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 - Distracted driving legislation can get done early, but policy pushes aimed at restricting access to firearms will have a tougher time passing through the Statehouse. The state's tax laws need to be rewritten to better address updated federal tax code, but exactly when that rewrite should happen is up in the air.
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 -- A class of new lawmakers took their oaths of office Tuesday, Jan. 8, establishing a new order in the statehouse and setting the stage for conflict over top issues. It was the first day of the legislative session and leaders of the country's only split Legislature said they were eager to rack up early bipartisan wins but signaled that big disagreements were on the horizon.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are set to travel to the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 8, for the kickoff to the 2019 legislative session. They'll welcome dozens of new legislators to their ranks and see Democrats take control of the House of Representatives while Republicans hold a two-seat advantage in the Senate. The new composition sets up the only split statehouse in the country. And it raises a number of questions about how things are going to work over the five-month legislative session. So here are some things to watch:
ST. PAUL -- Tim Walz was sworn in as Minnesota's 41st governor Monday, Jan. 7, succeeding outgoing Gov. Mark Dayton. In his inaugural speech, the former history teacher called on the comments of former governors and emphasized his desire to make Minnesota the 'education state,' to improve access to health care and to ensure all communities thrive. And he said achieving those goals only be done if elected officials drop partisan labels and work together.