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Pat Kessler

77648 pat kessler web Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics.

He’s been on the beat longer than any other TV reporter in the Twin Cities, covering state government, politics, campaigns and conventions since 1984.

Pat “pulls back the curtain” on what’s happening in government with stories both amusing and annoying, as well as reporting information you need to know to keep up on the issues that affect you most.

And Pat’s popular “Reality Check” segments separate fact from fiction in a political world that is often more fiction than fact.

Pat studied English and journalism at Macalester College in St. Paul.

He’s an avid reader, involved in many local volunteer programs and exhibits a particular fondness for baseball.

Before joining WCCO-TV, Pat was a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio, and a technical assistant for “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor.

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most recent stories2 Pat Kessler

(credit: Deb James)

Tourism Push Plays Up ‘Only In Minnesota’ Getaways

Say goodbye to “More to Explore.” Minnesota tourism promoters are ushering in a new slogan that focuses on “Only in Minnesota” experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign.

04/17/2014

Minnesota senate chambers. (credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Lawmakers Getting Paid Over Spring Break?

Minnesota lawmakers haven’t had a pay hike since 1999. But they can boost their take-home pay with per diem — up to $76 per day in the Minnesota House, and up to $86 a day in the Minnesota Senate.

04/16/2014

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Reality Check: Minn. Remains A High Tax State

Other people might call April 15 “Tax Day,” but Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has another name for it.

04/15/2014

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It Might Be Easter Break, But Lawmakers Are Readying For Elections

Lawmakers entered a 10-day Easter/Passover break on Friday. Next week, House Democrats will hit the road to talk about what they’ve done so far, and Republicans will be sharpening their election year message.

04/11/2014

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Republican: Bullying Bill An ‘Attack on The Bible & Conservative Christians’

The Minnesota House was in an emotional debate Tuesday over a bullying bill that would toughen the state’s laws, following a rash of student suicides linked to bullying.

04/08/2014

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Lawmakers Reach Deal To Hike Minimum Wage To $9.50

Minnesota legislative leaders appear to have reached a deal to raise the state’s minimum wage. No details have been announced, but top lawmakers called a news conference for Monday morning to discuss an agreement.

04/07/2014

(credit: CBS)

House Dems Approve Scaled-Back Senate Building

Top Democrats in the State House Friday approved a scaled-back version of a major new office building next to the Capitol, dedicated to the Minnesota Senate. The building’s original design had a soaring glass front, with a fitness center and reflecting pool. The scaled back version is slightly more modest, but no less controversial.

04/04/2014

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Minn. Senate Passes Anti-Bullying Bill

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Thursday to prevent bullying in Minnesota schools. But even though lawmakers support the idea of the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, it is still among the most controversial bills of the year at the Capitol. Minnesota has been in the national spotlight because of a rash of students committing suicides because of bullying.

04/03/2014

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Advocates Of Medical Marijuana Continue To Ask Gov. To Reconsider

Advocates of medical marijuana aren’t giving up at the State Capitol, despite opposition from Gov. Mark Dayton. A bill to legalize medical marijuana is stalled at the legislature, but supporters — including mothers of sick children — are asking the governor to reconsider.

04/03/2014

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Reality Check: The Consequences Of Not Signing Up For MNsure

In Minnesota, at least one group opposed to Obamacare encouraged Minnesotans not to enroll and encouraged them to refuse to sign up on any website. Gov. Mark Dayton calls it inexplicable. “It’s been a barrage of criticism all the way. It’s been people cheering when it has problems. It’s been telling people not to enroll, which i think was very ill-advised,” Dayton said.

04/02/2014

Tax Forms

MN Revenue Department: File Your Taxes Now

Minnesota Department of Revenue officials have a message for taxpayers who haven’t filed their returns. The department says the new tax cuts are good to go, and taxpayers should file now. Those cuts were passed just a couple of weeks ago by lawmakers, and thousands of Minnesotans could benefit. A couple of weeks ago, the revenue department made a very unusual appeal, urging Minnesotans to wait to file their tax returns so it could re-calibrate its computers and re-write tax forms for the new cuts.

04/02/2014

(credit: CBS)

Final Tally On MNsure Signups: 169,000

A total of 169,251 Minnesota residents signed up for health insurance coverage by the end of the first open enrollment period, state officials said Tuesday, exceeding the goal set after the troubled launch of the website in October.

04/01/2014

(credit: CBS)

MNsure Making Big Enrollment Push Ahead Of Deadline

The new federal health care law says everyone must be signed up by midnight Monday, or face a penalty. In Minnesota, MNsure is moving quickly to enroll as many people as possible over the weekend. Already this week, MNsure ramped up recruiting at more than 1,000 signup events.

03/28/2014

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Revenue Dept. Highlights Tax Cuts, Says Wait Until April 3 To File

Minnesota tax officials are scrambling to put in place new tax cuts passed by the legislature just six days ago. In a rare move, they’re asking taxpayers who might qualify for tax cuts to wait until April 3 to file. The department needs until then to program the tax cuts into its computers and instruction forms.

03/27/2014

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Parents Say Dayton Told Them To Buy Pot Off The Street

Mothers in support of legalizing medical marijuana say Gov. Mark Dayton urged them to buy pot illegally on Minnesota streets to help their severely sick children

03/26/2014

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