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For Senate Leader Bakk, Session’s End Exposes Divisions

All eyes heading into this year’s legislative session were on new House Speaker Kurt Daudt, under pressure to hold together 71 fellow Republicans back in power and eager to slash government spending.

05/22/2015

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Daudt: Dayton Should Apologize For Remark About GOP, Schools

House Speaker Kurt Daudt says Gov. Mark Dayton should apologize for saying some Republicans hate public schools.

05/20/2015

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Senate Passes Tax Plan It’ll Take To Negotiations With House

Minnesota’s Senate has adopted a tax plan that could put a dent in property taxes for homeowners, farmers and businesses — except for railroad companies.

05/04/2015

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Legislative Auditor To Examine State Teaching Board

Minnesota’s teaching board is getting a look from the state’s legislative auditor. The board handles appeals from would-be educators denied Minnesota teaching licenses. It’s come under scrutiny at the Capitol this year from Republicans and Democrats alike. Some lawmakers and advocates say the board’s policies keep qualified teachers out of classrooms.

05/01/2015

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GOP Senators Grill Commissioner Over MNsure, Nonprofit Woes

Senate Republicans are putting pressure on one of Gov. Mark Dayton’s commissioners. Mike Rothman has served as commissioner of the Department of Commerce since 2011.

04/30/2015

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House Passes Budget That Cuts MinnesotaCare

House Republicans put a health care program for tens of thousands of low-income Minnesotans on the chopping block as the centerpiece of a budget bill that aims to put up half of the $2 billion in tax relief GOP lawmakers hope to offer.

04/29/2015

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Health Care Debate Wades Into Abortion Restrictions

House Republicans are moving to license Minnesota abortion providers and ban taxpayer dollars for paying for the procedure. The Republican-controlled House added both provisions to a health care budget bill on the floor Tuesday night. A handful of Democrats joined Republicans to approve the changes.

04/28/2015

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MinnesotaCare’s Future At Stake In House GOP Budget

House Republicans are putting a health care program for tens of thousands of low-income Minnesotans on the chopping block.

04/28/2015

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Education Spending Bill Passes House, Heads To Senate

A highly contentious debate over education issues kept state lawmakers working through the weekend.

04/25/2015

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House GOP Finalizes Bid In Education Funding Debate

At a rally outside the capitol Saturday, activists say with a $2 billion surplus, now is the time to invest in education. Republicans want to use the surplus to lower taxes.

04/25/2015

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House GOP Finalizing Bid In Education Funding Debate

Republicans in the Minnesota House are firming up their stance on one of the session’s biggest issues: education. A floor session on the GOP’s education budget was expected to last hours Saturday. The House would spend about $157 million more on schools and families over the next two years. The bulk of that is in money districts can use however they like.

04/25/2015

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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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Minnesota House To Vote On GOP Funding Plan For Road Fixes

The Minnesota House was going on record about how to pour billions more into road and bridge construction. A Republican-crafted proposal to direct $7 billion to projects over the next decade was slated for a vote Tuesday. As drafted, it would redirect existing taxes on auto parts, vehicle leases and car rentals to construction and borrow billions more.

04/21/2015

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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

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Budget Bills Start Long Legislative Path In Senate

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.

04/20/2015

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Beneath Budget Dispute, A Tussle Over Regulatory Power

In their unfolding budget plan, Minnesota legislative Republicans are moving to strip powers from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, ranging from limiting his team’s authority to write regulatory rules to curbs on the administration’s staffing.

04/19/2015

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House GOP Plan Would Wipe Out Campaign Spending Limits

Minnesota House Republicans are proposing to significantly alter state campaign finance law as part of a budget plan. A component of the majority party’s budget plan released Tuesday would repeal Minnesota’s program that makes candidates eligible for campaign subsidies if they abide by spending limits.

04/14/2015

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House GOP Moves To Cut Met Council Chair’s Pay In Half

House Republicans are moving to cut the Metropolitan Council chairman’s salary in half, a top GOP lawmaker told The Associated Press, a jab at Gov. Mark Dayton over a pay increase they believe went beyond the terms of a deal on commissioner salaries.

04/14/2015

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GOP Launches Second Probe Of Democrat’s Role At Nonprofit

Senate Republicans are filing a second ethics complaint against a powerful Democrat stemming from his ties to an embattled nonprofit. Sen. Jeff Hayden served on the board of Community Action Minneapolis, which was found to have misspent $800,000 in taxpayer dollars.

04/10/2015

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Bid To Cut Local Government Aid Would Spare Rochester

Rochester would get a reprieve under a House Republican’s bill to cut state payments to Minnesota’s largest cities. GOP lawmakers have long taken issue with big local government aid to Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Rochester.

04/09/2015

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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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North Dakota Governor Wants Ban On Gay Discrimination

North Dakota’s Republican governor on Thursday said state lawmakers missed an opportunity to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination when they failed for the third time in six years to pass a measure that would prohibit bias in housing and employment based on sexual orientation.

04/03/2015

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Michele Bachmann Compares Obama To Germanwings Pilot On Facebook

Michele Bachmann did not seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, but she is still offering her thoughts on the political scene via her verified Facebook account. One of her most recent posts compared the performance of President Barack Obama to that of the pilot who authorities believe deliberately crashed Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps last week.

04/01/2015

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Senate Democrats Stress Education, Reserves In Budget Plan

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.

03/27/2015

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