Tom Bakk

(credit: CBS)

Minn. Senate Leader: Rebate Checks ‘Unlikely’

Don’t count on a sales tax rebate check like the ones that became popular in prior years Minnesota ran a budget surplus. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday that it’s unlikely his chamber would go that route if there are extra dollars for lawmakers to allocate next year. A forecast last week showed $825 million available but a new report will come out as lawmakers return in late February. The Democrat from Cook says his preference is to add more money to the state’s budget reserves, consider transportation investments and make other tax and spending decisions that don’t have a lasting budget impact.

12/09/2013

(credit: CBS)

Dayton Wants 2014 Focus On Undoing Minn. Laws

In Gov. Mark Dayton’s ideal scenario, the focus for next year’s Minnesota legislative session will be on pruning old, unneeded laws from the books. Dayton has been collecting ideas from the public and his administrative agencies for the so-called unsession. He has said his inspiration for an unsession came from a 1970s-era advertising slogan for 7-Up that billed the soft drink as the “uncola.”

10/21/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers: Special Session May Not Be Needed

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders agreed Friday that Sept. 9 is the date they would hold a possible special session, but also said it might not be necessary after all.

08/16/2013

(credit: CBS)

Reality Check: Why Do Legislators Pass Laws They Know They Will Repeal?

Repealing taxes that were approved just a couple months ago is highly unusual, but now it just might happen. Especially when it comes to the farm tax — a tax so unpopular, even Gov. Mark Dayton hates it, and he signed it into law.

08/13/2013

Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul, st paul, generic, government

Minn. Lawmakers Go To Atlanta With Pitch To Peers

A contingent of Minnesota legislators and convention bureau representatives is in Atlanta trying to convince lawmakers from elsewhere to put the Twin Cities in their travel plans. More than a dozen Minnesota lawmakers are at the National Conference of State Legislature’s summer summit.

08/13/2013

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New Minn. Taxes To Get More Scrutiny Next Year

Top Minnesota lawmakers purposely delayed the start of a new sales tax on warehousing services until next April in case they need to revise or undo it before then. The storage service tax, which doesn’t apply to mini-storage rentals, became a point of dispute.

05/21/2013

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Minn. Capitol Renovation Gets Last-Day Rescue

Extensive work on the 107-year-old state Capitol is getting the go-ahead from Minnesota lawmakers in a late financial rescue package. A borrowing proposal that came together on the Legislature’s final day includes $109 million for the next phase of a renovation to the deteriorating building. The money was needed this year to keep underway construction from halting. A new parking ramp will be authorized, but paid for with fees from users.

05/20/2013

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Downed Minn. Projects Bill May Be Back But Slimmer

Top Minnesota lawmakers are searching for a way to assemble a slimmed-down construction projects bill that would include renovation funding for the state Capitol.

05/19/2013

(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Minn. Lawmakers Sort Out Tax Increase Details

Leading Minnesota lawmakers have sorted out a tax package that is the linchpin of the next state budget. The top two percent of income earners will pay two percent more on a portion of their income. The per-pack tax on cigarettes will rise by $1.60. Some corporate tax preferences will go away. But there won’t be any changes to the alcohol tax.

05/16/2013

cigarette, generic, smoking

New Minn. Cigarette Tax Unlikely To Exceed Wis.

Minnesota’s cigarette tax is about to go up, but a top lawmaker says the new rate won’t be more than Wisconsin’s. Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says the final tax could match the $2.52 per pack rate charged in Wisconsin. That’s $1.29 more than Minnesota assesses now.

05/13/2013

(credit: CBS)

Bakk Says Wide Expansion To All-Day K Planned

The budget Minnesota lawmakers expect to pass will contain funding for all-day kindergarten at state expense. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday that any district that wants to offer it will have the cost fully reimbursed.

05/13/2013

(credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Dayton, Minn. DFL Leaders Reach Budget Deal

Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature’s top Democrats announced an agreement Sunday to raise taxes on Minnesota’s wealthier residents and cigarette sales and to spend the extra money on public schools and colleges, as well as on other areas.

05/12/2013

(credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images/CBS)

Sales Tax On Clothing Still ‘On The Table’

With ten days to go in the 2013 session, DFL legislative leaders held budget talks with Governor Mark Dayton Friday to hammer out their differences on tax and budget issues, including a Senate proposal to extend the state’s sale tax to clothing.

05/10/2013

(credit: CBS)

Senate Tax Plan To Affect More Than Top 2 Percent

The Senate’s soon-to-be-unveiled tax plan will likely affect more than 2 percent of the state’s top earners with an income tax increase, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Monday.

04/22/2013

(credit: CBS)

Pay Raises For Minn. Lawmakers Barely Clear Senate

Pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers won approval Tuesday from the state Senate, but the plan to boost salaries of the governor, Legislature, agency commissioners and other elected officials faces a taller climb in the state House.

04/16/2013

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