Minnesota Senate

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Senate Democrats Stress Education, Reserves In Budget Plan

Minnesota Senate Democrats produced a two-year budget outline Friday that would commit $555 million more for education programs and sock $250 million extra into state reserves, a framework that lands them between the ambitions of Gov. Mark Dayton and majority House Republicans.

03/27/2015

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House Passes Bill Allowing ‘Wage Freeze’ For Workers With Tips

Lawmakers worked late into the night Monday to pass a bill that would keep some Minnesota workers from getting a pay raise this summer. Just before midnight Monday, the Republican-led House passed legislation that let employees pay a minimum wage of $8 an hour to workers who get more than $4 per hour in tips.

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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State Bills Would Limit Access To Officer Body Camera Videos

State legislators are pushing to make it much harder to release police officer body camera videos, undermining their promise as a tool people can use to hold law enforcement accountable. Lawmakers in at least 15 states have introduced bills to exempt video recordings of police encounters with citizens from state public records laws, or to limit what can be made public.

03/20/2015

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Education Advocates Duel Over Teacher Layoff Bills

A move to minimize the role of seniority in teacher layoff decisions continued to draw heavy debate in its first Senate test. House Republicans and at least one Democratic senator want evaluations to play a role in the decision to lay off educators when school budgets are tight.

03/12/2015

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Senate OKs 8 Dayton Appointees, Leaves Big Names For Later

A handful of Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet appointees are officially on the job. The state Senate on Thursday quickly approved eight commissioners on Thursday

03/05/2015

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Senate Republicans Outbid Governor In Education Wish List

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate want to spend more money on education than the state’s Democratic governor does. Sen. Sean Nienow says the Republican proposal would total around $450 million in extra school funding over the next two years.

02/24/2015

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Whist Player Behind Push To Change Minnesota Gambling Law

When Cal Stueve’s first-grade teacher asked him if he could count, he started at “two” and ended with “ace.” Stueve hasn’t given up his love for playing cards in the five decades since. He and his friends get together at least three times a week for whist, a four-player game popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. But Minnesota gambling laws have stalled his vision for a bigger tournament.

02/20/2015

Voter Turnout

Bid To Open Polling Places Sooner Advances But Has Big Climb

Minnesota’s first big run with no-excuse absentee voting has some lawmakers setting their sights on a more-expansive form of early balloting for future elections. Legislation moving in the Minnesota Senate would establish a 15-day early voting window before an election when polling places would be open, including on those Saturdays.

02/20/2015

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On Body Cameras, Lawmakers Weigh Privacy Versus Transparency

A debate over police body cameras is stirring a call to action by a group that previously shut down Minnesota freeways while protesting law enforcement tactics. The Senate Judiciary Committee was considering the body camera legislation Thursday.

02/19/2015

Minnesota senate chambers. (credit: CBS)

Rural Senate DFLers: Greater MN Workforce Needs Cash Boost

Rural Democrats in the Minnesota Senate want a big piece of the state’s projected $1 billion budget surplus to solve workforce issues in their communities.

02/18/2015

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Dayton Cries Foul On Move To Delay Commissioner Raises

Gov. Mark Dayton is objecting to the state Senate’s vote to delay hefty raises for members of the governor’s cabinet. The Senate voted 63-2 Thursday to suspend the pay hikes Dayton granted to commissioners last month.

02/12/2015

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Senator Gives Up Outside Job Despite Ruling In His Favor

A Minnesota state senator resigned Friday from an outside job leading a municipal association that lobbies at the Capitol, despite a ruling from ethics regulators that it wouldn’t constitute a conflict of interest.

02/06/2015

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Bill Pushes Courses Ahead Of Divorces When Children Involved

A proposal before Minnesota lawmakers would make it a requirement that parents with minor children take a marriage dissolution course before their divorce case could proceed. The bill being introduced Thursday in the Senate includes some good-cause waivers, such as not being able to afford the four-hour class.

02/05/2015

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Senate Dems Expand Ed Focus To Counselors, Dual Credit

Democrats in the Minnesota Senate are expanding their focus on education. They want to increase school funding for counselors and programs that let high school students earn college credit.

02/04/2015

pre-K, school generic

Child Care Industry Cool To Free Preschool Push

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.

01/21/2015

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Office Space Disputes Threaten Capitol Renovation

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.

01/14/2015

Capitol Restoration 1-14-15

Minnesota Officials Consider Taking 2016 Session Off-Site

The ambitious idea of Minnesota lawmakers skipping next year’s session to avoid the Capitol construction has morphed into an alternative plan. Now senior legislators and state officials are taking a hard look at moving the Legislature’s session off-site.

01/14/2015

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Tax Bill Matching Up Minnesota, Federal Code Steams Ahead

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.

01/13/2015

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GOP Takes Control Of Minnesota House

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.

11/04/2014

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McFadden Releases Plan For Legislative Action

Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden is making several promises for legislative action if he defeats Sen. Al Franken. McFadden vows to help write a balanced budget amendment — and a bill that would halt lawmaker pay if Congress doesn’t pass a budget — within his first 100 days in office.

10/08/2014

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Franken More Flush Than McFadden For Final Month

With less than a month before Election Day, Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden has less than $1 million banked to oust Sen. Al Franken. McFadden’s campaign says he raised more than $2 million in the three-month period ending in September. The total announced Tuesday is his largest during a fundraising quarter.

10/07/2014

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Abeler Says He’ll Take Weekend To Decide On Senate

State Rep. Jim Abeler says he’ll take the weekend to decide whether to press forward in the Minnesota Senate race or bow out. Abeler left a primary campaign on the table. But he says Mike McFadden’s endorsement win “raises the bar” and would complicate a bid. Filing for the office closes Tuesday.

05/31/2014

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Minnesota Senate Backs $1B For Building Projects

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.

05/16/2014

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Minnesota Lawmakers Strike Medical Marijuana Deal

Minnesota lawmakers have a deal on a medical marijuana bill that would set up eight distribution sites and allow qualified patients to access the drug in oil, pill and vapor form. The agreement announced Thursday was crafted to suit concerns of Gov. Mark Dayton, who backs it.

05/15/2014

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