Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer.

Senate ethics subcommittee votes to continue investigation of Sen. Omar Fateh

By: - June 15, 2022

A Minnesota Senate ethics subcommittee on Wednesday authorized an investigation of a two-count ethics complaint against Sen. Omar Fateh, DFL-Minneapolis, and will subpoena two people, including Fateh’s former legislative aide and campaign manager.  The Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct, a bipartisan four-member panel, continued its hearing on whether enough probable cause existed to conduct a […]

Sen. Omar Fateh says he paid for Somali TV political ads at center of ethics complaint

By: - June 8, 2022

DFL Sen. Omar Fateh of Minneapolis, facing allegations that he sought state grant money for a TV station after it ran free ads for him, said he actually paid $1,000 to Somali TV for a handful of political advertisements. Fateh, the first-term lawmaker, faces two ethics complaints filed by GOP colleagues who want to conduct […]

Senate DFL wants action on gun control measures in special session

By: - June 7, 2022

A group of DFL state senators on Tuesday called on their Republican colleagues to take action on long-stalled gun control legislation in a special session.  In recent weeks, two 18-year-old gunmen using AR-15 style rifles separately killed 10 Black people in Buffalo, N.Y., and 21 elementary school students and teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Senate Democratic […]

To counter GOP meddling, some cannabis activists pushed effort to change party name

By: - June 6, 2022

These days, Oliver Steinberg, chair and co-founder of the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party, is feeling besieged on multiple fronts.  Since the party became one of two marijuana legalization parties to achieve major party status in 2018, interlopers have sought to use the Grassroots Legalize Cannabis Party to influence the outcome of competitive races.  Two years […]

After Uvalde, Texas shooting, renewed calls for gun control legislation in Minnesota

By: - May 26, 2022

DFL lawmakers on Thursday called on Republicans in the Senate to act on long-stalled gun legislation at the Capitol, including bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, as well as strengthening red-flag intervention laws. The renewed calls come two days after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in […]

Public defenders, court staff call for a special session to approve funding for raises

By: - May 25, 2022

Teamsters Local 320, the union representing the state’s public defenders, court reporters and other court staff, is calling on Gov. Tim Walz and lawmakers to return to the Capitol to approve a public safety budget and fund a contract with pay increases or risk further strain on the judiciary branch.  Earlier this year, there had […]

Lawmakers approve $93 million for mental health funding in final minutes of legislative session

By: - May 25, 2022

Though unable to pass major education and public safety bills, lawmakers on Sunday approved nearly $93 million for mental health initiatives just minutes before adjourning. “Addressing the mental health crisis facing our communities, especially in our youth, has been a bipartisan priority all year and after working around the clock in the final hours of […]

GOP senators want ethics review of Sen. Omar Fateh effort to give nonprofit a $500,000 grant after it endorsed him

By: - May 24, 2022

A group of Republican state senators on Tuesday filed an ethics complaint against a DFL colleague, Sen. Omar Fateh of Minneapolis, requesting a review of Fateh’s sponsorship of legislation to give a nonprofit a $500,000 grant after it endorsed him, potentially in violation of its nonprofit status.  Additionally, the complaint authors wants the Senate Subcommittee […]

Billions left unspent as divided Legislature flounders in final hours

By: - May 23, 2022

In the end, the Minnesota Legislature ran out of time early Monday to strike deals on how to spend the state’s historic budget surplus, leaving billions on the state’s bottom line unless DFL Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders finish the work in a special session.  Lawmakers blew past a midnight deadline, failing to pass […]

Lawmakers scrambling to finish writing budget bills on time

By: - May 20, 2022

Minnesota lawmakers on Friday were still working through several sticking points in budget negotiations for transportation, education and public safety spending, even as they struck deals on other legislation, including drought relief and allowing some breweries to sell growlers. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, made her first appearance with reporters since quarantining with COVID-19 […]

Deadline looming for lawmakers to finish writing budget bills

By: - May 17, 2022

Quarreling lawmakers, who have been slow to fill in details on a compromise $8 billion package of tax cuts and new spending, threaten to derail an on-time end to the legislative session.   Just six days remain until the divided Legislature has to adjourn, but lawmakers have less than that to reach compromises, draft bills and […]

Time scarce for lawmakers to write budget bills as governor, top leaders set framework

By: - May 16, 2022

Lawmakers learned late Sunday night they have two days to put the pieces together of a multi-billion dollar spending and tax cut plan, leaving much left to do with little time.  DFL Gov. Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, signed a “broad framework” of their spending […]