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'Everything is at risk': Tensions flare as Minnesota lawmakers race to get their work done by deadline

As midnight on Thursday approached, Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman had heard enough.

The Brooklyn Park DFLer unexpectedly called for final votes on a bill making changes to the state's paid leave program after it had already been the subject of at least eight hours of debate, most of it criticism from Republicans. GOP legislators shouted into their microphones, accusing her of silencing the minority party.

"This is not how democracy is supposed to function. Debate is essential to the legislative process," said Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring. "Yet here we are, watching the majority say that thorough debate is unnecessary."


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