Fischbach, abortion politics enter into Senate appointment announcement

Elias Hubbard
December 15, 2017

"Anyone know any good jokes?"

At a news conference, Sen. She could probably do both jobs, considering that the LG has no officials duties outside of what the governor assigns, and we doubt Dayton will be as reliant on Fischbach as he was on Smith.

Republicans are anxious about losing their majority in the state Senate, if they don't win an anticipated special election in Fischbach's district. She says legal precedent allows her to retain her state Senate seat while serving as lieutenant governor. That presiding officer is state Sen.

The state Constitution has been amended since then, but Senate counsel said the ruling "remains applicable".

We suppose it beats playing musical chairs for the lieutenant governor's job, but not by much. But plent of others in the Capitol, especially Democrats, think she shouldn't be able to hold both jobs. "I have a commitment to represent them in the Senate".

Democrats contend other provisions in the Minnesota Constitution prohibit a person from holding two political offices at the same time. Michelle Fischbach, R-Paynesville. She says she's ready to fulfill her constitutional obligation to assume the office - but she doesn't plan to give up her Senate seat.

Complicating it further: the planned resignation on Friday of DFL Sen. DFL Sen. Dan Schoen is resigning from the chamber effective December 15 because of a sexual harassment scandal, and a special election is scheduled for February 12 to elect his replacement. If Fischbach were to leave, it opens a path for DFLers to secure her seat in a special election. Her Stearns-County-area seat is solidly conservative, but Democratic groups would highly target it with the prospect of flipping control in the chamber, whose members are not back on the ballot until 2020.

"This appointment, and the subsequent ascension of the Senate President to Lieutenant Governor, means the Minnesota Senate will likely face two special elections this winter", Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said in a statement. In 1898, the lieutenant governor presided over the Senate.

It's important because of the potential to shift the balance of power in the closely divided Senate.

The situation creates some panic among Democrats, though, as well. If the 70-year-old Dayton were unable to finish his term, which ends at the beginning of January 2019, then Fischbach would take over for him. Smith, now formally Minnesota Lieutenant Governor, said on September 16th past year while declaring the date as Ethanol Day, that ethanol is a "critical tool" in the state's economic development toolbox.

"I'll do my best to stay healthy", Dayton quipped Wednesday.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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