ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Sunday, May 19, announced a compromise budget deal with hours remaining in the legislative session. After days of closed-door meetings, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Gov. Tim Walz emerged with a plan to spend $48 billion over the next two years, a roughly 6% increase in spending from current funding levels.
ST. PAUL -- Leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature dug in hours before the Minnesota House of Representatives was set to debate two gun control measures Monday, April 29, as part of a larger public safety funding proposal. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, rallied with gun control supporters Monday morning and said the measure would pass in the House, despite opposition from some in her caucus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, meanwhile, said the bills would be "dead" in the Senate.
ST. PAUL -- Buckle up, Minnesota. Construction season is on the way. The state Department of Transportation on Thursday, April 4, unveiled its list of 221 infrastructure construction projects slated for this spring and summer. And department leaders shared them with a word of warning for Minnesotans: get ready to spend some more time in the car.
ST. PAUL — A proposal to ban abortion 20 weeks after fertilization took another step forward in the Minnesota Legislature on Friday, March 29. The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy advanced the bill on a voice vote after passing on a discussion about the proposal. The bill moves now to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.
ST. PAUL -- Hopes for legalizing recreational marijuana in Minnesota came to a halt in a state Senate panel. Chasms emerged as gun control and abortion came up ahead of a legislative deadline. Millions of dollars of fraud were reported in the state's child care assistance program and legislators split on how to address it. As the Minnesota Legislature took up some of the most controversial proposals of the legislative session, divisions emerged between the Republican-led Senate and the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
ST. PAUL — A Minnesota Senate panel on Thursday, March 14, voted to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, paving the way for the proposal to advance in the Legislature. The bill would ban abortions on women who are past 20 weeks in their pregnancy except in cases of possible death or serious physical harm. Risk of substantial and irreversible psychological or emotional conditions would not be included.
ST. PAUL -- As state lawmakers took up their first conversations about re-writing state law to stop the spread of a deadly disease in deer, cervid farmers said they worried they would become the "villain" in the debates. Members of the House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division seemed to agree that the state needs to address chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disease in deer, moose, caribou and elk. But they split on how best to do that.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota couples considering divorce would be able to bypass the courts under a proposal advancing through the state Legislature. The proposal would give married couples the option to set the terms of their divorce and file for marital dissolution through a cooperative divorce program, which would be housed under the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services.
ST. PAUL — The lone counselor tasked with providing free mental health services to farmers and their families through the Minnesota state college system just got a step closer to getting some help. The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday, March 4, unanimously advanced a bill that would appropriate $100,000 to boost mental health counseling for farmers and their families as well as for farm advocate services and farmer-lender mediators.
ST. PAUL — Hundreds of gun control supporters and opponents packed into a Minnesota Capitol hearing room and overflow spaces Wednesday, Feb. 27, ahead of scheduled testimony on a pair of bills aimed at adding background checks for firearm purchases and allowing "red flag" removal provisions. Tensions were high and testimony was expected to run late into the night as the proposals came up for consideration in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division.