Both political parties see opportunity in President Barack Obama’s two-day visit to Minnesota that starts Thursday. For Democrats, their party’s biggest name will draw attention to a signature initiative: the large, upcoming bump in the state’s minimum wage. For Republicans, his presence alone will give them a tangible way to connect targeted Democratic candidates to a struggling president as campaign season intensifies.
Minnesota Democrats face a major challenge as they seek to keep Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Al Franken in office — getting their supporters to show up at the polls. Republicans face the challenges of uniting the party after a fractured state convention and a potentially divisive primary campaign ahead.
After elaborate videos, sharp-toned speeches and even indoor fireworks, Minnesota Republicans are voting to back a candidate for U.S. Senate. Half a dozen candidates vied Friday for the GOP endorsement at the state convention, with the winner likely having to overcome an August primary challenge to face Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November.
The Republican chase to be Minnesota Sen. Al Franken’s fall challenger is reaching a crucial point in Rochester. Delegates to the state GOP convention will vote to endorse a candidate.
Minnesota lawmakers are gone from the Capitol after ending the 2014 session on Friday night. It was an unusually short and productive session. Included on the completed list is the bill to legalize medical marijuana, which became among the most publicly visible — and contentious — issues of the year.
There was something a little different going on at the State Capitol Tuesday: A major bill that everyone appears to agree on. It means a second round of tax cuts could be heading your way. State lawmakers already passed income tax relief on the way to hundreds of thousands of middle income Minnesotans. Now, homeowners and renters are getting a break.
President Obama will be in Minneapolis next month to raise money for House Democrats. This will be one of more than 20 fundraisers Obama has committed to hold for Democrats ahead of the November elections.
When Tina Smith arrived at an eat-in bakery recently as an ambassador of Gov. Mark Dayton’s re-election campaign, there wasn’t much mystery about the allegiance of her assembled audience. A couple dozen tried-and-true Democrats who huddled around Smith were anxious to meet the governor’s new running mate, and she was just as eager to deliver an early call to action.
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.