ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz had a frank discussion about passing gun control measures and days later the DFL governor urged lawmakers to bring them to a vote. Marijuana legalization supporters and opponents faced off at the Capitol, exchanging shouts at a news conference. And a bipartisan panel of legislators pressed forward in an effort to outlaw texting and driving, signaling their proposals could come before a committee within days.
ST. PAUL -- Six Greater Minnesota regional development groups are set to receive more than $1 million in state grants aimed at growing access to child care. The Minnesota Department of Human Services on Thursday, Jan. 17, announced that it would give state and private grant dollars totaling $1.5 million to local organizations in Little Falls, Duluth, Bemidji, Owatonna, Hutchinson and Fergus Falls. Those areas are some of those experiencing the most critical shortages in child care services.
ST. PAUL — The Walz administration on Wednesday, Jan. 16, named Lola Velazquez-Aguilu Chair of the Commission on Judicial Selection. The commission is responsible for recommending to the governor candidates to be appointed as trial court judges and compensation court of appeals judges across the state.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday, Jan. 16, faulted state pollution control agents with setting up regulatory burdens that prevented a shrimp farming company from building its first facility in Luverne.
ST. PAUL — The ongoing federal government shutdown is costing Minnesota and how much longer the state can bear the expense is coming into question, state officials said Tuesday, Jan. 15. As the state entered the 25th day of the partial federal government shutdown, budget directors said the state had doled out nearly $100 million to cover the costs of key federal programs but still didn't know if it could expect repayment from the feds.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers want drivers to put the phones down. And under the legislation they brought forward this week, drivers could face penalties if they don't. A bipartisan group of legislators on Monday, Jan. 14, brought forth two proposals aimed at curbing the use of electronic devices behind the wheel. The first would bar holding a cellphone while behind the wheel and the second would bump up the penalties for causing a crash spurred by texting and driving.
ST. PAUL -- It was a week of change in the Capitol. On Monday, Jan. 7, Democrat Tim Walz was sworn into office, becoming the state's 41st governor. A day later, a new and historically diverse group of lawmakers took their oaths of office, flipping the power structure in the Legislature and setting up the country's only split statehouse. Legislative leaders shared their first priorities, agreeing on some of the state's top problems but diverging on how best to solve them. And they struck a friendly tone despite dust-ups on the first day.
ST. PAUL -- A group backing the construction of the Enbridge Energy Line 3 oil pipeline on Thursday, Jan. 10, urged Gov. Tim Walz to reconsider the state's position on allowing pipe replacement to move forward.
ST. PAUL -- In his first official act as governor, Tim Walz on Wednesday, Jan. 9, signed an executive order setting up a government council aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in state hiring and other decision-making. The DFL governor said the new body comprised of commissioners and members of the public is aimed at reducing disparities and inequities based on gender, race, geography and economic status. And it stems from a similar council established by former Gov. Mark Dayton.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers will return to St. Paul on Tuesday for the 2019 legislative session and they’ll face a hefty to-do list when they get there. Their decisions could drive down the cost of health care, improve education outcomes, reduce gun violence and fix roads and bridges. Or lawmakers in the nation’s only divided legislature could dig in and opt not to compromise, leaving many of those possibilities out of reach.