Minnesota’s top two political leaders met face to face Thursday for the first time since the election. They’re pledging cooperation, not division. Minnesota’s top two political leaders met face to face Thursday for the first time since the election. They’re pledging cooperation, not division. Over a luncheon of pork loin and potatoes, the Republican Speaker and Democratic Governor met face to face at the official Residence.
The one-time car salesman from Crown became the GOP’s most powerful leader after taking Republicans from minority status to a 72-seat majority in the Minnesota House. Rep. Kurt Daudt, 41, becomes the second-most powerful politician in Minnesota, behind Gov. Mark Dayton. “It is the greatest honor of my life to be elected to be the next speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives,” Daudt said.
Minnesota voters gave Gov. Dayton a solid re-election victory. But unlike the last two years of Democratic dominance, Dayton’s fresh reality is a new Republican majority in the Minnesota House. “I’m proud to say that Democrats’ total control of state government in Minnesota is over,” said Rep. Kurt Daudt, the House minority leader. Exuberant Republicans will take back the House they lost just two years ago. That’s when they battled Gov. Dayton to a budget standoff, and a 17-day government shutdown — the longest in U.S. history.
There will be competition among Republicans for who leads the party’s new House majority. Minority Leader Kurt Daudt of Crown and former Majority Leader Matt Dean of Dellwood both say they’re running to be House speaker when the Legislature returns to action. They are asking for support from the 72-member caucus, which meets Friday to pick its leadership.
The party’s over for Minnesota Democrats. After two years of calling the shots in state government — a span in which they legalized gay marriage, raised the minimum wage and launched a state-run health exchange — their new reality is one of shared control with Republicans who gained a state House majority.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s willing to meet newly emboldened state House Republicans half way on key issues facing the state as long as they reciprocate.
Minnesota House Republicans will come into next year’s legislative session with a majority and a tiny bit of breathing room.
Election Day came five months early for seven incumbents in the Minnesota Legislature. Six Republicans and one Democrat didn’t attract any opponents by Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline. Barring a write-in effort or a shocking turn of events, they’ll be assured new two-year terms that begin in January.
As Minnesota lawmakers break from the Capitol for the campaign, they leave behind a tale of two sessions. Last year: tax increases to fix a broken budget. This year: tax breaks from a budget surplus.
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.
Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that aims to close the pay gap between men and women. Data from the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota show that the median full-time annual earnings of a woman in the state is about $10,000 less than a man’s.
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.
Democrats who lead the Minnesota Legislature left no doubt Wednesday that a minimum wage increase of some kind will prevail in the upcoming session.
The top Republican in the Minnesota House says he intends to stay in his leadership post and believes he properly handled an incident last September in Montana where a friend pulled out the lawmaker’s loaded handgun after a vehicle purchase went bad.
The top Republican in the Minnesota House was detained by Montana authorities last September when a deal to buy an antique truck soured and a friend accompanying him displayed the lawmaker’s gun, according to just-surfacing court records and a statement issued Friday. Rep. Kurt Daudt, the House minority leader, was briefly placed in handcuffs, and his friend was arrested and charged.