DFL Rep. Joe Atkins, who displayed a talent for finding legislative issues off the news when Democrats were last in charge, plans to go forward with a hearing on the NHL lockout even though the lockout has ended.
The hearing, announced last week, is on the docket for January 23.
“Whether it’s the NHL, NFL, the Minnesota Orchestra, or the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, lockouts have been happening more and more frequently with groups who received taxpayer dollars, despite promises by those groups of economic activity and jobs," Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, said in a release. "We have an obligation to taxpayers to find ways to minimize the economic impact of these lockouts in the future.”
Taxpayers helped pay for the St. Paul Xcel Energy Center where the Minnesota Wild play.
Once session starts on Tuesday, Atkins will be the chair of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee.
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.