DFLers in the Minnesota House have elected Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis as their new minority leader. Thissen had been House speaker. But with Republicans winning control of the Minnesota House in Tuesday’s elections, Democrats are returning to minority status in that chamber.
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.
Minnesota House Republicans will come into next year’s legislative session with a majority and a tiny bit of breathing room.
Republicans have grabbed control of the Minnesota House and broken up the Democrats’ short run of one-party rule at the Capitol. House Speaker Paul Thissen conceded early Wednesday that Democrats had lost control of the chamber.
Election Day arrived in Minnesota with Democrats feeling good about sweeping the biggest races in the state — for governor and U.S. Senate — and perhaps all of the statewide offices. But the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party was fighting a rear-guard action to hang on to the Minnesota House, with plenty of incumbents at risk and Republicans needing just seven seats to bring back divided government for the first time since 2012.
Control of the Minnesota House hinged Tuesday on fewer than two dozen races where loads of money fed fierce contests between the Democrats in charge and the Republicans looking to take over.
Democrats seeking to maintain control of Minnesota’s House of Representatives have a hefty cash advantage heading into Election Day. Fundraising reports Tuesday show House Democrats’ campaign arm has more than $1 million on hand.
Gov. Mark Dayton rolled into this city’s old-brick main drag this week on a mission to save Rep. Shannon Savick, eagerly shaking hands and running down reasons voters should send her back to St. Paul for a second term. On Friday, Dayton was off to St. Cloud to help Rep. Zachary Dorholt, another freshman in a tough race.
A Minnesota House candidate is being sued in civil court after cutting his neighbor’s garage in half in a property dispute. A lawsuit filed by Mark Besemann, of Iron, against Roger Weber, a Nashwauk Republican, asks for $20,000 in damages to the garage and $20,000 in punitive damages.
State Rep. Jenifer Loon, the second-ranking Republican in the Minnesota House, has survived a primary challenge brought on by her vote in favor of gay marriage.
Republican Rep. Bob Barrett provided the state Supreme Court with a copy of his driver’s license and other evidence Thursday that he said proves he lives in his central Minnesota district.
The Minnesota Senate has passed an $846 million borrowing package for construction projects and sent it to Gov. Mark Dayton for his signature, finishing a crucial piece of business as lawmakers work toward adjournment. The bonding bill vote was 47-17, easily exceeding the required three-fifths majority.
A high-stakes gamble is shaping up over construction borrowing in the Minnesota House. Majority Democrats plan to put an $846 million public works plan up for a vote Thursday despite the lack of clear assurances enough Republican votes will be there. The bill requires 81 votes — 60 percent — to pass.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has sent a letter to House and Senate sponsors of their respective medical-marijuana bills. Dayton said he would sign the bill into law if legislators adopted the House version as is. Dayton sent the letter to Minneapolis Democratic Sen. Scott Dibble and Hibbing Democratic Rep. Carly Melin soon after the House passed a medical-marijuana proposal on Friday.
The Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed a bill on Friday that would legalize marijuana use for medical reasons but under tighter restrictions than a bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week.
A bill with tight limits on use of marijuana as medicine has reached a pivotal Minnesota House vote. Days after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a more-expansive version, House lawmakers planned to debate its own proposal and almost 50 potential amendments Friday.
The Minnesota House took action today to slow down a surge in smart phone thefts: requiring new smart phones to include a “kill switch.” Lawmakers say smart phone thefts make up 40 percent of the robberies in Minneapolis and St Paul, and 62% of robberies at the University of Minnesota.
The Minnesota on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill to try to slow down a surge in state heroin deaths on Wednesday. The bill, called “Steve’s Law,” makes it easier to call 911 without penalty if there’s a heroin overdose. And it distributes a heroin antidote for overdose emergencies.
The day of reckoning over the Minnesota Lottery’s foray into online gaming has been put off. House members voiced disapproval Tuesday over Internet and gas pump gambling options the lottery introduced.
The Minnesota Senate’s proposal for publicly backed construction projects totals more than $1.1 billion in combined borrowing and cash-financed projects. The proposal released Monday calls for borrowing of $846 million and about $200 million in cash from the state’s surplus.
Bills legalizing medical marijuana could be voted on in both the Minnesota House and Senate this week, but the House and Senate versions are significantly different. That has led to disagreements among supporters that some say threaten passage of any type of bill.
The Minnesota House has passed a bill allowing the state to keep newborn blood samples indefinitely unless a parent refuses. The legislation approved 69-58 on Thursday returns to the Senate because the House version differs due to an amendment banning sale of the samples and related test results and data.
A group that’s fighting to stop Minnesota’s wolf hunt is howling mad after running afoul of the spam filter on the state House email system. Howling for Wolves founder Maureen Hackett says tens of thousands of emails sent via the group’s website to Minnesota House members were blocked since August, blunting the momentum they were trying to build for suspending the state’s wolf hunting and trapping season.
The Minnesota House has passed a bill banning gun possession by people convicted of certain abuse crimes or subject to restraining orders. The bipartisan measure marks a rare instance where lawmakers appear ready to tighten gun restrictions.