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Three GOP newcomers to Minnesota Senate create headaches for DFL majority


March 10, 2023

Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Sen. Eric Lucero, R-St. Michael, left, talked with Sen. Jason Rarick, R-Pine City, in a Senate committee room at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Senate's tradition of decorum and orderly debate has been upended this year by some Republican newcomers who are antagonizing the Democratic majority and dragging discussions on for hours.

GOP Sens. Steve Drazkowski, Glenn Gruenhagen and Eric Lucero rose to speak nearly 50 times combined during a 15-hour debate on a bill codifying abortion rights into state law, repeatedly blasting Democrats' bill as "extreme." The Senate debate took nearly four times as long as the House's, despite the chamber having half as many legislators.

The three former House members - known for their winding and sometimes theatrical speeches - have also chastised Senate Democrats for bills that restored felons' voting rights, allowed unauthorized immigrants to obtain driver's licenses and required state utility providers to be carbon-free by 2040.


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