Starting Monday, Minnesota’s tax on tobacco is the sixth-highest in the country. The tax just jumped to $2.83 from $1.60, making the average pack of cigarettes in Minnesota now $7.51. Lawmakers who upped the tax said they did it not only to raise money, but to get people to quit.
Pressure is building for thousands of college students who could soon be paying more for school loans — a lot more, if Congress doesn’t act soon.
A Minnesota group that formed to defeat a gay marriage ban, and successfully lobby for legalizing same-sex marriage, is taking another political step today: Defending lawmakers who voted yes on gay marriage.
There was a lot of debate at the Capitol this year about pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers. But a WCCO investigation found soaring salaries are actually going to state employees who work as staff members.
Minnesota state lawmakers promised when the legislative session began that their top priority was setting a new state budget. To that end, they produced a $38.3 billion two-year spending plan that hikes taxes on top income earners and on cigarettes, and distributes hefty spending increases to public schools, freezes tuition at state colleges and steers new money to job-creation programs.
Top Minnesota lawmakers purposely delayed the start of a new sales tax on warehousing services until next April in case they need to revise or undo it before then. The storage service tax, which doesn’t apply to mini-storage rentals, became a point of dispute.
The final pieces of Minnesota’s next two-year, $38 billion budget were falling into place Sunday as state lawmakers clocked long hours and held a succession of late-night debates at the Capitol.
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.
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.
On Wednesday, lawmakers who took a risk by supporting the bill are getting some political help. A political action committee has formed just for them, as lawmakers who voted yes might need help to get re-elected — some admitted the vote might have hurt them back home.
Members of the Minnesota Senate will decide whether to require drug tests for lawmakers to qualify for their pay and benefits.
Minnesota’s House and Senate are busy passing a series of bills funding state agencies as lawmakers set the stage for end-of-session budget talks.
There’s a fight over the money troubles surrounding the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, that’s supposed to cost about $975 million.
Pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers won approval Tuesday from the state Senate, but the plan to boost salaries of the governor, Legislature, agency commissioners and other elected officials faces a taller climb in the state House.