ST. PAUL — Advocates in matching T-shirts hoisted signs and marched through the Capitol this week, making a final attempt to convince Minnesota lawmakers to keep them in mind as they passed a massive two-year budget. A group of immigrants invited lawmakers to join them for conversation in a tent on the lawn near the Capitol to ask for their votes to obtain driver's licenses. LGBT advocates flooded a key Senate leader's office in an effort to ban conversion therapy.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Wednesday, May 15, continued the second day of marathon budget talks, which they said entered a "really important time." The seemingly productive talks come after a series of negotiations that ended in deadlocks, stalling progress in advancing a two-year state budget expected to top $48 billion. A day prior, the leaders spent more than 10 hours talking through how they might bring their budgets closer together in the last week of the legislative session.
ST. PAUL — Legislative leaders and the governor reentered closed-door budget negotiations Tuesday, May 14, a day after they deadlocked and broke off talks. For more than eight hours on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, discussed possible paths to a timely budget deal. Democrats and Republicans sit on either side of a $2 billion divide in terms of how much the state should spend over the next two years.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota committee on Tuesday, May 14, voted down a pair of gun control proposals, likely blocking their path forward this year. The panel aiming to reconcile differences between House and Senate public safety and judiciary spending bills rejected each of the bills with Democrats supporting them and Republicans opposing them. The bills needed a majority vote among both the House and Senate sides of the committee to be added to the larger spending bill.
ALBERT LEA, Minn. — The governor and Minnesota legislative leaders hooked a baker's dozen fish at the Governor's Fishing Opener Saturday, May 11, but they didn't reel in a budget deal. Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, along with Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, spent the morning on Fountain Lake on a pontoon boat. Ahead of the trip, they said they'd be open to talking shop on the boat but decided Saturday morning to focus on the fish.
ST. PAUL — Budget negotiation talks remained in limbo Wednesday, May 8, days after Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor deadlocked over plans to raise taxes to fund boosts to education, road repairs and other state government spending. But two key leaders said they'd be willing to talk shop Saturday, May 11, at the Governor's Fishing Opener. The event has traditionally offered a reprieve from budget talks for legislative leaders and the governor as they cast their first lines of the fishing season together.
ST. PAUL -- Budget negotiations came to halt late Monday, May 6, as leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature reached an impasse over education funding and proposed tax increases. And early Tuesday, it was unclear whether conversations would continue without one side willing to bend on its spending plan.
ST. PAUL — Jenny Teeson didn't get justice after her ex-husband raped her. But because of her, other survivors of sexual assault will. For more than a year, Teeson shared the story of her rape at the Minnesota Capitol to help push a proposal that would eliminate a so-called marital rape exception, a loophole in state law that shields those involved in voluntary relationships from prosecution on charges of sexual misconduct or rape.
ST. PAUL -- Some of the toughest fights of the year are set to start this week at the Capitol. Legislative leaders and the governor will come together to negotiate how much the state should spend on its responsibilities like education, health care and roads and bridges. And those targets will constrain what lawmakers can pass as they negotiate compromise bills in conference committees. The talks come after weeks of debates over on either side of the divided Legislature over how the state should spend nearly $50 billion over the next two years.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota should buy a packaged computer software system to handle vehicle licensing and registration rather than finishing the rollout of the state's system, an independent group of information technology experts found. And that will come at a cost. A panel of experts on Wednesday, May 1, released its report of findings on the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS, and recommended that the state cut its losses, let the program enter one more update, then transition to a system developed by a private vendor.