Minnesota Legislature

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Gov. Dayton Not Sorry For Saying GOP Hates Public Schools

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday he will not apologize for comments he made about Republicans after lawmakers did not pass his top priority: statewide pre-kindergarten programs. Dayton plans to veto the $17 billion education bill later this week and call a special session of the legislature to pass a new version instead.

05/20/2015

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Good Question: How Often Are There Special Sessions?

On Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton sent a veto letter to House Speaker Kurt Daudt for what the governor called an “insufficient” $17 billion education budget bill.

05/19/2015

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Lawmakers Adjourn; Dayton Veto Over Education Spending Looms

Minnesota’s Legislature finalized a two-year spending plan just before a midnight deadline struck, but they adjourned with a near-certain special session looming to solve an education budget standoff with Gov. Mark Dayton.

05/19/2015

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Budget-Setting Session Reaches Deadline, But Show May Go On

A midnight deadline to adopt a new two-year budget bore down Monday on the Minnesota Legislature, which could see its stay in St. Paul extended by a rift over preschool.

05/18/2015

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Brewing Budget Deal Spares Health Program, Defers Tax Cuts

Minnesota’s legislative leaders have promised they’re making progress on a budget deal. Now they have something to show for it.

05/15/2015

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Small Slices Of Minnesota’s Budget Coming Together In Deal

Legislative leaders say they’re making slow but steady progress on hammering out a deal for the state’s next budget. Top House and Senate lawmakers were expected to resume private negotiations at Gov. Mark Dayton’s residence Thursday with the goal of passing a budget by Monday’s deadline. The two sides have met for hours every day this week but said little about the content of those talks.

05/14/2015

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Budget Negotiations At A Standstill On Taxes, Transportation

Minnesota budget negotiations entered a holding pattern Tuesday, with each side urging the other to take the first step to bridge an enormous divide over tax cuts and transportation funding that has narrowed little through days of private meetings.

05/12/2015

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In Session’s Final Push, Minnesota Budget Deal Still Elusive

Minnesota’s legislative session is moving into its final, frantic week with the full outline of a new state budget still a blur but some potential elements of an agreement coming into focus. The few people in on private negotiations are saying almost nothing, but the Capitol has turned into its usual hothouse of rumors and compromise scenarios.

05/09/2015

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In Tax Plans, Small Stuff Aims For Big Impact On Health

Some smaller measures in tax plans on the table in Minnesota’s budget discussion aim to make a big impact on public health and child safety. They won’t get the attention of business property tax breaks or across-the-board income exemptions causing clashes, but the measures stand a decent chance of happening.

05/04/2015

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Budget Bills Start Long Legislative Path In Senate

Pieces of Minnesota’s $40-billion budget are starting to move. The work starts first in the Senate Monday with bills that fund state agencies and Minnesota’s public universities and colleges.

04/20/2015

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Legalized Silencers, Other Gun Measures Head To House Floor

A handful of gun bills are ready for a final vote. The Minnesota House was expected to take up bills Thursday that would legalize gun silencers and remove a requirement that gun permit owners notify state officials before bringing a firearm onto Capitol grounds. Other measures were also set for a vote.

04/16/2015

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Light-Rail Fare Jumpers Could Face Crackdown

Twin Cities light-rail transit officials today defended themselves at the State Capitol against what some lawmakers say is an “epidemic” of fare jumpers.

04/13/2015

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Session 2015: Lawmakers Have Lots Left To Tackle After Break

The Legislature has reached its spring break before grinding its way to the May 18 mandatory adjournment. Once lawmakers return in early April they’ll concentrate on shaping a new two-year budget, but there’s much more hanging in the balance. Here’s a look at where many issues stand.

03/28/2015

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House Budget Calls For Tax Cuts, Slimming On Human Services

Minnesota’s top Republican leaders proposed Tuesday a budget that includes $2 billion in tax cuts.

03/24/2015

Public Transportation

Minnesota Republicans Stake Out $7B Plan For Roads, Bridges

Minnesota House and Senate Republicans are ready to release a transportation plan they’ll push as an alternative to a hefty proposal offered by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

03/23/2015

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Minimum Wage Debate Heats Up On House Floor

It’s time to talk about the minimum wage again. The Republican-controlled House was expected to take up a bill Monday afternoon that would allow employers to pay tipped staff $8 hourly if tips bring their pay above $12 an hour.

03/23/2015

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Minnesota State Parks Seek Fee Bump To Maintain Services

The Department of Natural Resources is asking the Minnesota Legislature to raise entrance fees at state parks so it can maintain services at existing levels. Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposes to bump the current $5 daily vehicle fee by $1 to $6, and the current 12-month $25 vehicle fee by $5 to $30.

03/20/2015

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Bill Allowing Gun Silencers Gathering Support At MN Capitol

A bill that would allow silencers on guns is gaining support at the State Capitol. Currently, the devices are banned in Minnesota, but the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee passed a measure legalizing them.

03/13/2015

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Legal Silencers, Other Expansions Stir Gun Debate Again

The prospect of legalizing silencers and removing disclosure to bring a firearm onto state Capitol grounds is heating up gun debate in Minnesota again. Gun rights advocates and gun control backers packed into a hearing room Thursday to testify on measures to expand firearm laws.

03/12/2015

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Dayton Calls For More Budget Specifics From House GOP

Gov. Mark Dayton says majority House Republicans are getting a “free ride” when it comes to the state’s budget planning. Speaker Kurt Daudt says the House GOP will devote at least half of the state’s $1.8 billion surplus to tax relief while also boosting spending for education and nursing homes. Other Republicans have called to return the entire surplus to taxpayers.

03/09/2015

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Gun Debate Primed To Heat Up Again At Legislature

Call it Gun Day at the Minnesota Legislature. A House panel is planning to discuss a handful of firearm-related proposals Thursday.

03/09/2015

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Lawmakers Want Crowdfunding Service For Entrepreneurs

Minnesota legislators want to set up an online service to link young businesses with capital. MNvest would work like the crowdfunding website Kickstarter. But instead of getting a CD or T-shirt for donating to a project, investors would own a piece of the company they support.

03/03/2015

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$1.87B Surplus Estimate Sets Debate Over Tax Cuts, Spending

Minnesota’s bank account is projected to run up a $1.87 billion surplus over the next two years, which will drive calls for new spending, tax cuts or most likely a mix. The Department of Minnesota Management and Budget provided the figure Friday in an updated economic forecast that shows stronger-than-expected growth projections, rising worker wages and surging consumer confidence.

02/27/2015

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Budget Debate To Heat Up As New Economic Report Sets Surplus

The budget-setting preseason at Minnesota’s Capitol is about to give way to the session’s full-blown debate, helped along by an economic forecast that guides tax-and-spending parameters. Friday’s release of the comprehensive report will determine whether Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature still have a projected $1 billion surplus at their disposal — or if it’s gone up or down since the last look in December.

02/25/2015

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With Handwritten Plea, 84-Year-Old Hunter Charms Lawmakers

Behind a bill to add a scant three lines to Minnesota’s hunting laws is a story of an aging man. George Krog served in the military, first in Cuba and then in the Philippines. He made a career out of working with steel, retired, paid his taxes and bought a deer hunting license every year. Now 84, Krog is afraid he won’t get a shot at a buck again.

02/07/2015

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