minnesota Legislature convenes with new balance of power

Democrats will take control of the House, while Senate Republicans will have a two-seat majority.

Posted: Jan 6, 2019 3:51 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The 2019 Minnesota Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday with a new governor, new balance of power and a $1.5 billion surplus that might make deals easier to reach.

Gov.-elect Tim Walz takes office Monday. He portrays himself as a leader who can bridge ideological and rural-urban divides.

Democrats will take control of the House, while Senate Republicans will have a two-seat majority, making Minnesota the only state with a divided Legislature.

Divided government may function differently under Walz than under Gov. Mark Dayton, who found it hard to work with the GOP-controlled House last year.

It'll be up to Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and his committee chairs whether ideas from Democrats get anywhere in the Senate.

He's been sounding conciliatory while cautioning there are things his caucus won't accept.

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