Earlier this week, Dayton said he was open to considering a special session if it's limited to the succession issue.
Dayton also said Thursday that he wouldn't call for Fischbach's replacement in a special election until she gives up her legislative seat. "Fischbach will continue to be an effective public servant for her constituents in her roles as a state senator for District 13 and acting lieutenant governor of Minnesota", Gazelka told Minnesota Public Radio.
Gazelka disagrees with the attorney general's opinion, because the nonpartisan Senate Counsel previously concluded that Fischbach can hold both jobs. Michelle Fischbach, of Paynesville, must resign her seat once she is seated as Minnesota's next lieutenant governor.
Democrats are cool to the idea of a special session because they see a chance to gain a seat in the Senate.
Republican leaders in both the House and the Senate put out a letter on Friday asking Gov. Mark Dayton for a special session to arrange for a Democrat to become Lt. Gov. Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka pledged to limit the agenda of the special session exclusively to this item. If Fischbach pushes forward, a judge would likely have to settle the dispute.
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- Republican state lawmakers are formally requesting a special session to sort out the musical chairs from Lt. Gov. Tina Smith replacing resigning Sen. Al Franken in the U.S. Senate after he was accused by more than half a dozen women of touching them inappropriately in photo opportunities and other events. The Minnesota Constitution requires that any vacancy in the office of the lieutenant governor be filled automatically by the most-recently presiding president of the Senate- which happens to be Fischbach. "They're anxious sick about a special election given the current environment", said Bakk.
"I'm not optimistic", Gazelka said. He raised the prospect that Fischbach's Senate votes would not be legitimate.
With Swanson's office finding that Fischbach is in violation of the Constitution, "it seems like there would be a legal challenge", Bakk said. "I have every confidence Sen".
This would be the second time in less than a year that leaders in Minnesota state government have thrown a weighty constitutional conflict to the courts after failing to resolve their differences.
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