Latest Minnesota Politics
The final pieces of Minnesota’s next two-year budget were falling into place Sunday amid a time crunch for lawmakers to get it all approved. The House went all night before finally recessing a little after 7 a.m. Sunday. Up for debate but still awaiting a final vote is a controversial bill that authorizes a union organizing drive for home daycare providers and care attendants to the elderly and disabled.
With the session officially ending on Monday, state lawmakers have been debating for the last 16 hours trying to wrap up some of the most contested issues this year.
Many Minnesota cities and counties will see a big bump in their state aid, and for that they’re being required to tamp down property taxes.
The Legislature has sent Gov. Mark Dayton a $11 billion package of spending on health and assistance programs that includes a 5-percent pay increase for nursing home workers.
In a congressional hearing into revelations that the IRS targeted conservative groups, one congressman pounced on the agency’s fired chief’s insistence that the targeting was not politically motivated.
When Minnesota lawmakers finish their session Monday, they’ll have a full nine months to cook up plans for next year’s session. Legislative leaders on Saturday set their return date. It’s Feb. 25.
The Minnesota House has voted to give nursing home workers in the state a 5-percent pay increase. The pay hike is included in a broader, $6 billion a year budget for health and human services programs that the House passed Friday night by a party-line vote of 73-61. It’s one of the biggest chunks of state spending and includes funding for services for the poor, elderly and disabled.
The Minnesota House has defeated an $800 million construction projects bill that failed to win a needed super-majority. The bill is a rare area where Republican held veto power. Because it involves long-term state debt, it required 81 votes to pass.
The Minnesota Senate has voted to freeze tuition rates at the state’s public colleges and universities for the next two years. The Senate passed a state higher education budget by a bipartisan, 44-22 vote on Friday that includes a $250 million spending increase.
Nearly 100 amendments await Minnesota House lawmakers if they move ahead as planned on a bill that could lead to unionization of in-home day care providers and personal care attendants. The volume foreshadows a long fight should the House brings the bill up on Saturday as planned.
The Minnesota House is planning to vote on a constitutional amendment that would take decisions about their own pay out of their hands. The House planned a Friday debate on the amendment.
With time running out in this year’s session, Minnesota lawmakers appear to be close to a deal for the next state budget. It doesn’t involve taxing clothing or any changes to the alcohol tax, but there will be some noticeable changes for some people.
Leading Minnesota lawmakers have sorted out a tax package that is the linchpin of the next state budget. The top two percent of income earners will pay two percent more on a portion of their income. The per-pack tax on cigarettes will rise by $1.60. Some corporate tax preferences will go away. But there won’t be any changes to the alcohol tax.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has rushed out a television ad in hopes of capitalizing on the latest U.S. House vote to undo President Barack Obama’s health care law. The Republican critic of the Affordable Care Act — dubbed Obamacare by foes — was to begin airing the ad Thursday night in Twin Cities market. She put about $85,000 into the TV spot.
A Minnesota woman was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for sending money to an al-Qaida-linked group in her native Somalia, despite her insistence that she was only trying to help the poor in the war-torn East African country.
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