Tom Bakk

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Senate Rejects Bid To Deny Public Assistance To Super Bowl

In a pair of votes Monday, the Senate rejected attempts to bar use of public dollars toward football’s premier event and to repeal a sales tax exemption on Super Bowl tickets.

05/04/2015

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Pedestrian Killed By LRT Was Longtime Minn. Senate Staffer

A longtime staff member of the Minnesota Senate was killed after being struck by a Green Line light rail train on her way to work Thursday morning. Lynne Thomas had been a legislative assistant in the Senate for 28 years. She was crossing University Avenue on the light rail tracks when she was hit and killed by a train around 7:30 a.m.

04/30/2015

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Cities Face Millions In Wastewater Upgrades, Repairs

Public works employees in the southwestern city of Minneota frequently hang inside manholes, poking with a long stick to move chunks of human waste and refuse that block sewer flow. The mayor of Winsted, a city of about 2,400, wonders how he’ll pay for a $7 million upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment facility.

04/25/2015

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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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Will Lawmakers Warm To Soccer Stadium Funding?

There’s a possible climate change at the Minnesota State Capitol. Top lawmakers will meet next week with the owners of Minnesota’s new Major League Soccer franchise to discuss public funding for a stadium in Minneapolis.

04/10/2015

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Dayton, Lawmakers Say No Public Money Should Go Toward Soccer Stadium

One day after Major League Soccer awarded a new franchise to Minnesota, the governor said the owners should not expect public financing for a new stadium.

03/26/2015

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Trio Of Major Events Brings Sports Debate Back To Capitol

A trifecta of major sporting events — the Ryder Cup, the Final Four and the biggest prize of all, a Super Bowl — are headed to Minnesota in coming years, all of them certain to shower the state with global attention and pull in tens of thousands of visitors.

03/15/2015

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Dayton Doubts GOP Commitment To Solving Road-Fund Quandary

Frustrated by a transportation plan stuck in neutral at the Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton ramped up pressure Thursday on majority House Republicans to produce a viable alternative to his multi-billion dollar proposal for roadwork and mass-transit projects. Dayton joined Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk in questioning the GOP’s commitment to tackling the transportation-funding issue this year as the session nears its midpoint.

03/05/2015

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Dayton, Bakk Put On A Show In 1st Appearance After Blow-Up

If the falling out between Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was achingly public, their patching up was equally so.

03/05/2015

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Dayton, Democrats Push Forward $10 Billion Transportation Proposal

Minnesota democrats are showing a united front in the push for a multi-billion dollar transportation project. Gov. Mark Dayton and top democrats want to raise the gas tax to pay for road and bridge improvements.

03/05/2015

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Capitol Leaders Would Change Way Of Estimating Laws’ Costs

House and Senate leaders want to change how Minnesota estimates the cost of new legislation. They want to create a legislative budget office to handle the estimates instead of the state office that does it now.

03/02/2015

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Bakk: Hold Back Some Of Surplus In Case Of Tax-Lawsuit Loss

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he’s reluctant to use Minnesota’s projected $1.87 billion surplus entirely because of a tax lawsuit that would be costly if the state loses.

03/02/2015

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Final Vote Coming For Bill Altering Commissioner Raises

A bill that temporarily halts salary increases for Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet is being staged for final legislative votes as soon as Thursday.

02/25/2015

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After Falling Out, Dayton And Bakk Try To Patch Things Up

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he and Gov. Mark Dayton had a private chat where the Capitol’s two most powerful Democrats committed to moving on after a public feud.

02/25/2015

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Capitol Leaders In Talks About Way Out On Pay-Raise Standoff

House Speaker Kurt Daudt says he, Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk are “nearing agreement” on a plan to settle a commissioner pay raise dispute that is holding up an important spending bill. Daudt said Wednesday they hope to strike a deal in time for House consideration on Thursday. Bakk confirmed the talks but said any agreement would likely be subject to a review by a joint House-Senate conference committee.

02/18/2015

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Calmer Tone Heard From Dayton, Bakk In Dispute Over Salaries

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.

02/16/2015

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Talking Points: Health Dept. Head Talks Commissioner Pay Raises

More drama is expected this week at the Capitol as both Republicans and Democrats battle Gov. Mark Dayton over his awarding his commissioners large pay raises.

02/15/2015

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Dayton Enraged By DFL Move To Suspend Pay Raises

The hefty pay hikes proposed for Gov. Mark Dayton’s cabinet were already controversial when the State Senate met on Thursday. But it was Dayton’s fellow Democrats who voted to suspend the raises until July 1. “That will give the legislature time I think to put the kind of thoughtful review into the study and the salary to make sure that it indeed is warranted,” Sen. Tom Bakk said.

02/12/2015

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Dayton Cries Foul On Move To Delay Commissioner Raises

Gov. Mark Dayton is objecting to the state Senate’s vote to delay hefty raises for members of the governor’s cabinet. The Senate voted 63-2 Thursday to suspend the pay hikes Dayton granted to commissioners last month.

02/12/2015

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Bakk: Pass New Money For Roads This Year Or Punt To 2017

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk is cranking up the pressure to pass a major transportation package this year. The Cook Democrat said Thursday he thinks the Legislature will punt until at least 2017 if lawmakers fail this session to pass new funding for roads and bridges.

01/29/2015

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Office Space Disputes Threaten Capitol Renovation

Minnesota lawmakers are caught in a dust-up over office space at the State Capitol, and it’s threatening to delay the massive Capitol restoration now underway. The three-year, $272 million project is on time and on budget. But the tenants in the new building — including the governor, the Senate, the House and the attorney general — cannot come to agreement over how much space they will control.

01/14/2015

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How Will Lawmakers Spend The $1 Billion Surplus?

Minnesota lawmakers kicked off the new session Thursday with a sweeping package of unusual legislative priorities.

01/08/2015

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Things To Know As Lawmakers Return

An altered power structure, new faces, old fights and an unrecognizable Capitol building will shape the Legislature’s 2015 session.

01/04/2015

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Lottery Boss Wants Less Left To Chance At Capitol

Armed with sales statistics tailored for each legislative district, the Minnesota Lottery chief is paying visits to lawmakers as he attempts to repair strained relationships and head off another showdown over tickets sold on the Internet, through automated cash-machines and at gas station pumps.

12/21/2014

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Leaders Urge Caution On Spending State Budget Surplus

Talk of tax cuts has followed word that Minnesota’s budget will run up a $1 billion surplus. Top Democrats and Republicans separately raised the prospect Thursday of giving tax breaks with a portion of the surplus. The first dose could come soon in the next session as lawmakers weigh whether to match up Minnesota’s deductions and credits more closely with those at the federal level.

12/04/2014

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