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GOP legislative leaders want Democrats to drop Minnesota ERA as part of session-ending deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican leaders of the Minnesota Legislature called Tuesday on Democrats to drop a proposed state Equal Rights Amendment, better fund rural ambulance services and make other concessions as part of their price for GOP votes on a public works package and an end to filibustering that has slowed the final work of the 2024 session.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson and House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth complained at a news conference that Republicans have been shut out of shaping the major bills of the session and that they won’t supply the votes necessary to pass the infrastructure projects unless they’re heard.

Johnson, of East Grand Forks, told reporters that bipartisanship will be the most critical piece of any deal they might reach with Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature, and the leaders indicated there’s room for negotiation.

“Bipartisanship is going to be the spoonful of sugar that makes this whole end-of-session session go down,” Johnson said.

The House and Senate can’t hold any more floor sessions to approve legislation except for those already set for Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. While Monday is the scheduled adjournment date, lawmakers can’t pass bills that late. The day will be mostly for retirement speeches and ceremonial functions.

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