Can 64 Minnesota Counties Really Secede and Join South Dakota?
A bill introduced in the Minnesota legislature last week would allow 64 western Minnesota counties to leave the state and join a new, larger South Dakota. But will it happen?
Just what's going on at the state capital in St. Paul?!? Earlier this year, before Gov. Walz turned the dial back on our COVID-19 restrictions, Minnesota Representative Pat Garofalo authored a bill that would allow the Twins to play their home games this season at American Family Field in Milwaukee.
At that time, the Brewers had been given the go-ahead to have fans in-person this season while the Twins were still waiting for that same approval here in Minnesota. The bill didn't go anywhere and is now moot, anyway, because the Twins were given that same approval by Minnesota's Department of Health just a few days after the bill was introduced.
It's much in the same vein, I'm guessing, that Minnesota Representative Jeremy Munson authored a bill (officially known as HF 2423) last Thursday that would allow 64 of Minnesota's western counties to secede from the Land of 10,000 Lakes and to join a new, larger South Dakota. Rep. Munson is apparently unhappy with how he feels his district (which is in southern Minnesota, west of I-35 and south of Mankato) has been treated by Gov. Walz, and thinks the rural areas of Minnesota more closely align, politically, with the current administration in South Dakota.
He outlined four steps that need to be taken for his bill to become a reality. First, HF 2423 would have to pass the Minnesota Legislature (which isn't likely, seeing as the DFL has a majority in the House and would likely vote against it.) Then, a referendum of Minnesota voters would have to vote in favor of the changes (again, unlikely.) Then, those Minnesota counties would have to vote to join South Dakota. (This might be the easiest to pass.) And, finally, the U.S. Congress would have to approve the changes. (Which is again unlikely, given the Democrats' control of both houses of Congress.)
While political commentators are mostly all quick to point out how unlikely-- almost impossible-- it is that the bill could ever pass. But it IS kind of wild to think about, isn't it? For instance, what would the new, larger South Dakota be called? New South Dakota? South Dakotasota? And would the remaining counties in Minnesota (which looks like it includes all counties east of Goodhue, Dodge, and Mower-- including Olmsted here in our neck woods) be called? Old Minnesota?
Usually, if you suggest that even ANY part of Minnesota would join a neighboring state-- like, say my home state of Wisconsin, you're met with icy glares. I'd think this proposal might garner the same type of reaction. It's not the only way you can raise the ire of Minnesotans, however. Keep scrolling to check out 15 different things that are dangerous to say to natives of the North Star State!