ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Legislature on Thursday, May 9, elected four new members to the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, bringing in a woman who believes she is the first Hmong American to serve on the board and boosting the number of women represented on the 12-person panel to three.
ST. PAUL — Budget negotiation talks remained in limbo Wednesday, May 8, days after Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor deadlocked over plans to raise taxes to fund boosts to education, road repairs and other state government spending. But two key leaders said they'd be willing to talk shop Saturday, May 11, at the Governor's Fishing Opener. The event has traditionally offered a reprieve from budget talks for legislative leaders and the governor as they cast their first lines of the fishing season together.
ST. PAUL -- Budget negotiations came to halt late Monday, May 6, as leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature reached an impasse over education funding and proposed tax increases. And early Tuesday, it was unclear whether conversations would continue without one side willing to bend on its spending plan.
ST. PAUL — Seeing laws being written often is compared to watching sausage being made, but the 2019 Minnesota Legislature may look more like making applesauce. “It is a little bit like apples to boulders,” Democratic Gov. Tim Walz told reporters Monday, May 6, on talks to produce a two-year budget that could nudge $50 billion, comparing Democratic and Republican budget plans. He did not say it, but when boulders and apples get together, applesauce is a likely product.
ST. PAUL — The Republican leader of a conference committee walked out on the panel's first meeting alleging political grandstanding. Legislative leaders and the governor took their spending priorities behind closed doors to start budget negotiations. And they were clear about nonnegotiables. The state prepared to pour millions more into purchasing a driver's license and registration software system to replace the oft-derided MNLARS program.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz prepared to enter initial budget talks Thursday, May 2, and the split in the nation's only divided Legislature was in clear view. Hours before the conversation about how much the state should spend over the next two years, Walz renewed his pitch to continue a 2% tax on medical providers that funds health care for low-income people. That tax is slated to expire at year's end. And Republicans would like to see it sunset.
ST. PAUL — Jenny Teeson didn't get justice after her ex-husband raped her. But because of her, other survivors of sexual assault will. For more than a year, Teeson shared the story of her rape at the Minnesota Capitol to help push a proposal that would eliminate a so-called marital rape exception, a loophole in state law that shields those involved in voluntary relationships from prosecution on charges of sexual misconduct or rape.
ST. PAUL -- Some of the toughest fights of the year are set to start this week at the Capitol. Legislative leaders and the governor will come together to negotiate how much the state should spend on its responsibilities like education, health care and roads and bridges. And those targets will constrain what lawmakers can pass as they negotiate compromise bills in conference committees. The talks come after weeks of debates over on either side of the divided Legislature over how the state should spend nearly $50 billion over the next two years.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota should buy a packaged computer software system to handle vehicle licensing and registration rather than finishing the rollout of the state's system, an independent group of information technology experts found. And that will come at a cost. A panel of experts on Wednesday, May 1, released its report of findings on the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS, and recommended that the state cut its losses, let the program enter one more update, then transition to a system developed by a private vendor.
ST. PAUL -- Leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature dug in hours before the Minnesota House of Representatives was set to debate two gun control measures Monday, April 29, as part of a larger public safety funding proposal. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, rallied with gun control supporters Monday morning and said the measure would pass in the House, despite opposition from some in her caucus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, meanwhile, said the bills would be "dead" in the Senate.