Defining Germane

Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, tried to link his plan for a statewide smoking ban exemption known at the Capitol as "smoking shacks" to a liquor bill the Minnesota House debated Monday.

Heidgerken had some difficulty. His efforts were ruled out of order — or not germane in legislative jargon.

His pal Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, tried to come to Heidgerken’s defense.

"He’s from Stearns County," Urdahl said. "His name is Heidgerken. He ate at the Glockenspiel (restaurant) last week. To say that he’s not germane is ridiculous."

Urdahl’s attempt at late-night  humor elicited groans from weary House members.