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.

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 […]

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 […]