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.

Minnesota will be recovering from COVID-19 for years

By: , , and - May 15, 2020

It seems like this has been going on forever. On March 6, I wrote the following in our newsletter, Daily Reformer:  With Super Tuesday over we turn our attention to the most important event happening in American politics: COVID-19. The reason I say that is because of its economic effects, which are already massive, and […]

Top Republican says major infrastructure bill still in play

By: and - May 14, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, on Thursday expressed optimism the Legislature could pass a major infrastructure package ahead of its May 18 adjournment.  Gazelka said Gov. Tim Walz’s decision to let his stay-at-home order expire — allowing retail businesses to reopen and allowing gatherings of 10 or fewer — has improved the […]

Walz lifting stay-at-home order, some businesses can resume Monday

By: - May 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz said Wednesday he would allow his stay-at-home order to expire Sunday night, allowing retail to resume starting Monday at half capacity, as well as allowing gatherings of 10 people or fewer. The first-term DFL governor opted to keep larger businesses like gyms and movie theaters closed for the time being. Bars, restaurants […]

Walz expected to extend peacetime emergency during 6 p.m. statewide address

By: - May 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz is expected to announce Tuesday night whether he will extend his peacetime emergency declaration for another month and continue ordering Minnesotans to stay home.  Walz will hold a statewide address at 6 p.m. The DFL governor has been widely expected to extend his peacetime emergency declaration, first issued March 13 and extended […]

House DFL unveils $2 billion capital investment bill in dwindling legislative session

By: - May 12, 2020

House DFLers this week unveiled a $2 billion bonding bill, pressing ahead despite a threat by GOP House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, to block the bill if Gov. Tim Walz does not relinquish his peacetime emergency.  House DFL leadership on Monday said they intended to bring to a vote a bonding bill on Saturday […]

Meatpacking has long been dangerous, grueling work. Then COVID-19 hit.

By: - May 12, 2020

WORTHINGTON — Meatpacking has long been one of the most dangerous jobs in America —  well before COVID-19 hit.  Since the virus began worming its way into rural communities and the meatpacking industry just weeks ago, the novel coronavirus has raced through the cramped production lines, locker rooms and cafeterias of 115 meat and poultry […]

Senate approves deadline extension for Walz to use COVID-19 emergency funds

By: - May 11, 2020

The Minnesota Senate on Monday approved an extension of Gov. Tim Walz’s authority to access the remaining $65 million in the COVID-19 emergency fund first approved by lawmakers in late March.   The Senate voted 62-5 in granting the extension, setting the deadline for Dec. 30, 2020, a compromise date. The House GOP last week proposed […]

Minnesota officials highlight disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color

By: - May 8, 2020

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm on Friday sounded the alarm on the racial disparities emerging in the state’s COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates.  With a recent expansion in testing, state health officials are seeing disproportionate rates of COVID-19 among the state’s Black and Latino populations. “This public health crisis is […]

DFL incumbents Hayden, Dehn lose endorsement races to political newcomers

By: - May 8, 2020

Two Minneapolis incumbents — state Sen. Jeff Hayden and state Rep. Raymond Dehn — lost their DFL endorsement races Thursday, setting up a tough reelection for both legislative veterans.  Omar Fateh, who is active in Minnesota progressive circles and has worked for the state, beat Hayden, the third-term state senator and assistant minority leader. Fateh’s […]

House poised to pass $208 million COVID-19 economic aid package

By: - May 7, 2020

The Minnesota House is poised to approve a $208 million COVID-19 response package on Thursday, spending $100 million on housing assistance, $55 million on small business loans and $27 million for broadband access.  The plan from the majority DFL caucus also includes $26 million to increase pay for personal care attendants who often work with vulnerable […]

JBS Worthington plant reopens with reduced staff after COVID-19 outbreak

By: - May 6, 2020

JBS USA, one of the largest meat processing companies in the country, reopened its Worthington pork processing plant Wednesday, after being forced to temporarily halt operations last month because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The reopening of the plant comes a week after President Donald Trump issued an executive order compelling meat packing plants to stay […]

Minnesota faces sudden $2.4 billion budget deficit in COVID-19 fallout

By: - May 5, 2020

Minnesota budget officials announced a $2.4 billion deficit Tuesday, a stunning reversal of the state’s fiscal picture from two months ago before COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the global economy. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans, MMB Economist Laura Kalambokidis and Budget Director Britta Reitan presented a grim and expedited accounting of the massive hit […]