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 -- 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.
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 -- A proposal to hike Minnesota's tax on gasoline took a step forward Monday, April 29, in the state Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives on a 74-58 vote approved a plan to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years as part of the body's $7.2 billion transportation spending plan.
ST. PAUL -- Those who enter an oil pipeline worksite with the intent to disrupt services could face felony charges under an amendment added to a Minnesota Senate Jobs, Commerce and Energy spending bill Monday, April 29.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said he'd be willing to hold hearings for a pair of gun control bills this year if they pass the House of Representatives. The decision comes weeks after Gazelka and the chair of the Senate panel that would weigh the proposals said they would skip them this year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers started a conversation about combatting fraud in the state's child care assistance program then abruptly set it aside. The House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday, March 26, took up a bill that would call on the Department of Human Services to develop software that tracks the number of children a child care provider can care for and blocks attempts to overbill.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives said the state needs to do more to detect, prevent and investigate fraud in the state's child care assistance program. At a news conference on Monday, March 25, GOP lawmakers presented a package of bills they plan to move forward that would increase penalties for committing fraud and block those who've abused the program from re-enrolling.