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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nolan West (R)

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Legislative update

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Greetings from the Capitol!

“Nobody looking at this legislative session, Democrat or Republican, should ever do anything like that ever again.”

Those were the words of our current House Speaker back in 2018, as she lamented a flurry of legislation that passed in the final hours of that session. With that in mind, let’s fast forward to late Sunday night. That’s when a 1,431-page monstrosity of a bill combining a vast array of unrelated subjects was dropped on House members with zero time to debate or even review its contents. No paper versions were handed out and the bill wasn’t even available to view online. The minority was completely ignored, and a vote was taken just minutes before the midnight deadline, and the bill passed. It’s now in the governor’s hands for enactment.

That’s not how we should be governing, regardless of what year it is, or which party is in power. The chaotic scene that unfolded just as the deadline to pass bills arrived Sunday was a whole new level in degrading the State of Minnesota and the House of Representatives. The majority may get its way in such a scenario, but nobody truly “wins” and, in fact, the very Minnesotans who sent us to the Capitol to serve them suffer great losses.

This session has shown me that listening is far more important than driving an agenda. I cringe as I recall watching the majority jam through grandiose new programs that objectively can't function despite repeated warnings. It pains me to see how much partisan polarization has corrupted and degraded our institutions, not just in DC, but here in Minnesota. There was a time when meaningful debates were held in these halls, but the bipartisan assault on reason and civility has eradicated the idea of being a responsible steward in government and only the lust for power and vengeance remains. 

I put this all in writing to ensure that I can be held accountable by those I represent. I will never utilize the power my constituents have given me in the reckless and arrogant way we have seen the majority wield power this session.



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