Lawmaker called from Capitol for military service will return
May 13, 2014 — 6:51pm
UPDATE from Abby Simons: On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. John Lesch said will return to the Legislature Wednesday.
"He asked the commander this afternoon and it was approved," said Minnesota National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Kevin Olson, adding that granting such requests is not an uncommon occurrence.
From Tuesday morning:
State Rep. John Lesch, a St. Paul Democrat who joined the Minnesota National Guard in 2009, will be called away from the Capitol through Sunday for inactive duty training at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, according to a news release.
"These orders are effective immediately and extend through Sunday, May 18, 2014. As such, he will not be attending legislative activities during this time," the release said.
This year's legislative session is mandated to end on May 19.
Before then, the Legislature is expected to vote on a measure to fund statewide building projects. That measure requires a super majority, which means that, without Lesch, Democrats in charge of the House will need to find an additional Republican vote for passage.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.