Getting caught texting while driving could carry a steeper fine. Entrance fees at Minnesota state parks would rise slightly to pay for upkeep. Meat, poultry, canning and other food-production plants would be more likely to come under inspection thanks to beefed-up budgets.
The Metropolitan Council says that in 2014 Metro Transit buses and trains had the highest ridership tally in more than 30 years.
Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill to help rebuild Minnesota roads and restore lands hit by flooding last June. Dayton signed the bill Tuesday. The bill provides $17.3 million in state aid, including $11.8 million for flood and disaster relief.
Minnesota Republicans say Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed $42 billion budget is too large. House Speaker Kurt Daudt declined Tuesday to put a number on how much smaller the state’s two-year budget should be.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal includes almost $10 million to replace two planes used for state employee travel.
A $1 billion surplus sounds like plenty for Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers to spread around for new education initiatives, tax cuts and road and bridge improvements.
Quickly adopted tax legislation that provides breaks to tens of thousands of Minnesota taxpayers is now law. Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Saturday when it landed on his desk. Lawmakers gave it final approval late last week.
Abortion opponents say a new Republican majority in the Minnesota House could help them out this year. They’re undeterred by a governor who says he doesn’t see himself signing any new abortion restrictions. Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life has three legislative priorities this year.
Minnesota lawmakers are outlining their proposals to change the state’s child protection system. Four legislators were rolling out a plan Wednesday. They serve on a task force Gov. Mark Dayton created after media reports of bureaucratic faults in the death of a 4-year-old boy.
Representatives of Minnesota’s child care industry say a push to fund all-day preschool will make their services more expensive. Senate Democrats want to set aside money for statewide preschool programs starting with the 2015 school year.
Minnesota is in search of a new government executive to recruit other executives.
Gov. Mark Dayton is trying to make the state’s workforce more diverse. The state’s new Diversity and Inclusion Council aims to better recruit and retain employees from diverse backgrounds. The governor signed an executive order Tuesday creating the council. Dayton’s administration has also hired a full-time recruiter dedicated to the task.
Gov. Mark Dayton will seek approval for an expanded child care tax credit that would extend the benefit to 92,000 more Minnesota families.
Minnesota lawmakers are looking to spend $29 million to cover cost overruns at state agencies.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he wants to borrow $850 million this year for public construction projects. Minnesota lawmakers generally pass bonding bills in even-numbered years. But the Democratic governor says he plans to introduce an $850 million bonding bill proposal next month.
Gov. Mark Dayton is calling on an experienced transit official and a political ally to lead the Metropolitan Council. Current council member Adam Duininck will replace outgoing Chairwoman Sue Haigh. Duininck has served on the board since 2011.
A Democratic state senator will buck her party’s historical alliance with the Minnesota teachers union and push to drop seniority as the main determinant in teacher layoffs. Sen. Terri Bonoff will formally introduce a bill aimed at the “last in, first out” layoff system common across Minnesota on Thursday.
A chief architect of the state’s health insurance exchange is moving to dismantle its board, a major change to MNsure oversight that may give Democrats a path to head off larger changes that Republicans want. MNsure is currently a quasi-private entity governed by an independent seven-member board that controls the exchange’s budget.
Minnesota lawmakers are caught in a dust-up over office space at the State Capitol, and it’s threatening to delay the massive Capitol restoration now underway. The three-year, $272 million project is on time and on budget. But the tenants in the new building — including the governor, the Senate, the House and the attorney general — cannot come to agreement over how much space they will control.
When Minnesota lawmakers returned to the State Capitol after the bruising 2014 election campaign, Tina Smith was outside their offices to greet them.
Gov. Mark Dayton took his second oath into office on Monday, but he celebrated his second term in style Saturday night. Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith hosted the North Star Ball at the St. Paul Union Depot. The event was open to the public, and included music, food and mingling.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says high winds and extreme cold will make travel risky in parts of Minnesota. Officials are urging no unnecessary travel in south-central and southwestern Minnesota Tuesday night.
As congressional lawmakers return to Washington, President Barack Obama is focusing his attention on the nation’s governors. Obama is meeting Tuesday with members of the National Governors Association executive committee. The president says governors don’t have the luxury to operate “based on ideology” because their constituents expect them to get things done.
Minnesota lawmakers are returning to action in a session where they’ll have to navigate a new political dynamic and widespread Capitol construction. The five-month session starts at noon Tuesday. It’s when Republicans formally regain House control.
An altered power structure, new faces, old fights and an unrecognizable Capitol building will shape the Legislature’s 2015 session.