Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and Sen. Zach Duckworth, R-Lakeville, on Friday announced a package aiming to spend billions of federal dollars on hard-hit industries, filling the unemployment fund, and infrastructure plans.
“These one-time funds provide us with the chance to set Minnesotans on a path for long-lasting growth. By targeting our spending for maximum impact, we are setting Minnesotans up to rebuild their community connections, invest in their families, and help our businesses recover and grow.” Duckworth said in a statement. “Most importantly, these investments are being made without increasing taxes on Minnesotans who have already sacrificed so much in the last year.”
The bill language, expected to be released next week, seeks to direct $2.5 billion of the American Rescue Plan to Minnesotans hardest hit by the pandemic and promote economic growth, according to a press release. Read More
Senator Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) continues to challenge Governor Tim Walz’s emergency executive powers, even after their private meeting Thursday. The two disagree about the necessity of Minnesota’s continued state of emergency.
Their meeting marked the 175th day of Walz’s orders. Read More
The Minnesota Senate rejected Governor Walz’s appointee for the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Commissioner Nancy Leppink in a close vote 34 to 32.
Following the four hour session on Wednesday, the governor’s office issued a news release sharing Leppink’s lengthy career and its successes, as well as statements from various councils and organizations who support her. Read More
Governor Tim Walz announced Thursday that Minnesota schools will have the majority of authority on if or how they open campuses, based on discretionary assessment of their district’s localized data.
According to Walz’s Emergency Executive Order 20-82 and the accompanying “Safe Learning Plan,” schools must watch the spread of COVID-19 in their communities to determine the learning model that will suit their needs. These models are also subject to change throughout the school year, a protocol that Walz refers to as “dialing back [or] forward” in his executive order. Read More
The Minnesota Legislature passed a broad slate of police accountability measures early Tuesday that includes a ban on neck restraints like the one that was used on George Floyd before his death in Minneapolis.
The package also bans chokeholds and so-called warrior-style training, which critics say promotes excessive force. It imposes a duty to intercede on officers who see a colleague using excessive force. It changes rules on the use of force to stress the sanctity of life. It makes changes in arbitration rules affecting police unions. Officers will get more training on dealing with people with mental health issues and autism. The measure also creates a new advisory council for the state board that licenses officers. Read More
The Minnesota DFL Party launched a new ad campaign this week targeting key Republican state senators who are accused of “standing in the way of passing real police reform.”
Jason Lewis, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said in a recent interview that Democrats don’t “want reform” so much as they “want a political issue.” Read More
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan shared a post on social media over the Independence Day weekend calling Mount Rushmore a “symbol of white supremacy.”
“Mount Rushmore is a symbol of white supremacy, of structural racism that’s still alive and well in society today. It’s an injustice to actively steal Indigenous people’s land, then carve the white faces of the colonizers who committed genocide,” said the post, which Flanagan shared on her Instagram. Read More
State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska), a practicing physician, revealed Sunday that anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice for his public comments on the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is one of the most important videos I’ve made and one of the hardest,” Jensen said in a video posted to Facebook. “Less than a week ago, I was notified by the Board of Medical Practice in Minnesota that I was being investigated because of public statements I had made.” Read More
Three Republican state senators called on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and its response to recent unrest in the city.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) announced plans to hold a series of legislative oversight hearings beginning July 1 on state and local responses to the riots. Read More
Several small business owners called for reopening the economy during a Monday press conference at the Minnesota Capitol.
“We desire to honor our God, and our government and governor. We think we can do both. But we have no idea how to get a plan approved, to whom to submit it, or if anyone needs to or will consider it. The church needs to gather, we are more the church when we gather than at any other time. Please, Gov. Walz, help us by providing clear ways for plans to be approved and for us to meet,” said Rory Martin, pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church in Eden Prairie. Read More
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz extended his stay-at-home order Thursday for another two weeks, but with some modifications. Read More
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has rejected requests from Republican lawmakers to suspend a “communist” hotline that allows residents to report violations of the governor’s stay-at-home order. Read More
Gov. Tim Walz has issued 12 executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but Senate Republicans think some of his actions aren’t within his constitutional authority. Read More
Minnesota Democrats have proposed an amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing the right to “free, fair, and equal” elections in response to Republican efforts to pass a voter ID law. Read More
The St. Paul City Council unanimously approved of a resolution Wednesday night to recognize March 10 as “Abortion Providers Appreciation Day” in the city. Read More
Minnesota House Democrats said they will once again prioritize gun control and climate change during the upcoming legislative session. Read More
Sen. Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) defeated Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) for the role of Senate DFL minority leader during a Saturday meeting, a move Republicans think signals the party’s shift to the left. Kent (pictured above) emerged victorious Saturday evening after the 32-member caucus met at the Carpenters Union Hall… Read More
Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday that he raised more than $1 million in 2019 for his reelection, but he won’t face voters again until 2022. Read More
Minnesota Senate Republicans plan to introduce legislation to require a photo ID for voting, but a DFL state senator thinks the idea is “racist.” Read More
Minnesota Senate Republicans unveiled their “2020 Vision” agenda during a Monday press conference, highlighting their priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Read More
The Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday overturned a portion of the environmental impact study of Enbridge Energy’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. The court’s ruling is available here. The ruling says: Although we reject most of realtors’ assertions of error, we agree that the FEIS is inadequate… Read More
An omnibus transportation budget bill is on its way to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk without any gas tax increase. After clearing the DFL-controlled House Friday evening, the bill passed out of the Senate later Friday night in a 54-13 vote. It’s official…no gas tax increase in Minnesota. Senate just… Read More
Education Minnesota, the state’s largest teachers union, urged Minnesotans to “vote in a new Senate” after an education budget agreed to by party leaders was released. “This is a lukewarm outcome to a legislative session that had a lot of potential for Minnesota students,” Education Minnesota President Denise Specht… Read More
Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) was forced to reexamine his budget proposal “line by line” after the state’s budget forecast came up $492 million short of November’s estimated $1.5 billion surplus. But his recently released revised budget recommendations still include a 20-cent gas-tax hike. “The governor recommends the state commit to… Read More
Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) will have to reexamine his budget proposal “line by line” after Thursday’s budget forecast came up $492 million short of November’s estimated $1.5 billion surplus. It’s only been nine days since Walz unveiled his first budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium, which capped out at $49.5… Read More
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus hosted a rally at the State Capitol Saturday to “defend the Second Amendment” and take a stand against gun-control legislation making its way through the House. “Michael Bloomberg’s out-of-state gun control agenda is already out in full force during the 2019 legislative session after spending… Read More
Several pieces of pro-life legislation have been introduced by Republicans in both the Minnesota House and Senate. While they all face uphill battles against a Democratic-controlled House and a progressive in the Governor’s Mansion, pro-life leaders think that at least some of the measures should attract bipartisan support. Senate File… Read More
Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) unveiled his highly anticipated budget proposal for the 2020-2021 biennium at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. When all is said and done, the two-year budget registers at $49.5 billion with no cuts to any existing spending. “I’ve often said that a budget is far more than… Read More
Republican members of the Minnesota House and Senate called a joint press conference earlier this week to condemn Gov. Tim Walz’s (D-MN) decision to re-appeal the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline replacement project. “The science is sure that this would be environmentally much safer to replace a 51-year-old pipe with a… Read More
Minnesota’s Republican legislators called a press conference Thursday in the lobby of the Minnesota Capitol to oppose the radical pro-abortion measures being passed across the country. As was widely reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed the Reproductive Rights Act into law last week, clearing the way for abortions up to… Read More
Minnesota’s Republican-controlled Senate hit the ground running Thursday by introducing 91 pieces of legislation. Many of the items correspond with the top five priorities Republicans outlined at a Tuesday press conference, though there were several noteworthy outliers. Senate File (SF) 80, for instance, would impose “aid reductions” on sanctuary cities… Read More
The only thing barring Democrats from total control of Minnesota’s government is a one-seat Republican majority in the Senate, but that might not be enough to block gun-control efforts during the upcoming session. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) recently indicated that he has “some openness” on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL)… Read More
Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved permits to replace Enbridge’s aging Line 3 Pipeline in November, but departing Gov. Mark Dayton (D-MN) is now appealing the decision. The Public Utilities Commission’s November vote to approve the replacement project was protested and disrupted by environmentalist activists who have opposed the project… Read More