An attempt to dismantle the Minnesota health insurance exchange failed to get enough votes at the State Capitol Friday. The Democratic-led Minnesota Senate defeated the attempt by Republicans to get rid of MNsure via a budget bill.
Minnesota senators have turned back a measure that would have led to twice yearly inspections and $10,200 licensing fees for clinics that provide 10 or more abortions per month. Friday’s 32-29 vote establishes a chamber position as senators head into budget negotiations with the Republican-led House.
The Minnesota House and Senate went their separate ways Wednesday with expansive bills covering economic development, energy regulation and broadband Internet access programs, offering a glimpse of the gulf they’ll have to bridge on those items and the broader budget over the final weeks of the session.
Senate lawmakers are leaving no room for debate: There should be no state money for a new professional soccer stadium. Minnesota’s Senate overwhelmingly voted Monday to ban any state funds from being used to build a Major League Soccer Stadium.
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.
Supporters of Sunday liquor store sales can put a cork in it for now. The Minnesota Senate Thursday killed an effort to repeal a decades-long ban on Sunday sales at liquor stores. Currently, Minnesota liquor stores are open Monday through Saturday, but not Sunday.
Just one day after Gov. Mark Dayton visited a St. Paul pre-kindergarten class, his fellow Democrats passed a bill with only a fraction of the funding he wants to send every 4 year old in Minnesota to school for free.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.