Pat Kessler

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Reality Check: Lobbyist Spending In Minnesota

Minnesota lobbyists spent $70 million last year to influence state decision makers, according to a new report from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. And so far in 2015, that trend is not slowing down.

07/14/2015

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Walker Reminds Voters Of Union Wins As He Enters 2016 Race

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared his candidacy for president on Monday, casting himself as a “fighter” who muscled through an aggressive conservative agenda in a state that typically supports Democrats.

07/13/2015

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Reality Check: Gov. Mark Dayton Faces Criticism For Cabinet Raises

DFL Governor Mark Dayton is not backing down from criticism over huge pay hikes he gave his Cabinet. He says Minnesota’s top officials make less than other states. The two-term Democratic Governor says Minnesota’s top officials are underpaid.

07/02/2015

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GOP Calls Dayton ‘Out Of Touch’ Following Cabinet Pay Hike

Gov. Mark Dayton was preparing to announce pay raises for his state agency commissioners as Republicans were warning exorbitant increases would become a campaign issue next year.

07/01/2015

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Minnesota Home Care Workers Getting A Pay Hike

Tens of thousands of home care workers in the state are getting a raise on Wednesday.

06/30/2015

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Gay Marriage Opponents Pushing For Religious Exemption Bill

Critics of last week’s Supreme Court ruling to legalize same-sex marriage say they’re not done fighting.

06/29/2015

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Minnesota Couples Celebrate Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

Tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Loring Park in Minneapolis this weekend to celebrate gay pride.

06/26/2015

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As SCOTUS Upholds Affordable Care Act, MN GOP Calls For MNsure’s Demise

The Supreme Court has upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. The justices said in a 6-3 ruling Thursday that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

06/25/2015

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Dayton Vows To Attend Hearing For Sex Offender Program

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday the state will appeal a federal court ruling declaring the state’s sex offender program unconstitutional.

06/24/2015

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MPCA Citizens’ Board Holds Last Meeting, Supporters Vow To Fight

Just two weeks after it was abolished by the Minnesota Legislature, an influential environmental citizen’s board held its last meeting on Tuesday.

06/23/2015

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Hillary Clinton Fundraising In Minneapolis Monday

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is in Minneapolis Monday night. It’s her first Minnesota visit since she declared her candidacy for 2016 last spring.

06/22/2015

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Reality Check: Minnesota’s Sex Offender Treatment Program

Minnesota’s sex offender treatment program is getting sharp scrutiny after a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. It turns out that Minnesota locks up more dangerous sex offenders than almost anywhere else.

06/18/2015

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Lawmakers Hold Dramatic Special Session

Minnesota lawmakers are holding a dramatic special legislative session Friday — three weeks after their regular session ended. Lawmakers are back in St. Paul to pass billions of dollars in budget bills to fund state government.

06/12/2015

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Discord Over Environment Bill Could Mean Trouble At Capitol

A shaky coalition of lawmakers that compiled a package of environmental and agricultural programs may not hold up in a coming special session, forcing Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders to seek enough support for a final piece of the state budget Thursday and pause their hopes for a Friday special session.

06/11/2015

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Former Treasurer: ‘It’s Wrong’ To Cut Auditor’s Office Duties

A former Minnesota State Treasurer said he supports efforts by State Auditor Rebecca Otto to push back against a new law that cuts some of the duties of her office.

06/10/2015

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Dayton Asks Lawmakers To Slow Down Auditor Changes

With thousands of state jobs in limbo, top lawmakers called it a week — with no deal to finish their work in a special session. Legislators now have just 25 days to reach a deal or parts of the government start shutting down on July 1.

06/05/2015

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Dayton To Stall Special Session Til Anti-State Auditor Law Repealed

Because of State Capitol construction disruption, the State Office Building will be home to the bare-bones special session. Preparations are underway to squeeze the House and Senate inside two small hearing rooms. But those details are looming large.

06/03/2015

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State Workers Get Layoff Notices As Shutdown Threat Looms

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt have agreed in principle to end the budget impasses that threatened to shut down the government.

06/01/2015

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Lawmakers Prepare For First Session Out Of Capitol Building Since 1881

Minnesota lawmakers will soon be meeting in special session, though Friday’s talks ended with no deal in place. It’s not clear whether they’ll plan to meet over the weekend to try to hammer out the details.

05/29/2015

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Daudt Visits Preschool To Highlight GOP Education Plan

Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt visited a private St. Paul learning center for preschoolers Thursday, highlighting the centerpiece of the GOP education plan: Early learning scholarships. New Horizon Academy is settled in a working class St. Paul neighborhood where many families struggle.

05/28/2015

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Dayton And Lawmakers Refocus Budget Fight On Education

Wednesday evening, Minnesota’s top lawmakers started a new round of private talks about holding a special session of the Minnesota legislature.

05/27/2015

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After Dayton Vetoes, State Leaders Start Search For Way Out

Minnesota’s governor says he’s prepared to call a special session just as soon as top lawmakers smooth out their differences.

05/26/2015

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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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