Minn. Democrats push reform of Legislature

Rep. Ryan Winkler
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, outlines on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, his proposal to change the way the Legislature conducts its business.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Democrats in the Minnesota House say the Republican-backed effort to improve state government this session should also include improvements in the Legislature itself.

They released a proposal Tuesday that would require lawmakers to fully disclose their outside income and begin following the same data practices rules that apply to the executive branch.

It would also prohibit any political party officials from holding legislative jobs and prevent late-night meetings at the Capitol.

During a news conference, DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler of Golden Valley said legislators need to take a good hard look in the mirror.

"In the last year, the Minnesota Legislature has been more dysfunctional than a Kardashian marriage," Winkler said. "Before legislators start targeting other people in state government, local government or in the private sector for reform, we need to put our own houses in order."

Winkler said his bill has 21 DFL authors, but so far no Republicans have signed on.

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