Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk
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.
Minnesota lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan to swap out executive branch fiscal umpires who price out bills with an agency internal to the Legislature. The drive to put the power in a legislative unit is being led by House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.
A move to minimize the role of seniority in teacher layoff decisions continued to draw heavy debate in its first Senate test. House Republicans and at least one Democratic senator want evaluations to play a role in the decision to lay off educators when school budgets are tight.
Last week’s confrontation over Minnesota agency commissioner pay gave way Monday to a calmer tone between two key Democrats in the middle of it, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.
A Minnesota House panel is considering temporarily changing state law to let bars stay open until 4 a.m. when the All-Star Game comes to town this July. The new closing time would pave the way for revelers in Hennepin County to celebrate America’s national pastime for two extra hours.
Proposed amendments to Minnesota’s Constitution would be less frequent under a proposal backed by a state Senate committee. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told the Senate State Government Committee Monday that it should be harder to change the state constitution.
Minnesota lawmakers who saw colleagues put several hot-button political issues on the statewide ballot in 2012 are now mulling proposals that would make it harder to do that again.
Some power players in Minnesota politics are raising money, but not for the next campaign. They’re after at least $108,000 for northern Minnesota food shelves. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was hosting Thursday’s event in at a downtown St. Paul pub. Gov. Mark Dayton was also expected to attend.
The campaign arm for Minnesota Democratic state senators agreed Tuesday to pay a $100,000 civil penalty to resolve an investigation over ads in the 2012 election, one of the largest fines levied in a state political case.
The Minnesota State Capitol is about to get a new neighbor for the first time in decades. Construction begins next year on a new, $89.5 million Senate Office Building located directly behind the Capitol.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic legislative leaders call the just-finished session a success and that they accomplished what they set out to do. Dayton and the lawmakers held a Tuesday news conference at the Capitol, just a few hours after the session wrapped at midnight.