Tuesday’s election heralded great change for both the nation’s and the state’s political landscape. At the local level, Republicans, seemingly riding on Trump’s coattails, took control of the Minnesota Senate and maintained control of the Minnesota House.
In the Senate, the Republicans took the majority for only the second time in state history (34 Republicans and 33 Democrats.) The final Senate outcome may still change with the margin of victory in two races close enough to require a mandatory recount. In both races, however, the Republican candidates have a small lead. The change in majority in the Senate will result in the appointment of all new committee chairs within the next few weeks, as well as the election of a new Senate Majority Leader.
In the House, Republicans increased their majority by two seats (76 Republicans to 57 Democrats and one open seat).
The impact of this election on physicians and the MMA’s agenda is not yet known. A determining factor will be who will chair the Senate’s health and human services related committees. Republican senators who have been leaders in the health care arena include Sen. Jim Abeler (Anoka), Sen. Michelle Benson (Ham Lake), and Sen. Julie Rosen (Fairmont).
“Clearly, many Republican leaders have been leading the call for major changes of MNsure and other components of Obamacare,” said Dave Renner, the MMA’s director of state and legislative affairs. “In order to govern effectively, the Republican majorities in both bodies will still have to work with Gov. Dayton to pass legislation that he will be willing to sign into law.”