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Here are some key things your lawmakers will discuss this session

It's an election year and the governor's retiring, so don't expect much to get done.
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Minnesota lawmakers are back at the State Capitol on Tuesday as a shortened, election-year legislative session gets underway.

With Democratic Governor Mark Dayton retiring at the end of this year and with Republicans in control of both the House and Senate, it's expected to be another year of debate, disagreement and (hopefully) compromise.

We've taken a look at some of the key areas they'll be mulling over during the three-month session.

Making sure we're not taxed more

One of the outcomes of the tax bill passed by Congress in December is that should Minnesota simply align its own tax code with the federal government's, it could dramatically raise the taxes of some Minnesotans.

As the Pioneer Press reports, the elimination of federal deductions for state and property taxes could end up causing some Minnesotans a 40 percent hike in their state income tax rate.

Senate leader Paul Gazelka, House speaker Kurt Daudt and Gov. Mark Dayton will be looking to find ways that the tax cuts will be cost neutral to Minnesotans.

Gun control

Revisiting gun control is likely to be on the agenda in the wake of the Florida school massacre.

The Associated Press reports there are five pending bills in the legislature that are likely to be up for discussion.

From the Republicans, a "stand your ground" bill is still pending, as is a bill scrapping the need for a gun permit to carry firearms on public property.

From the DFL side, a bill granting families and law enforcement the ability to ask a court to ban a person possessing a gun if they pose a threat has been submitted, as has a bill calling for universal background checks on private gun sales.

The bonding bill

A two-year budget was agreed last year, so much of the focus this year will be spent on infrastructure spending.

MPR reports Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing a $1.5 billion bonding bill for new construction and infrastructure improvements, but adds Republican lawmakers want a smaller bill that prioritizes maintaining existing buildings and roads.

The Lieutenant Governor debate

The legislature resumes to constitutional controversy. President of the Senate Michelle Fischbach (R-13) was appointed to the role of Lieutenant Governor in January, as state law dictated following the accession of Tina Smith to Al Franken's Senate seat.

But Fischbach has simultaneously retained her role on the Senate, preventing a special election that would have temporarily created a 33-33 deadlock the Senate, and potentially seen a Democratic majority via a special election.

Her decision has sparked lawsuits alleging what she's doing is against state law. MinnPost reports the Minnesota Supreme Court dealt her opponents a blow last week though, ruling it has no power to determine if legislators are eligible to serve and that lawmakers should sort this issue out themselves.

Expect that to happen this session – though with Republicans in charge of both branches of power, don't expect Fischbach to give up her dual roles anytime soon.

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