Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature's new Democratic majorities have made it clear: The session that starts Tuesday will be all about the state budget.
But with one-party control at the Capitol for the first time in two decades, and 200 lawmakers of both parties converging on St. Paul, other issues will share the stage.
"Fasten your seatbelt," said Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, half in jest. But Simon acknowledged that his party does face pressure to produce a more comprehensive legislative product, after years in which divided government gave both Democrats and Republicans some cover for lack of results.
"The gears of government should run a little more smoothly," said Simon, incoming chairman of the House Elections Committee. "It will be different in terms of accountability. Democrats own accountability now. There's going to be less opportunity for finger-pointing."
And more opportunity to shape state policy, though major new initiatives that carry a price tag will have to be weighed against the $1.1 billion budget deficit.
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