Gov. Mark Dayton issued an open letter to the Minnesota Legislature on Monday addressing his decision to give his cabinet members pay raises. Dayton said that it is “imperative to separate disagreements about the wisdom or necessity of my decisions — and they were my decisions — from questions about their legality.”
Majority Republicans in the Minnesota House say they will introduce legislation to take away the Governor’s authority to raise the pay of his cabinet.
To the Minnesota House victors went the campaign money spoils. An analysis by The Associated Press of newly filed campaign finance reports shows how Republicans turned their House takeover into a moneymaker.
Minnesota lawmakers are wading into a debate over access to footage caught on police body cameras. A law enforcement-backed proposal to put strict limits on who sees body camera videos was introduced Thursday in the House. A Senate version isn’t far behind.
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.
A flood aid package meant to assist more than half of Minnesota counties hit with severe flooding cleared the Minnesota Senate on Thursday.
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.
Minnesota lawmakers moved Tuesday to set up swift approval of tax deductions and credits affecting thousands of people and business owners getting ready to file 2014 forms. Tax committees in the House and Senate advanced legislation that lines Minnesota’s code up with some recent federal changes. Final votes in each chamber could come later this week, sending the bill to a supportive Gov. Mark Dayton before personal income tax filing season begins next week.
Minnesota’s state band rehearses in a basement cafeteria, stores its music in a hard-to-reach closet and can’t afford a marimba. But it could get some official appreciation if a pair of state House bills quietly introduced Thursday become law. A group of DFL lawmakers wants to throw the band $50,000 over the next two years and guarantee free rehearsal space.
Keith Downey says he plans to run for re-election as chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota.
Free vocational college tuition for Minnesota high school graduates? Student-loan forgiveness for working in specialized fields or rural communities? Tax breaks for the mining and timber industries? A prohibition on performance bonuses for Minnesota health exchange executives?
An interesting new idea from some Minnesota lawmakers this year: Cancel next year’s legislative session. The “No Session 2016″ movement began the first hour of the first day of the 2015 legislature, when top leaders revealed that they’re talking about it.
A wave of senior citizens and slow growth in Minnesota’s working-age population will force the state to focus on improving education and productivity in its workforce in the coming decades, state experts told lawmakers Wednesday. More collaboration between businesses and the public sector, especially in rural Minnesota, could help train and retain young workers to thrive in an aging state, speakers at the One Minnesota legislative conference said.
A retired English teacher will help set Republicans’ agenda for making changes to the state’s schools. Rep. Sondra Erickson, a Princeton Republican who retired from teaching in 2000, said school districts have been dizzied by new rules and policies after three elections that shifted control of state government.
The next chief sergeant-at-arms of the Minnesota House will have something most recent predecessors lacked: A law enforcement background.
A Minnesota House staff member who began as a chamber page 36 years ago is on the verge of becoming its chief clerk.
One of the top environmental issues in the legislative session that opens in January could be how best to protect Minnesota’s wetlands. The GOP takeover of the Minnesota House has changed the landscape for the environment and natural resources at the Capitol. Republican leaders have given a strong signal of their priorities by restructuring the committees that will deal with those issues.
Rep. Kurt Daudt was in the WCCO-TV studio to talk with Esme Murphy on Sunday morning.
The fall election produced Minnesota’s lowest voter turnout since 1986, according to results certified Tuesday. Final figures for this November’s election put participation at 50.5 percent of eligible voters. That’s the smallest percentage since 48 percent voted in the 1986 election.
uesday’s election exposed electoral challenges for both Democrats and Republicans moving forward. Democrats suffered all but one of their majority-costing statehouse losses in districts outside the Twin Cities and their suburbs.
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.
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.