DFL legislators are attempting to shift Minnesota's part-time Legislature to a full-time operation.

If lawmakers pass a bill proposed last week, which is unlikely this year, the question of whether to move to a full-time Legislature would go on the ballot for voters to decide. Legislators currently can meet only for a limited number of days.

"It's meant to start the discussion. It's the first time the bill has been introduced, as far as I know, in the last two decades," said bill sponsor Rep. Jamie Long, DFL-Minneapolis. He noted that the House was recently debating until midnight as they cram budget discussions into a tight timeframe. "That's not a great way to legislate," Long said.

DFL leaders in the House and Senate support the idea. But Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller of Winona dismissed it.

"Moving to a full-time legislature is an absolutely terrible idea and would move us more toward Washington, D.C.-style politics. It's important to maintain the current citizen-legislature to ensure we don't have a legislature full of career politicians," Miller said.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois have full-time legislatures, Long noted. He said the part-time system is from a "bygone era" and legislators face complicated questions that demand more time.