Author

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. For two years she was also a corps member with Report for America, a national nonprofit that places journalists in local newsrooms and news deserts. She lives in St. Paul and likes to knit and watch documentaries in her free time.

House Democrats want state authority over health care consolidations in Minnesota

By: - January 30, 2023

Minnesota House Democrats on Monday warned a merger between Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health could increase health care costs or lead to hospital and clinic closures.  In November, Fairview and Sanford announced their intention to merge into one health care system run by Sanford’s current CEO Bill Gassen. The target date to complete the […]

Minnesota House passes bill mandating move to carbon-free electricity by 2040

By: - January 26, 2023

The Minnesota House passed a bill late Thursday that would force Minnesota utilities to move to entirely carbon-free electricity by 2040, after hours of debate that sometimes strayed far off topic. House Republicans sought to derail the bill and score points with over 30 amendments. The debate— which lasted late into the evening — touched […]

Walz proposes $3.3 billion infrastructure package

By: - January 26, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz proposed spending $3.3 billion on Minnesota’s roads, water systems, affordable housing projects and repair of state buildings. Walz and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say it’s time to pass an infrastructure bill — known around the Capitol as a bonding bill because they often rely on borrowed money — after […]

Gov. Walz to consider increasing local government aid after stern criticism from lobbying group

By: - January 25, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz told a roomful of mayors and city officials Wednesday that he’s open to giving more state money to local governments. His comments came the day after the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities lambasted his budget for being stingy with local government aid. On Tuesday, Walz’s 2024-25 budget proposal and suggestions for using […]

North Dakota officials threaten to sue Minnesota if it passes 2040 clean energy plan

By: - January 25, 2023

North Dakota’s governor and other top elected officials on Tuesday threatened a lawsuit in a letter to Gov. Tim Walz and other state officials over Minnesota’s potential move away from fossil fuels.   Gov. Doug Burgum urged Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen and legislative leaders to amend the bills currently being considered […]

Takeaways from Gov. Tim Walz’s 2024-25 budget proposal

By: - January 25, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday proposed a historic budget that gives money to working class and low-income Minnesotans, and invests in a range of government programs aimed at improving education, housing and health and child care. Walz’s budget would give checks to over 2.5 million Minnesotans, provide tax relief to some Social Security recipients, ramp […]

Minnesota Asian and Pacific Caucus announces anti-hate legislation, advocates for gun control

By: - January 23, 2023

The Minnesota Asian and Pacific Caucus said Monday that a top priority at the Legislature this year is to address hate and bias incidents against people of color, particularly Asian Americans. The caucus began its Monday press conference with a moment of silence for the victims affected by a mass shooting in California Saturday that […]

Lawmakers propose free menstrual products in Minnesota schools for grades 4-12

By: - January 18, 2023

Some DFL lawmakers are hoping to require school districts across Minnesota to provide free menstrual products for students. The House bill, which passed through the House Education Policy Committee last week, would require public and charter schools to provide students access to free menstrual products in student restrooms for grades 4-12. Chief author Rep. Sandra […]

Walz proposes child tax credits, universal free lunch, boost in K-12 education funding

By: - January 17, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz began rolling out the centerpiece of his second term agenda Tuesday, promising to make Minnesota the best place in America to raise children. Using a St. Paul school as a backdrop, he proposed an expansive education and child care plan that includes tax breaks for Minnesota families with children, K-12 spending hikes […]

House committee furthers universal free meals program for Minnesota schools

By: - January 12, 2023

Minnesota Democrats are again advocating to provide free meals for all students, and now with a $17.6 billion budget surplus they are hoping it will become a reality. The federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic reimbursed schools for the cost of breakfast and lunch for all students. This program ended in September, pulling the rug […]

Would automatic voter registration allow non-citizens to vote?

By: - January 10, 2023

Minnesota Democratic lawmakers this session are proposing to expand driver’s license eligibility to people without legal permission to reside in the U.S. At the same time, they are proposing to automatically register everyone to vote. Could the people here illegally use the new license to vote?  Yes, but it’s a felony with steep consequences. And […]

Bill adding inflation to Minnesota budget forecast expenditures to go to House floor

By: - January 9, 2023

Minnesota Democrats have long decried a law they say amounts to a budget gimmick that fools the public into thinking government finances are rosier than the reality. When state government makes projections about future budgets, analysts include how inflation will affect revenue but not spending, thus often undershooting the true cost of government services. The […]