Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a 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.

Minn. House Speaker ‘feeling fine’ after learning of COVID-19 infection, will negotiate remotely

By: - May 11, 2022

End-of-session legislative negotiations are being upended as House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, announced Wednesday she has COVID-19. “My allergies seemed a little bit worse this morning than a normal spring day so I thought it would be prudent to check,” Hortman tweeted, adding she was “feeling fine” and is fully vaccinated and had received […]

Walz, legislative leaders are meeting regularly as committees debate budget bills

By: - May 9, 2022

Around the Capitol, no news tends to be good news when it comes to legislative negotiations, as tight-lipped lawmakers usually means progress behind closed doors.  Two weeks remain until the Legislature adjourns, with a long to-do list and busy schedule of committee meetings that aim to settle the vast differences between the GOP-led Senate and […]

Senate majority leader’s family ties to deer farming under scrutiny in CWD vote

By: - May 6, 2022

During a recent debate on an agricultural budget bill, Sen. Karla Bigham, DFL-Cottage Grove, won five votes from GOP colleagues to amend the bill and impose regulations on deer farms to combat chronic wasting disease, including a moratorium on new operations.  It was an unusual show of bipartisan support for a DFL-led amendment in the […]

Minnesota unaffected if Roe v. Wade struck down, but GOP majority could change that, Walz warns

By: - May 3, 2022

Minnesota DFL leaders are pledging to preserve abortion rights in the state, repudiating a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion obtained by Politico that would strike down Roe v. Wade.  “Not on my watch,” Gov. Tim Walz tweeted Monday night when Politico first published the 98-page opinion written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito.  Abortion access in […]

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Legislative leaders broker tentative deal on pandemic hazard pay, unemployment insurance fund

By: - April 28, 2022

Legislative leaders on Thursday announced a deal on a long-stalled issue to award pandemic hazard pay to frontline workers and replenish the state’s unemployment insurance fund to avert steep tax increases on employers.  House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said they brokered a tentative agreement late Wednesday night […]

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DEED Commissioner Steve Grove plays hardball with Hilton after contentious call

By: - April 27, 2022

During the worst of the pandemic in the middle of the winter of 2021, a manager of a Hilton hotel had pointed criticisms for Steve Grove, who serves as Gov. Tim Walz’s commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development.  Grove sparred with Kenneth Jarka, the general manager of the Hilton Minneapolis — during […]

Senate approves ‘tough on crime’ bill with bipartisan support

By: - April 25, 2022

The Republican-controlled state Senate on Monday approved a $200 million public safety and judiciary budget bill that creates harsher penalties for carjackers, institutes new mandates on judges and prosecutors for sentencing and prosecution decisions, and weighs in on sentencing guidelines. The bill passed with a bipartisan majority but won’t become law without the assent of […]

Push to ban private, members-only club for lobbyists, legislators gains bipartisan support

By: - April 12, 2022

The push to ban the creation of a private, dues-based club for legislators and lobbyists has gained bipartisan support.  A budget bill advancing in the GOP-led Senate includes a provision that would bar lobbyists and other political groups from making contributions for a membership to a private club during the legislative session to meet with […]

In endorsement race for western suburban district, Rep. Kelly Morrison wins over Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart

By: - April 11, 2022

State Rep. Kelly Morrison, DFL-Deephaven, won the DFL endorsement in her bid for the Minnesota Senate, beating freshman state Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, DFL-Minnetonka.  Under new legislative maps, Johnson Stewart moved into Senate District 45, which encompasses a large western suburban district and cities like Minnetonka, Orono and Mound.  Morrison, first elected in 2018, is […]

Senate approves $8.4 billion in tax cuts, and adjourns for Easter Break

By: - April 7, 2022

The GOP-led Senate approved an $8.4 billion tax cut package on Thursday, 42-24, setting up negotiations with the House DFL, which would use money to bolster child care and education while offering a smaller, targeted tax cut. Billed as tax cuts for Minnesota families, Republicans argue the state’s projected $9.3 billion budget surplus is evidence […]

House DFL moving to cut costs of child care, housing and prescription drugs

By: - April 5, 2022

House Democratic leaders on Tuesday outlined plans intended to reduce the costs of child care, housing and prescription drugs, setting up their negotiating position with Senate Republicans as the legislative session enters its final stretch.  With a projected $9.25 billion budget surplus, House DFL leaders also proposed targeted tax changes they say are aimed at […]

House DFL ditches Walz checks in favor of refundable child tax credit

By: - April 4, 2022

House DFL and Senate GOP lawmakers appear to have killed a plan from Gov. Tim Walz to give Minnesotans direct payments of up to $1,000. On Monday, the two legislative caucuses published their competing tax plans and neither contains the so-called “Walz checks,” which the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor had proposed recently. Direct payments to Minnesotans would […]