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MPR News

2019 legislative session gets underway with new faces, familiar issues

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Minnesota's 2019 legislative session kicks off Tuesday with a new balance of power. DFLers have the governor's seat and a new majority in the House, while Republicans retained their slim majority in the Senate. 

Lawmakers will start the session with a projected $1.5 billion budget surplus, but that won't necessarily make the session any easier. Minnesota will have the only politically-divided Legislature in the country. Republicans and Democrats will have to agree on the state's next two-year budget — as well as what to do about key issues including education, health care, transportation, and taxes.

MPR News host Mike Mulcahy spoke with key leaders at the Capitol: DFL Governor Tim Walz, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. He also checked in with two of the doctors serving in the Legislature —DFL Rep. Kelly Morrison and Republican Sen. Scott Jensen —about the prospects for health care legislation this session.

To listen to the full discussion you can use the audio player above.