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.

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 […]

DFL launches effort for Minnesota paid family leave program

By: - January 6, 2023

Democratic legislators are optimistic they will pass paid family leave after years of advocacy and vetting — and opposition from Republicans and their business allies. The program unveiled at a news conference Thursday would allow workers to take paid leave for up to 12 weeks of medical leave and up to 12 weeks for family […]

Lawmakers, gambling interests to make another push for legal sports betting in 2023

By: - January 6, 2023

The gambling industry is salivating at the prospect of fully legal sports betting in Minnesota, which offers a market of millions of fans rooting and potentially betting on teams from professional sports leagues and universities. The revenue potential for these companies is huge: From mid-2021 to mid-2022, Minnesotans spent over $4 billion on pull-tabs — […]

DFL lawmakers hopeful about legalizing marijuana in Minnesota with trifecta

By: - January 5, 2023

Democrats introduced a bill Thursday that would legalize recreational marijuana for people 21 and older, kicking off a months-long process to deliver on a central campaign promise. “Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make responsible decisions about cannabis … themselves,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, at a press conference. “Our current laws are […]

Codifying abortion access, paid family leave, child care tax credits among DFL legislative priorities

By: - January 4, 2023

DFL legislative leaders on Tuesday announced their priorities for the session, promising abortion rights, money for schools and paid family leave, among other priorities.  Whatever direction Democrats take, slim legislative majorities mean they’ll need consensus to move bills forward. That’s especially true in the Senate, where they hold a 34-33 edge. Passing a law to […]

5 observations on the Legislature’s first day

By: - January 3, 2023

Hundreds of Minnesotans were at the State Capitol on Tuesday to attend the first day of the Minnesota legislative session.  Lawmakers were sworn in, advocacy groups held rallies, public tours commenced and lobbyists whispered in hallways for the state’s first relatively normal day of session since COVID-19 prompted much of the state’s legislative business to […]

Gov. Tim Walz appoints six new commissioners

By: - December 21, 2022

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday announced the appointment of six new commissioners. Among the noteworthy appointments: outgoing state Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, as Minnesota’s next commissioner of revenue. Marquart has spent nearly two decades on the House Taxes Committee, most recently as chair, and he was first elected to the House in 2000. He will […]

Lawmakers approve $500 million renovation for State Office Building

By: - December 21, 2022

A panel of Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday approved nearly $500 million for renovation of the State Office Building, which is home to the offices of the state’s 134 House members and key staff, as well as conference rooms to host public hearings.   A Republican legislator called the move “egregious” and said lawmakers signed off on […]

State Office Building has safety hazards, few disability accommodations

By: - December 19, 2022

The Minnesota State Office Building, which houses the state’s 134 members of the state House, as well as staff offices and a bevy of conference rooms that host public hearings, needs major renovations to fix flooding and mold, poor ventilation and safety hazards that have injured numerous people, state staffers told lawmakers on Monday. At […]

Ellison joins amicus brief to U.S. Supreme Court defending right to strike

By: - December 13, 2022

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and 15 other state attorneys general urged the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief to uphold an employee’s right to self-organize and protest. At question in the case, Glacier Northwest Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 174, is whether federal law bars a Washington concrete company […]

On press call, White House highlights bailout of Central States Pension Fund

By: - December 8, 2022

The Biden administration highlighted a $36 billion bailout of the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund this week, ensuring that the estimated 19,000 Minnesota union workers who are vested in the multiemployer pension plan will receive their full benefits. Prior to the bailout, the union workers with a Central States pension would have had their benefits […]