ST. PAUL — About eight years after the creation of the state's hub for information technology services, reviews of the agency yielded mixed results. That's according to a Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor report released on Wednesday, Feb. 27. While the state is better positioned to fight cybersecurity threats and can leverage its size to get better deals on software purchases, it's hard to say if consolidating the state's IT resources improved efficiency or spending, the report said.
ST. PAUL -- Hundreds of young people from around the state rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 28, to urge lawmakers to boost the age at which Minnesotans can buy tobacco products to 21. Hoisting brightly-colored signs and banners, students marched to the Capitol and filled the rotunda for a rally. And they repeatedly yelled out their motto "keep lungs loud."
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are set to consider two gun control proposals Wednesday, Feb. 27, amid an atmosphere that grew increasingly tense in the days before the hearing. The bills would stoke strong feelings at any time. But moves by gun control supporters and opponents in the leadup to the hearing kindled further frustration among both groups.
ST. PAUL -- The state should take advantage of the current low interest rates and pass a $1.3 billion bonding bill to cover the cost of a slate of projects, Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday, Feb. 26. The call from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor came in a nonbonding year at the Legislature and while it bucked the state's traditional schedule, Walz said it was crucial to pass the bill to resolve some of the state's most pressing issues.
ST. PAUL — A Minnesota lawmaker said the state's best shot at avoiding the loss of representation in Washington could hinge on getting more Minnesotans ready to be counted in next year's U.S. Census. The state stands on the brink of losing one of its eight U.S. House seats because population growth in Minnesota has been outpaced by other states, estimates show. And a lower population count in the 2020 U.S. Census could also mean decreased federal funding.
ST. PAUL -- Plans to make historic investments in Greater Minnesota could sail through fights at the Capitol over contentious pieces of Gov. Tim Walz's spending blueprint. Some of the central tenets like a 20 cents per gallon gas tax hike and decision to keep in place a 2 percent tax on medical providers faced instant opposition from Minnesota Republicans when the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor presented the proposal on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota broadband development advocates on Wednesday, Feb. 20, made their case for keeping a program that provides state dollars to match private investments in building out the infrastructure for high-speed internet. And they asked lawmakers to back a proposal to boost state funding to fill gaps in internet coverage in pockets of rural Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans could see a 20-cent per gallon tax hike at the gas pump under a proposal put forth to fund large-scale repairs to the state's roads and bridges. Schools around the state could see hundreds of millions of additional dollars flow to their classrooms to help boost funds to pay teachers or increase school offerings. Families, seniors and farmers could file for new tax credits or benefits and internet users around the state could see faster service by 2021 as part of plan to expand broadband service border-to-border by 2021.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota high school students would be required to take a course in government and citizenship under a proposal up for consideration in the state Legislature. The Senate Committee on E-12 Finance and Policy reviewed the proposal and put it aside, possibly to be added to a larger committee bill set to be presented later this year.
ST. PAUL — Representatives from each of the 11 American Indian tribes in Minnesota on Monday, Feb. 18, gave state legislators a refresher course on the history of Indigenous people in the state and asked that they keep them in mind when writing laws. It was the first time in more than a decade that lawmakers turned over the House of Representatives for an intensive session on an issue. And it was the first time all 11 tribes were invited to speak in that chamber.