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.
This legislative session has stalled out with battles over a proposed $90 million Senate office building and a proposed minimum wage increase. But the battle is not between Republicans and Democrats – it’s the Democrats who are fighting amongst themselves. With Democrats controlling the Minnesota House and Senate as well as the governor’s office, it’s the Democrats who are battling with each other over key issues.
Legislative Republicans pressed Monday for a speedy resolution to a controversy over a proposed Senate office building, making clear they oppose its construction. Several GOP lawmakers said the state should make do with the space it has, and reconfigure Capitol renovation plans if necessary.
A tax relief measure put on a fast track in the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday could mean immediate breaks for at least 300,000 people. The Democratic-crafted proposal was unveiled a day after Gov. Mark Dayton implored lawmakers to speed up. The bill could get a floor vote as soon as Thursday.
Gov. Mark Dayton kicked up a storm Tuesday in his return to the Minnesota Capitol, chastising fellow Democrats for not moving quicker on a tax-relief measure and suggesting that a controversial Senate office building proposal had improperly gotten in the way.
Democrats who control Minnesota’s House and Senate agree a $1.2 billion surplus is likely to make for an easier legislative session, but there’s not agreement yet on how much to spend, save or rebate to taxpayers. House Speaker Paul Thissen says he wants to move quickly on more than $500 million in tax relief.
Minnesota lawmakers flock back to the Capitol on Tuesday for a legislative session expected to run 12 weeks at most. Having set the two-year budget last year, lawmakers face a shorter list of legislation they must consider this time. And it’s always easier to get in the way of proposed laws than to enact them.
Make no waves. That’s a guiding principle for the Democrats in charge of Minnesota’s Legislature, which gathers Tuesday for an annual session that could extend into mid-May. Party leaders are eager to prevent, or at least contain, controversy that can leave a bad taste for voters or alienate important constituencies in a year when the Democratic House majority and Gov. Mark Dayton’s re-election are on the line.
As Minnesota’s legislative session nears, one of the state’s minimum-wage champions has issued a challenge. Five House colleagues accepted Golden Valley Democrat Rep. Ryan Winkler’s invitation Tuesday to live for a week on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
All of the Republicans seeking to oust Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton regard Minnesota’s problem-ridden health insurance exchange as an unmitigated disaster, but they differ on what they would do about it if they were elected.
The DFL caucus that ended prematurely after chaos erupted at the Minneapolis meeting will be rescheduled. DFL Chairman Ken Martin said Wednesday because the caucus wasn’t officially adjourned Tuesday night at the Bryan Cole Community Center, it will be reconvened at a date that’s not yet been set.
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Newly filed fundraising reports show money is already flowing fast into the tanks of Minnesota candidates, parties and outside groups to pay for manpower, mailings and TV commercials this campaign season. Among governor hopefuls, incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton had the biggest haul and more socked away than his seven Republican challengers combined. Democratic party units were in a generally stronger position than their GOP counterparts.
Republican Dave Thompson’s selection of a running mate starts a parade of political pairings in Minnesota’s race for governor. Thompson on Thursday announced that Michelle Benson, a fellow state senator, joined his ticket.
Democrats who control Minnesota’s Legislature are planning a major push in the upcoming session for a package of bills aimed at breaking down what they say are continued barriers to economic success for women.