STAFF BLOG CAPITOL CHATTER Senate, ex-staffer settle suit
By Don Davis
A longtime Republican activist agreed Thursday to drop a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination against the Minnesota Senate.
Former Senate GOP spokesman Michael Brodkorb will get $30,000... Posted on 9/26/13 at 6:06 PM
School districts across Minnesota soon will get most of what they have been owed since 2011 when, after shutting down government for three weeks, Republicans in the Legislature voted to “resolve” the state’s deficit by holding back $2.8 billion in school payments.
Minnesota legislators begin a weeklong break Monday afternoon, and many hope the federal government provides them some good fiscal news soon after they return from vacation. But the state’s top finance official says they should not count on Washington riding in on a white horse.
Attempts to lure investments in small business and encourage people to rehabilitate historic buildings could produce jobs, Minnesota legislative Democrats say, and they are willing to bet state money on the idea. “I don’t know how much stimulus this will provide, but we should give it a try,” Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Thursday.
The Minnesota governor’s race looks to be close, with a new poll giving Republicans reason to smile. The poll shows that Republican state Reps. Marty Seifert of Marshall and Tom Emmer of Delano hold their own against better-known Democrats, a sign of what some are saying will be a good GOP election year.
Two northern Minnesota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would ban the Department of Natural Resources from building any new public access areas on lakes and rivers for five years. The bills — introduced by Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, and Rep. Dave Dill, DFL-Crane Lake — impose a moratorium on new DNR boat ramps until July 1, 2015.
State Sen. Tom Bakk proposed extending the 6.875 percent state sales tax to clothing in July, raising more than $250 million the first year and about $300 million a year afterward. Clothing and shoes are now exempt from the sales tax as basic necessities, along with food, prescriptions and diapers.
Minnesota can do more to build trust with American Indian tribes, said nine Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls, starting with respect of tribal sovereignty. The candidates talked about tribal sovereignty, American Indian gaming, the environment, health care and more before about 150 people in traditional Native circles on Thursday night in an American Indian issues forum on the Bemidji State University campus.
Get ready for a Minnesota gubernatorial campaign that ratchets up quickly, with decisive moments and full-blown politicking coming earlier than usual. Thanks to a wide-open race and an accelerated schedule for parties to pick their candidates, voters will see the contest bloom sooner and likely encounter commercials, mail pieces and other appeals by the time summer rolls around.
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