Pat Kessler

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Where Will Legislators Meet During A Special Session?

Minnesota has had 45 special sessions the last 110 years. But it’s never had a problem like this — there is no place to meet. Workers are emptying the State Capitol of all its contents, preparing for the most intense, complex restoration the building has ever had. And lawmakers are looking for a new special session home.

05/21/2015

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Special Session’s Agenda Will Go Beyond Education

The Democratic governor on Wednesday ramped up pressure on lawmakers to include funding for his No. 1 priority: a statewide pre-kindergarten program. He’ll meet as early as next Tuesday with the Republican House Speaker to hammer out the agenda for the special session.

05/20/2015

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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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Dayton Rejects Education Bill; Special Session Ahead

On Tuesday Gov. Mark Dayton made good on his threat to take down the $17 billion education bill. It forces a special session, but Dayton said he won’t call one until Republicans give him the pre-kindergarten programs he wants.

05/19/2015

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2015 Session: What Was Accomplished, And What Wasn’t

Minnesota legislators scrambled to work out a completed budget before the stroke of midnight, but the 2015 legislative session ended in chaos. Lawmakers managed to pass a $42 billion, two-year spending plan, but the education bill in that budget does not include pre-K funding.

05/19/2015

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Lawmakers Working Around The Clock To Reach Budget Deal

Just a little more than 24 hours before state lawmakers are supposed to finish their business — it looks like they may need overtime. Gov. Mark Dayton said Sunday he’ll veto a major education spending bill because it does not include his No. 1 priority.

05/17/2015

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WCCO Investigates DHS Court Monitor’s $1M Bill To Minn. Taxpayers

Federal Judge Donovan Frank appointed Court Monitor David Ferleger to make sure Minnesota follows orders to fix serious abuses of disabled patients. And he acts as a court-appointed consultant, making sure the state keeps a promise to reform Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program.

05/14/2015

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Long Talks In Private, Silence In Public Feed Budget Hopes

Discussions over how to spend $40 billion-plus of Minnesota taxpayer money have reached a sensitive phase where negotiators are keeping mum about the headway they’re making. With less than a week to get an on-time budget passed, leading House Republicans and Senate Democrats were expected back at Gov. Mark Dayton’s official residence Wednesday for a fresh round of talks.

05/13/2015

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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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Reality Check: Who Pays Estate Taxes?

Minnesotans are like everyone else when it comes to the end of our lives. But unlike 31 other states, some of us pay estate taxes after we’re gone… and it’s not popular.

05/08/2015

Sen. Paul Gazelka - Author Of 'Religious Freedom Bill'

Senator’s Bill Allows Business Owners ‘Of Faith’ To Deny Gay Couples Wedding Services

It was against Minnesota law to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples even before Minnesota legalized gay marriage in 2013. But a Republican State Senator says businesses should not be forced to provide commercial service if it violates their religious beliefs.

05/07/2015

(credit: Curt Benson)

Latest Train Derailment Has Minn. Lawmakers Looking At Prevention

The train derailment and fire Wednesday, which forced the evacuation of a nearby small town, was the fifth this year involving North Dakota trains.

05/06/2015

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Minnesota Bids For 2020 College Football Championship Game

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and state business Tuesday launched an official bid Tuesday for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship game. It would be played at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium under construction in Minneapolis, which is already hosting the 2018 Super Bowl and the 2019 Final Four.

05/05/2015

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More Executive Turnover At MNsure As Chief Plans To Resign

MNsure’s chief executive is resigning to take another job, the health insurance exchange confirmed Monday, paving the way for a third leadership shakeup at the beleaguered agency in less than two years.

05/04/2015

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Legislators Prepare For Showdown Over Taxes

The stage is set for a tax showdown at the state Capitol.

Republicans in the Minnesota House passed a sweeping $2 billion tax relief plan on Wednesday that they say is sharply focused on middle class taxpayers.

04/29/2015

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Minnesota House Defeats Sunday Liquor Sales In Close Vote

It was last call Tuesday at the Minnesota State Capitol for Sunday liquor store sales. The Minnesota House defeated Sunday sales, shutting down the effort for another year. The Senate defeated a similar measure two weeks ago.

04/28/2015

Gas Prices

Senate Passes Gas Tax Increase To Fund Road, Bridge Repairs

State officials say about half of Minnesota roads and bridges are more than 40 years old, nearing the end of their useful lives.

04/27/2015

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Republicans Debating $67M Cut From State Operations

The Minnesota House is debating a Republican bill to put the brakes on spending for state government operations.

04/24/2015

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Wis. Gov. Scott Walker Makes Unannounced Visit To Minn. Capitol

Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker spent Thursday in his neighboring state. The potential Republican presidential candidate had three private events, including an unannounced visit to the State Capitol for a meeting with Republican state lawmakers.

04/23/2015

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House Republicans Unveil Tax Relief Plan

Republicans in the state House unveiled a sweeping tax relief package Monday they hope will mean lower taxes for more than 2 million Minnesotans.

04/20/2015

Brew, Bottles, Booze, Alcohol,

Minnesota Senate Defeats Bid To Open Up Sunday Liquor Sales

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.

04/16/2015

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Senate DFL Doesn’t Go As Far As Dayton On Preschool Spending

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.

04/15/2015

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Gov. Dayton, Republicans At Odds Over Pre-K Programs

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton dropped in on the kids at Expo Elementary School in St. Paul Tuesday, where he said he wants Minnesota to lead the nation in Pre-K for every family.

04/14/2015

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Will Lawmakers Warm To Soccer Stadium Funding?

There’s a possible climate change at the Minnesota State Capitol. Top lawmakers will meet next week with the owners of Minnesota’s new Major League Soccer franchise to discuss public funding for a stadium in Minneapolis.

04/10/2015

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