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The end of the 2024 Minnesota legislative session was the worst spectacle many can remember. With two hours to go, Democrats jammed their agenda into a 1,400-page monster tax bill, including taxes, abortion, transportation, agriculture, energy, trigger bans and higher education.

During the final weekend of session, the Senate passed 17 bills, several with bipartisan support. They had robust debate, and Republicans worked to negotiate with Democrat leaders on the final pieces of session. Republicans were ready to do the work of the people, but crucial time was lost when a Democrat refused to attend session for more than 11 hours over his own disagreements with their agenda. That time could have produced bipartisan agreements and respectful debate, but instead raw partisanship won out.

One-party control spent a nearly $19 billion surplus, raised taxes on every Minnesotan another $10 billion, gave serious and violent criminals a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, and put schools into deficits with expensive and divisive mandates.

One-party control pushed extreme and divisive social politics into law. Minnesota now has the most extreme abortion laws in the country — with no commonsense limitations such as the viability of the baby. Despite prior bipartisan support, Democrats defunded women's crisis pregnancy programs strictly because those programs support choosing life. That's not who Minnesotans are — and that's not what they sent us legislators here to do.

Over the last month, we've seen Democrats so aggressive in their agenda they shut down debate, ignored efforts to compromise and hid their agenda in the shadows and backrooms of the State Capitol where there isn't a glimmer of hope of working with Republicans, even when it makes things much easier.

Having been in the majority for six years, I watched our leaders negotiate bills while maintaining relationships and integrity of the Senate. We never thought it was the minority's job to pass the majority's agenda, and we worked hard at maintaining good relationships with the minority caucus members. In fact, after the 2020 elections, two Democrats left their caucus to caucus with the Republicans. We were able to work in a respectful way that honored the commitment we made to the Minnesotans who elected us. The integrity and honor the members brought to their work contributed to better debates and strong policy, and fostered public trust in the institution.

When Sen. Nicole Mitchell was arrested and charged with first-degree burglary, there was an opportunity for Senate Democrats to govern with a bipartisan coalition. Instead, they canceled a week of bills scheduled for floor debate and hid behind the process rather than hold Mitchell accountable.

Democrats chose to rely on the deciding vote of someone caught red-handed engaged in an alleged burglary instead of working with Republicans. They later chose to satisfy the demands of a self-declared Minneapolis democratic socialist who refused to show up unless he got his way.

The final hours of this session weren't just a setback for the Senate's integrity. It's not just the trust among legislators that has been broken. Minnesotans who trusted this Legislature to place public interest first are disappointed by a Democrat majority dominated by radical special interests and democratic socialists. Regular Minnesotans' voices were cut out, their values and priorities dismissed.

While the end-of-session dramatics made headlines, there were a few glimpses of how it should work. Funding for rural EMS providers was a bipartisan effort and passed easily. Restoring First Amendment rights for religious beliefs took months of work and had unanimous support. When everyone was welcome at the table, Minnesotans won.

Passing a lengthy bill without debate over loud objections is the final product of Democrats' failure to govern with integrity. Minnesotans deserve better. They deserve leaders who welcome public debate and listen to all points of view. They deserve leaders who are committed to making their lives easier, not rewarding special interests and campaign donors. They deserve leaders who respect the people who elected them enough to be honest, open and transparent at the Capitol.

Minnesotans aren't getting the government they deserve from Democrats at every level, and they are worse off for it.

Mark Johnson, a Republican, is minority leader of the Minnesota Senate.