As experts assess the effectiveness of a divided state legislature following the recently-ended session, U of M political science professor Tim Lindberg is taking a closer look at the urban-rural divide among lawmakers. He says Governor Walz being a Democrat from Greater Minnesota likely had a significant impact on the session’s outcome.

“That balance between the governor and the two parties kind of played out in the sense that both parties came to the middle and I think Walz had a lot to do with that to get stuff done.”

Lindberg says in many ways–with increased funding for Local Government Aid and expanded broadband access–the legislative session was a “victory” for rural Minnesota, but he adds–it did not come at the expense of urban and suburban areas.