Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez is the senior political reporter for the Reformer. Ricardo is not new to Minnesota politics, previously reporting on the Dayton administration and statehouse for The Star Tribune from 2014 to 2017, and the Republican National Convention in 2016. Previously, he was a staff writer at The Los Angeles Times covering the California economy. He's a Las Vegas native who has adopted Minnesota as his home state. In his spare time, he likes to run, cook and volunteer with Save-a-Bull, a Minneapolis dog rescue group.

6 key findings from U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn ethics committee referral

By: - October 22, 2021

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent, non-partisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of Congress, on Thursday issued a 23-page report outlining why it says there is “substantial reason” to believe U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn committed ethics violations.  The matter was referred to the House Ethics Committee on a 6-0 vote […]

GOP state senator says Lindstrom men charged in Jan. 6 Capitol attack are ‘good family,’ need financial support

By: - October 22, 2021

A GOP state senator on Friday asked his Facebook followers to donate to the legal defense fund of a family facing felony charges in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. State Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch, shared the link to an online fundraiser organized by Rosemarie Westbury, whose husband and son, […]

Senate Republicans attack county attorney for car stop policy

By: - October 21, 2021

Senate Republicans and some law enforcement officials criticized Ramsey County Attorney John Choi’s decision not to prosecute cases that stem solely from traffic stops unrelated to public safety.  A Senate hearing on Thursday focused on the rising crime in the Twin Cities metro and featured a slate of testifiers that included Ramsey County Sheriff Bob […]

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State labor department estimates pandemic bonuses would take 3 months to pay once plan approved

By: - October 20, 2021

Workers in line for pandemic bonus pay might have to wait up to three months to receive any money once an agreement is reached, Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Roslyn Robertson estimated.  Lawmakers deadlocked in a lengthy negotiation — over who should get the money and how much — heard details Wednesday of how the […]

Walz officially seeks second term, contrasting pandemic response with GOP

By: - October 19, 2021

DFL Gov. Tim Walz is officially asking Minnesotans for a second term, announcing his reelection campaign Tuesday morning in a video highlighting his record handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Walz, 57, is a former congressman from Mankato who taught high school social studies and coached football before running for Congress in 2006. He also served […]

Minnesota teens who complete vaccination series by Nov. 30 eligible for $200 Visa gift cards, scholarship lottery

By: - October 18, 2021

Some Minnesota teens will be eligible for $200 Visa gift cards if they finish a COVID-19 vaccination series by Nov. 30, Gov. Tim Walz announced on Monday.  The administration will also award five $100,000 scholarships to teens who get vaccinated under the program. The winners will be selected by lottery and must attend a Minnesota […]

Walz blasts Senate GOP special session demand as he readies Guard to help with care shortages

By: - October 15, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday readied the Minnesota National Guard to help with staff shortages in long-term care settings and to assist with COVID-19 testing sites.  Walz, the first-term DFL governor, toured the intensive care unit at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale before speaking to reporters about alleviating staff shortages caused by the ongoing pandemic.  […]

Senate GOP pushes for changes to state employee vaccine mandate, criticizing rollout of policy

By: - October 14, 2021

Senate Republicans on Thursday argued the state should tweak its vaccine mandate policies to account for unvaccinated individuals who have natural immunity from previous infection and say the policy should have been struck through collective bargaining.  During a Senate hearing, Sens. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, and Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, criticized DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s implementation […]

Former Rep. Erin Maye Quade to run for Senate, challenging DFL incumbent

By: - October 13, 2021

Former state representative and lieutenant governor candidate Erin Maye Quade is challenging a DFL incumbent for a Minnesota Senate seat.  If elected, Maye Quade would be the first Black woman and first openly gay woman to serve in the Senate. She is currently advocacy director for Gender Justice, which focuses on reproductive rights and gender […]

$10 million drought relief package for farmers taking shape but timing uncertain

By: - October 12, 2021

Lawmakers on Tuesday heard details of Gov. Tim Walz’s $10 million drought-relief plan for farmers, readying a package to pass when the Legislature next meets. For much of summer, Minnesota experienced drought conditions. In mid-August, nearly 90% of Minnesota was under severe drought conditions. Northern Minnesota was most affected, said Agriculture Commissioner Thom Peterson.  Half […]

Chief priority for new Senate DFL leader: Win back majority

By: - October 11, 2021

State Sen. Melisa López Franzen has been updating her letterhead and campaign signs after reclaiming her López surname. Now her placards need another update: Senate minority leader. The Edina Democratic lawmaker took over the Senate DFL caucus after Sen. Susan Kent’s surprise announcement that she would step down as caucus leader and would also not […]

Former Minn. revenue commissioner Cynthia Bauerly named interim Senate DFL chief of staff

By: - October 8, 2021

The Senate DFL on Friday announced a staff shakeup under new Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen of Edina.  According to an announcement sent to Senate DFL staff and senators, former Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly will serve as interim chief of staff, replacing John Pollard, who served his last day in the job last Friday.  Former […]