DFL Gubernatorial Primary Looms Despite Swanson Not Running

‚ÄúThere will be a primary and I’ll defend my endorsement in it,” said Rep. Tim Walz after former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he hadn’t decided yet if he would abide by the DFL gubernatorial endorsement process.

Smile- Minnesota Has An Even Bigger Budget Surplus

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.

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

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…)

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

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.

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

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.

Dems Take Back MN House, Thissen Next Speaker

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen is introduced as the next speaker of the Minnesota House. Democrats (DFL) won a majority of the seats in the Minnesota House and Senate in Tuesday’s election, wresting control of the legislature from Republicans.