Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk
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.
Minnesota’s top lawmakers are rotating in and out of closed-door meetings in search of a state budget compromise. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk met into the night Wednesday and planned to hold additional talks Thursday.
Minnesota lawmakers are preparing to vote on a bill suspending Internet-based state lottery tickets. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Tuesday he’d hold the vote soon, and House Speaker Kurt Daudt said he expected his chamber would do the same.
Minnesota’s center of political power is moving north for the weekend. Gov. Mark Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and House Speaker Kurt Daudt plan to share a boat Saturday on Lake Vermilion for the annual fishing opener.
Break out the hard hats: the real hammering in Minnesota’s construction-zone Capitol is about to start. There’s less than three weeks to the May 18 session adjournment deadline. So the pressure is on to nail down a deal on a new state budget and the fate of a nearly $1.9 billion surplus.
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.