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.

A big surplus, but a long wishlist

By: - February 27, 2023

Minnesota’s budget surplus estimate for the next two years is $17.5 billion, state officials said Monday. Now, state legislators will debate in earnest what problems, policies and programs warrant the most money. The Democratic majority is advocating for an increase in education spending, more child care support for families, child tax credits, affordable housing subsidies […]

Don’t mess with Rest

By: - February 22, 2023

Footage from Tuesday’s Senate debates over a bill restoring voting rights to people still on parole and probation and another bill allowing undocumented residents to obtain a driver’s license is going viral. But the video clips gaining attention aren’t about the bills’ life-changing effects for thousands of Minnesotans. Instead, what got the internet’s attention: A […]

Students could get free tuition for Minnesota colleges, universities under DFL proposal 

By: - February 21, 2023

State lawmakers are considering a bill to give most in-state students free tuition to Minnesota’s colleges and universities. DFL senators proposed creating the Minnesota Commitment to Higher Education Act, which would allow eligible Minnesota residents who are enrolled in a public state college or university to apply for a grant to cover the entire cost […]

DFL again proposes legalizing tribal-controlled sports betting in Minnesota

By: - February 21, 2023

DFL lawmakers on Tuesday announced their plan to legalize sports betting in Minnesota this session by giving exclusive licenses to tribal gambling interests. Minnesota offers a market of millions of fans rooting for and potentially betting on professional sports teams in Minnesota and across the U.S. The bill (HF2000) is similar to legislation the House […]

Key DFL senators’ answers on gun control: Ask me later

By: - February 16, 2023

A pair of newly elected, greater Minnesota Democratic senators could thwart their party’s drive for gun control this year despite full control of state government — and a rising body count from a ceaseless string of mass shootings around the country, most recently at Michigan State University. Demonstrators are expected to crowd the state Capitol’s […]

Minnesota House passes bills to make child care more affordable for low-income families

By: - February 13, 2023

The Minnesota House on Monday night passed two bills that aim to make child care more affordable for low-income Minnesotans. Lawmakers first approved — along party lines with Republicans in opposition — a bill (HF150) allocating over $52 million in early learning scholarships and provider stabilization funds.  Legislators then debated and passed a bill — […]

House passes universal free meals for Minnesota students

By: - February 9, 2023

The state House late Thursday passed universal free meals for Minnesota students, despite firm Republican opposition. Under the free school meals bill, Minnesota will pay the gap between federal funding and the cost of the meal regardless of a family’s income and bars schools from charging students for breakfast and lunch. The House passed the […]

As Minnesota decarbonizes, bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to study future of nuclear

By: - February 8, 2023

A bipartisan band of legislators wants to study the impact of developing new nuclear power technology in Minnesota to inform their future policy decisions. Minnesota since 1994 has had a moratorium on construction of new nuclear power facilities, though it allows the state’s two existing plants to generate energy. Nuclear power qualifies as one of […]

Minnesota lawmakers hope to codify Indian Child Welfare Act language into state law

By: - February 7, 2023

A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers are backing a bill aimed at keeping Native American children within the foster care system in Native American homes, as the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to overturn identical federal rules. The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) established federal minimum standards for the removal of Native American […]

Gov. Walz signs bill mandating 100% carbon-free energy by 2040

By: - February 7, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signed a bill mandating Minnesota utilities to transition to carbon-free energy by 2040. The bill requires Minnesota utilities to meet two standards: 100% carbon-free energy by 2040, with incremental deadlines to meet until 2040. And, by 2035, the utilities must show that at least 55% of their energy sales are […]

Can Minnesota reach standards in 100% carbon-free energy by 2040 bill without nuclear?

By: - February 7, 2023

Minnesota utilities will have to produce all of their electricity from carbon-free sources by 2040 under a bill Gov. Tim Walz plans to sign on Tuesday afternoon.  Nuclear energy, which produced 24% of Minnesota’s electricity in 2021, can count toward that standard but won’t likely be part of the mix for long. One of the […]

Minnesota House committee furthers four gun control bills

By: - February 3, 2023

A Minnesota House committee on Friday approved four gun control bills that would mandate safe firearm storage, expand background checks, create a “red flag” law to seize guns from people deemed dangerous, and require gun owners to promptly notify law enforcement if their firearms are stolen. The bills’ passage through the House Public Safety Finance […]