ST. PAUL -- Local governments around the state could get a funding boost to the tune of $30.5 million a year if Gov. Tim Walz's state budget gets a green light from the Minnesota Legislature. The DFL governor said Wednesday, Jan. 30, that he'd push to get the extra funds to help cities and towns pay for essential services like fixing streets and providing law enforcement services while keeping property taxes down.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers this week are set to take up a review of the state's sexual assault and rape laws in an effort to close gaps that have caused painful repercussions for victims and survivors. After emotional testimony Tuesday, Jan. 29, the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee advanced a pair of bills Tuesday that would remove an exception for charging a person with rape when it occurs with his or her spouse and set up a task force aimed at reporting violence against indigenous women in Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Family members of those killed in texting and driving related accidents broke down in tears as they asked lawmakers to stiffen penalties for using cell phones behind the wheel. Gun owners and gun control advocates made their cases about potential changes making it tougher to buy firearms in Minnesota. Abortion opponents marched on the Capitol and said they'd again push a bill vetoed last year.
BLOOMINGTON - Gov. Tim Walz on Friday, Jan. 25, said his administration is considering closing down Minnesota schools next week as temperatures are forecast to remain below freezing. The DFL governor told reporters that he felt local school officials tend to make the right decisions in opting to call off classes due to extreme weather, but he was weighing whether the state should step in.
ST. PAUL - Mental health counselors and farm advocates on Thursday, Jan. 24, urged lawmakers to take swift action in passing bills that would boost funding for farmer support resources. One psychologist has been tasked with traversing the state to offer free mental health services for farmers, and his phone has been ringing off the hook for months. Minnesota farmers withstood the fifth year in a row of low commodity prices, tariff fights, low yields and inclement weather and most recently, a government shutdown that entered its 34th day on Thursday.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota senators on Wednesday, Jan. 23, passed a pair of measures aimed at getting drivers to put their phones down. Members of the Senate Committee on Transportation Finance and Policy on a voice vote advanced a proposal that would subject drivers that text behind the wheel and crash causing injury or death to penalties on par with those for drunk driving and another that would outlaw holding a phone while driving.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to ban drivers from holding cell phones behind the wheel took its first step forward on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The bill, House File 50, passed through the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee on a voice vote following emotional testimony from family members of people who'd died in texting and driving related accidents. The bill moves now to the House Ways and Means Committee. A twin bill introduced in the Senate is set to have its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Transportation Finance and Policy.
ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, said it would bring legislation aimed at cracking down on the rising price of insulin. At a news conference, legislators said they'd aim to require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about their reasons for boosting insulin prices and set up a system that would allow those with diabetes to access refills if they can't afford the drug.
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.