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Chaos At End Of MN Legislative Session – Bonding, Transportation Bills Die

Thissen and Daudt in closing minutes of 2016 session

Chaos reigned again at the close of Minnesota’s legislative session. A bonding bill that was made public in the last hour of the session failed when the House adjourned before the Senate could send back an amended version of the bill. Time ran out before the Senate could rescind the amendment. Continue Reading →

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Lawmakers React To What Gov. Dayton Did And Didn’t Say In State Of State Address

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen reacts to Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State address.

What Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said in his State of the State address Thursday night generally energized Democrats and brought criticism from Republicans. But the Governor was also chided by lawmakers from both parties for some of the things he didn’t talk about. Continue Reading →

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Smile- Minnesota Has An Even Bigger Budget Surplus

Mark Dayton

Minnesota has a budget surplus of $1.86 billion, an $832 million increase since the last forecast. How it should be spent and who is responsible for creating it made for a lively news conference with Governor Dayton, DFL legislative leaders and Republican legislative leaders. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Workers Celebrate As Gov. Dayton Signs $9.50 Wage Law

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Governor Mark Dayton signed the new minimum wage bill into law Monday in a jubilant celebration at the State Capitol that brought waves of emotion to the many groups that worked to see the law passed. The bill affects 375,000 minimum-wage workers in Minnesota, who will see their wages raised to $8 an hour starting in August and to $9.50 in 2016. (More…) Continue Reading →

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DFL Leaders Agree To Minimum Wage Hike, Deny “Horsetrading” On Building Deal

Minimum Wage Agreement Announcement

After months of negotiations, DFL leaders from the House and Senate announced an agreement raising Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2016. The agreement also includes automatic increases in the minimum wage based on inflation. Continue Reading →

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Brother Ali Sings, Workers Rally To “Raise The Wage” In Minnesota

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Hundreds of people carried signs and wore “Raise the Wage” T-shirts in the State Capitol, dancing while Brother Ali sang and established a tone of jubilant expectation for a rally calling on Legislators to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage. Continue Reading →

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Capitol Gun Safety Discussion Begins, Ends In Confusion, Disagreement. Is Paymar Out?

Statye Rep. Michael Paymar, (D-St. Paul), chair of the House Public Safety Committee, discusses a gun safety bill that passed out of his committee last spring with Joe Olson (l), head of s gun owners' group. Click to see video of Wednesday's task force discussion on gun safety in the Capitol.

Story for The UpTake by Kathryn Nelson and Nick Coleman

The Minnesota State Patrol does not always verify that gun owners have valid permits to carry handguns before they are added to a list of gun owners allowed to carry weapons inside the Minnesota Capitol and its complex. That surprising admission was made Wednesday at a tense meeting of the advisory committee on Minnesota Capitol Security that exposed a number of areas of confusion in the state’s gun permitting laws and how they are interpreted at the Capitol and its 14-acre complex of associated buildings. Testimony by State Patrol Maj. Bob Meyerson caused a number of startled looks on the six-member task force, which is headed by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon. Meyerson told the panel that gun owners are required to have a Minnesota Permit to Carry as well as permission from the Commissioner of Public Safety in order to bring their handguns into the State Capitol. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota Gun Battle Breaks Out of Committee, Moves to House Floor

Battle Lines: Joe Olson, left, president of the MN Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, spars with Rep. Michael Paymar, D-St. Paul, chair of the House Public Safety Committee, after committee approval of a bill requiring background checks for gun buyers at gun shows. The battle over gun safety now moves to the full House.

A dramatically weakened gun-safety bill eked out a narrow escape from a Minnesota House committee Thursday, keeping the explosive issue of gun violence alive, ensuring that the Legislature will be asked to consider some tightening of Minnesota gun laws, and setting up contentious floor fights over the issue in the House in the weeks ahead. After two months of debate, the House Public Safety Committee, chaired by Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, passed a bill including a softened requirement for background checks on buyers at gun shows. The narrow approval, on mostly party lines, came on a 10-8 vote (one Democrat, John Ward of Baxter, voted no), that presaged a contentious floor fight ahead. Rep. Tony Cornish, a gun-carrying Republican from Good Thunder, promised as much, telling Paymar after the vote to expect an all-out effort to defeat the bill. Continue Reading →

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GOP Evasiveness On Voter Photo ID Leads To Court Challenge

Click on Image to watch interview about Representative Mary Kiffmeyer

An UpTake video review of how Republicans drafted and answered questions about the “voter photo ID” amendment indicates they did not want the ballot language to be very detailed and the authors have consistently sidestepped questions about the language. Continue Reading →

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