Pat Kessler

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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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Dayton Pushes Major Spending Programs In Speech

On Thursday night, Gov. Mark Dayton is slated to deliver his annual State of the State address, the fifth speech of its kind for the two-term Democratic governor.

04/09/2015

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Minn. East African Leaders Call For MSP Airport Wage Increase

Minnesota’s East African leaders are calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage at the airport. That’s nearly double the state’s current minimum wage of $8 an hour. A new employment report shows thousands of East Africans working at the airport are earning poverty-level wages.

04/08/2015

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Dayton Faces Obstacles In Push For Construction Finance Plan

As Minnesota lawmakers return to St. Paul, Gov. Mark Dayton is delivering them a list public works construction projects that would require state borrowing.

04/07/2015

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Reality Check: Major League Soccer & Public Stadium Funding

Minnesota lawmakers are showing a deep reluctance to wade into another stadium debate at the Capitol. That’s after Major League Soccer awarded a professional franchise to a group of Minnesota investors, who may ask for public stadium funding — the same kind of funding every other professional sports team got.

04/01/2015

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Dayton Calls For Statewide Plan To Synchronize Traffic Lights

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is asking state lawmakers to fund a statewide plan to synchronize traffic lights to ease congestion. Twin Cities motorists spend 63 hours a year sitting in traffic, according to a recent study of traffic congestion, among the worst in the country.

03/31/2015

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State Looking To Crack Down On Tax Suppressing ‘Zappers’

A high-tech device available online is said to be cheating the state out of tens of millions of dollars every year.

03/30/2015

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Costs Of Major Minnesota Capitol Renovation Creeping Up

A major renovation of the state Capitol is threatening to run $30 million over budget, state officials advised lawmakers Friday. Documents released to a commission overseeing the overhaul show the extra costs stem from water damage repairs, security improvements and other costs. Those overruns would increase the total cost by about 10 percent, to more than $300 million.

03/27/2015

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Dayton, Lawmakers Say No Public Money Should Go Toward Soccer Stadium

One day after Major League Soccer awarded a new franchise to Minnesota, the governor said the owners should not expect public financing for a new stadium.

03/26/2015

Brew, Bottles, Booze, Alcohol,

The Sunday Liquor Sales Ban Won’t Be Lifted This Year

Supporters of legalizing Sunday liquor store sales in Minnesota may have to put a cork in it this year.

03/25/2015

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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

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

Gov. Mark Dayton says he considers a $7 billion Republican plan for road construction a step forward in terms of scope, but he’s less enthusiastic about how it would be paid for. Dayton reacted Monday to the GOP’s legislative alternative to his multi-billion dollar transportation proposal.

03/23/2015

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2 Bills To Fix MNsure Pass Capitol Committees

Minnesota’s health care exchange, MNsure, is under fire at the Capitol. Two committees approved bills on Wednesday that make drastic changes to MNsure, including abolishing the health care exchange completely.

03/18/2015

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Dayton Ups Recommendations For Tax Relief, School Spending

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton proposed spending nearly all of the state’s $1.9 billion dollar budget surplus on Tuesday. Gov. Dayton outlined a series of new spending programs on children, education and families.

03/17/2015

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Minn. Lawmakers Debate Regulations For Police Body Cameras

Minnesota lawmakers are struggling to regulate new technology allowing police to wear body cameras and record everyday contacts with the public. The use of body cams is growing rapidly on police forces across the country, including Minnesota. It’s raising questions about when, and how, they can be used.

03/13/2015

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Gov. Dayton Responds To Email Criticism

Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t use a state government email account. He uses his personal AOL account only for public, political and personal business. “It’s been simpler for 15 years to just be able to do it straightforward. I pay the cost and there’s no question about whether I’m using government property for personal or political purpose.

03/12/2015

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Patient’s Nurse Attack Leads To Legislation At Capitol

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office says no charges will be filed against police who struggled with a hospital patient who died after he attacked nurses in November.

03/11/2015

(credit: Mark Dayton for a Better Minnesota)

Gov. Dayton Uses Personal Email For Work

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has never used a state government email account provided to all state employees. He uses only one address — a personal account on AOL.com. In fact, it’s the same AOL account he set up 15 years ago.

03/11/2015

(credit: Minnesota legislature)

MN GOP Rolls Out Surplus Refund Ad Campaign

A new state Republican Party television ad is advocating a full return of Minnesota’s $1.87 billion projected surplus to taxpayers, which is more than majority House Republicans have embraced. Party Chairman Keith Downey framed the “give it all back” rallying cry as a starting point.

03/10/2015

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