Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith

Michelle Griffith covers Minnesota politics and policy for the Reformer, with a focus on marginalized communities. Most recently she was a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead in North Dakota where she covered state and local government and Indigenous issues.

What’s in Minnesota’s 2023 education bill

By: - June 2, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature during the 2023 session passed a sweeping education bill that boosted public spending for schools by nearly $2.3 billion.  Gov. Tim Walz, a former teacher, has advocated for more school funding since the beginning of his tenure, but he was mostly stymied under a divided government. Education advocates, the state’s teachers’ union […]

Voting rights restored to Minnesotans still on parole, probation

By: - June 1, 2023

Over 55,000 Minnesotans were granted the right to vote after a law passed by the Legislature this session went into effect Thursday. Minnesotans convicted of a felony who are not incarcerated — whether they are out on probation, parole or work release — are now eligible to vote and can register to do so for […]

What’s in Minnesota’s 2023 tax bill

By: - June 1, 2023

The Legislature’s $3 billion tax bill was one of the 2023 session’s landmark pieces of legislation, with lawmakers approving rebate checks for over 2.5 million Minnesotans and distributing tax credits to impoverished families to help pay for child care and other necessities. But within the bill there’s also $1 billion in tax increases, not including […]

Gov. Walz signs bill legalizing recreational marijuana for adults

By: - May 30, 2023

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signed a bill legalizing recreational marijuana for people over 21. Walz was joined during the festive bill signing by legal cannabis advocates, lawmakers and a minor celebrity former governor. Beginning Aug. 1, Minnesotans can legally possess up to two ounces of cannabis on their person, two pounds of cannabis […]

A dozen questions for Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman

By: - May 30, 2023

Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, was first elected to the Legislature in 2004. She’s served as the DFL leader since 2017 and was elevated to speaker after the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party took the majority in 2018, but she helped preside over gridlocked, divided government until this year.  Now in her 10th term, she helped […]

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz signs $72 billion budget

By: - May 24, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz signed the state’s two-year, $72 billion budget into law on the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday, surrounded by hundreds of supporters celebrating the most impactful state budget in memory. The Minnesota Legislature adjourned this week — on time — after passing numerous budget bills with the stated goal of making Minnesota […]

Minnesota Legislature closes 2023 session by passing bills on health, infrastructure

By: - May 22, 2023

The DFL-controlled Minnesota Legislature — once stymied by years of gridlock — was on the verge of concluding the 2023 session on Monday after passing a series of far-reaching bills during a fast-paced, momentous session. On Monday, tour groups, students on field trips and nurses union members walked the halls of the Capitol to monitor […]

Lawmakers tout Minnesota Legislature’s accomplishments to reduce racial disparities

By: - May 22, 2023

The People of Color and Indigenous Caucus was formed just six years ago, but members were able to tout the passage of bills this year that further racial equity, including expanding MinnesotaCare to undocumented residents, increasing funds for affordable housing and mandating K-12 schools offer an ethnic studies curriculum. The People of Color and Indigenous […]

Bill that could doom Fairview-Sanford merger heads to Walz’s desk; Fairview, Sanford undeterred

By: - May 21, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature on Sunday passed a bill that bans anti-competitive health care mergers, which could kill the proposed marriage of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services and Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health.  The bill also prohibits out-of-state entities from owning in whole or part University of Minnesota health care entities, as would be the case were Sanford […]

A breakdown of tax increases, cuts Minnesota lawmakers intend to pass

By: - May 19, 2023

The Minnesota Legislature is on the verge of adopting a slew of tax cuts and sending tax rebate checks to 2.5 million Minnesotans. The DFL-controlled Legislature has also adopted or is on the verge of adopting tax hikes, too.  A committee of House and Senate members on Wednesday night released a tentative agreement on a […]

DFL-controlled Legislature has agreement on $2.3 billion boost in education spending

By: - May 16, 2023

A panel of Minnesota lawmakers on Monday agreed to a compromise on education funding and policy provisions that includes a $2.3 billion boost in school spending. The 331-page agreement will now go to the DFL-controlled House and Senate for an up-or-down vote and then to Gov. Tim Walz, who is likely to sign it. “We […]

House Dems no-show at tax panel

By: - May 12, 2023

The taxes conference committee on Friday failed to pass almost a dozen motions because nearly half of the committee wasn’t there, in what could be a sign of deepening intraparty and intracameral divisions in the DFL-controlled Legislature.  Reps. Aisha Gomez and Esther Agbaje of Minneapolis, Dave Lislegard of Aurora and Liz Lee of St. Paul […]