ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Walz called on lawmakers to write their story together, a story of compromise in divided government. House Democrats said they'd push to put two gun control bills in a budget proposal, possibly setting up a standoff with a key Republican leader. Senate Republicans shot down a key tenet of the governor's budget proposal in a committee hearing Democrats viewed as a stunt, teeing up a tough road ahead for a gasoline gas tax hike. Amid messages of a willingness to compromise this week, actions on either side of the Legislature told a different story.
ST. PAUL -- Let's write our own story. That was Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz's ask of lawmakers this week as he delivered his first State of the State address. Rather than caving to political ideologies or legislative precedents, the members of the nation's only divided state Legislature would have a chance to work together and prove they can compromise.
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 -- Gov. Tim Walz is set to share the stories of eight Minnesotans to illustrate the impact policy decisions at the Capitol have on real people. Hours before his first State of the State address, the DFL governor on Wednesday, April 3, said he'd stray from using a teleprompter or a "poll-tested speech" and instead deliver his remarks off the cuff. And he said he'd use the stories of entrepreneurs, farmers, teachers and veterans to convince lawmakers to work across political lines of division.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers get to set the stage for the legislative session in the state's only divided government, and Gov. Tim Walz said he hopes they'll listen to their "better angels" as they do so. In his first State of the State address Wednesday, April 3, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said he'll focus on the importance of working across the political aisle to get things done.
ST. PAUL -- A proposed gas tax appears to lack the fuel it needs to travel through the Legislature. A GOP-led committee on Tuesday, April 2, voted to sink a pared-back version of Gov. Tim Walz's proposal to hike the tax on gasoline by 20 cents per gallon and increase other fees to fund road and bridge repairs. On the same day, House Democrats re-upped their support for the tax increase and offered their pitch to boost transportation funding, complete with additional boosts in taxes and fees.
ST. PAUL — What's a state lawmaker to do when he or she can't get a hearing at the Capitol? Well, one path is to invent a committee willing to hear it. Minnesota Senate Democrats frustrated that their proposals couldn't get a hearing in the Republican-led Senate on Monday, April 1, did just that. And no, it wasn't an April Fools' joke.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate approved a bill that would hike fees for opioid painkiller manufacturers and distributors to help combat the state's opioid crisis. The Senate on a 59-6 vote advanced House Bill 400 on Monday, April 1, setting up negotiations between the Senate and House of Representatives. The House passed a similar bill last month. Now, lawmakers will have to iron out a version to which both chambers can agree.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Republicans and Democrats offered their opening spending targets, exposing a $2 billion gap. Gov. Tim Walz said he was open to spending negotiations but said he wasn't willing to let a tax that funds health care for poor people to become a bargaining chip. A key Senate leader said he's open to holding hearings on a pair of gun control bills he'd previously held out of committee. And a state regulatory body reaffirmed a contested oil pipeline project in northern Minnesota can move forward, again sparking friction among lawmakers.
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.