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.

Revolving door at Minnesota Capitol creates windstorm

By: - March 15, 2023

A bevy of former lawmakers roaming the Capitol this session aren’t just catching up with old friends — now they’re lobbyists trying to influence former colleagues on behalf of Google, Delta Airlines, Apple and big tobacco and mining companies. Legislators say they’ve been lobbied by many of their former colleagues, including the recently departed, like […]

Bill codifying Indian Child Welfare Act language into state law heads to Walz’s desk

By: - March 9, 2023

A bill aimed at keeping Native American children within the foster care system in Native American homes will now go to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk to be signed into law after the House passed it on Thursday. The legislation is well-timed — the U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to overturn identical federal laws. The House […]

Pawlenty, Dayton in bipartisan agreement: S. Dakota company should not control U hospital

By: - March 7, 2023

Two former Minnesota governors on Tuesday expressed concerns to lawmakers about a potential merger between two already large health care systems — Fairview Health Services and Sanford Health. Former Govs. Tim Pawlenty, the last Minnesota Republican to win statewide office, and his DFL successor Mark Dayton, came together to urge lawmakers to prioritize Minnesotans’ interests […]

Senate Republicans say infrastructure bill is ‘dead on arrival’ without tax cuts

By: - March 6, 2023

Update: The House passed the $1.9 billion infrastructure package Monday.  Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature have been largely powerless this year, forced to watch as Democrats have passed a wave of bills that make good on progressive priorities. When it comes to a big package to improve the state’s infrastructure, however, Republicans have some leverage: […]

Legislature week in review: Lawmakers advance bills increasing labor rights, expanding voting rights, regulating PFAS chemicals

By: and - March 3, 2023

With a bit more than 10 weeks left in the legislative session, Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers remain busy, advancing a number of bills including voting rights expansion, PFAS chemical regulation and protections against wage theft. On Gov. Tim Walz’s desk: Walz signed “Restore the Vote” legislation Friday morning, giving more than 55,000 Minnesotans the right to vote […]

Minnesota lawmakers propose stricter construction worker wage theft laws

By: - March 2, 2023

The Minnesota House is considering enacting a new law to ramp up protection for workers after stories of wage theft have peppered the state’s construction industry. In an effort to step up pressure on subcontractors that exploit workers, the bill would target general contractors and project owners that hire the subcontractors. Contractors often hire subcontractors […]

DFL lawmakers announce $3 billion package to address Minnesota’s housing crisis

By: - March 1, 2023

DFL lawmakers from the state House and Senate on Wednesday unveiled their $3 billion package aiming to end child homelessness, reduce racial disparities in homeownership and ease the shortage of housing. The DFL’s “All Roads Lead Back to Home” package would grant $350 million in rental assistance annually to low-income families, which lawmakers said would […]

GOP legislators propose cutting state taxes on Social Security, income

By: - February 28, 2023

Minnesota Republicans released their tax plan Tuesday, including one-time rebate checks for all Minnesotans, eliminating the state tax on Social Security benefits and slashing the individual income tax. The GOP tax package’s prospects are relatively dim in the DFL-controlled House and Senate, but Republican legislators argue that their tax plan includes benefits that Minnesotans want. […]

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 […]