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Pat Kessler

(credit: Deb James)

Tourism Push Plays Up ‘Only In Minnesota’ Getaways

Say goodbye to “More to Explore.” Minnesota tourism promoters are ushering in a new slogan that focuses on “Only in Minnesota” experiences as part of their largest-ever advertising campaign.

04/17/2014

Minnesota senate chambers. (credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Lawmakers Getting Paid Over Spring Break?

Minnesota lawmakers haven’t had a pay hike since 1999. But they can boost their take-home pay with per diem — up to $76 per day in the Minnesota House, and up to $86 a day in the Minnesota Senate.

04/16/2014

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Reality Check: Minn. Remains A High Tax State

Other people might call April 15 “Tax Day,” but Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has another name for it.

04/15/2014

(credit: CBS)

Dayton Signs Minimum Wage Boost Into Law

Gov. Mark Dayton is capping a push to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage with a ceremony to sign the bill doing just that. Dayton planned to turn the bill into law Monday afternoon in the Capitol Rotunda.

04/14/2014

(credit: CBS)

It Might Be Easter Break, But Lawmakers Are Readying For Elections

Lawmakers entered a 10-day Easter/Passover break on Friday. Next week, House Democrats will hit the road to talk about what they’ve done so far, and Republicans will be sharpening their election year message.

04/11/2014

(credit: CBS)

Republican: Bullying Bill An ‘Attack on The Bible & Conservative Christians’

The Minnesota House was in an emotional debate Tuesday over a bullying bill that would toughen the state’s laws, following a rash of student suicides linked to bullying.

04/08/2014

(credit: CBS)

Lawmakers Reach Deal To Hike Minimum Wage To $9.50

Minnesota legislative leaders appear to have reached a deal to raise the state’s minimum wage. No details have been announced, but top lawmakers called a news conference for Monday morning to discuss an agreement.

04/07/2014

(credit: CBS)

House Dems Approve Scaled-Back Senate Building

Top Democrats in the State House Friday approved a scaled-back version of a major new office building next to the Capitol, dedicated to the Minnesota Senate. The building’s original design had a soaring glass front, with a fitness center and reflecting pool. The scaled back version is slightly more modest, but no less controversial.

04/04/2014

(credit: CBS)

Minn. Senate Passes Anti-Bullying Bill

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Thursday to prevent bullying in Minnesota schools. But even though lawmakers support the idea of the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, it is still among the most controversial bills of the year at the Capitol. Minnesota has been in the national spotlight because of a rash of students committing suicides because of bullying.

04/03/2014

(credit: CBS)

Advocates Of Medical Marijuana Continue To Ask Gov. To Reconsider

Advocates of medical marijuana aren’t giving up at the State Capitol, despite opposition from Gov. Mark Dayton. A bill to legalize medical marijuana is stalled at the legislature, but supporters — including mothers of sick children — are asking the governor to reconsider.

04/03/2014

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Reality Check: The Consequences Of Not Signing Up For MNsure

In Minnesota, at least one group opposed to Obamacare encouraged Minnesotans not to enroll and encouraged them to refuse to sign up on any website. Gov. Mark Dayton calls it inexplicable. “It’s been a barrage of criticism all the way. It’s been people cheering when it has problems. It’s been telling people not to enroll, which i think was very ill-advised,” Dayton said.

04/02/2014

Tax Forms

MN Revenue Department: File Your Taxes Now

Minnesota Department of Revenue officials have a message for taxpayers who haven’t filed their returns. The department says the new tax cuts are good to go, and taxpayers should file now. Those cuts were passed just a couple of weeks ago by lawmakers, and thousands of Minnesotans could benefit. A couple of weeks ago, the revenue department made a very unusual appeal, urging Minnesotans to wait to file their tax returns so it could re-calibrate its computers and re-write tax forms for the new cuts.

04/02/2014

(credit: CBS)

Final Tally On MNsure Signups: 169,000

A total of 169,251 Minnesota residents signed up for health insurance coverage by the end of the first open enrollment period, state officials said Tuesday, exceeding the goal set after the troubled launch of the website in October.

04/01/2014

(credit: CBS)

MNsure Making Big Enrollment Push Ahead Of Deadline

The new federal health care law says everyone must be signed up by midnight Monday, or face a penalty. In Minnesota, MNsure is moving quickly to enroll as many people as possible over the weekend. Already this week, MNsure ramped up recruiting at more than 1,000 signup events.

03/28/2014

(credit: Jupiter Images)

Revenue Dept. Highlights Tax Cuts, Says Wait Until April 3 To File

Minnesota tax officials are scrambling to put in place new tax cuts passed by the legislature just six days ago. In a rare move, they’re asking taxpayers who might qualify for tax cuts to wait until April 3 to file. The department needs until then to program the tax cuts into its computers and instruction forms.

03/27/2014

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