(Saint Paul, Minnesota)

Negotiations between legislative leaders are still ongoing as a strict deadline for the end of this session looms closer and closer, leaving less time for consideration and voting on important provisions. Alpha News sat down with Senator Carla Nelson of Rochester, who told us her views on a recent campaign finance bill and the cone of silence taking place during negotiations.

The State Senate recently passed a campaign finance bill, which was initially proposed as a technical, noncontroversial bill. Senator Nelson, however, believes that this bill is very controversial, and is expressing concern over a provision of the bill that will allow parties to donate to legislators during the legislative session, stating that it could lead to coercion in voting.

Senator Nelson stated, “I don’t think anyone in Minnesota wants to believe that their senator or their representative is tied solely to the party, and I fear that taking these donations from parties during a legislative session, you can imagine in the heat of an important bill that had slim margin to pass, I don’t think it was in good form.”

Senator Jim Carlson is the sponsor for the bill, and stated during his debate with Senator Nelson that he does not think this will lead to undue influence in voting.

When asked if this could be a negotiating piece in the final days of session, Senator Nelson explained that it unfortunately is not considered an important bargaining piece. Alpha News followed up to ask what she thinks about the negotiations being held from the public. Senator Nelson explained, “I’m concerned about the cone of silence… not knowing the negotiations, and then I’m also concerned about the fact that we might not have time, or that there will be pressure to vote before you can actually read the bills, which I think is a problem.”

Follow Alpha News for current legislative updates.

Cole Mathisen