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.

Walz announces YMCA child care program; MNSure open enrollment

By: - March 20, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz announced a pair of initiatives on Friday aimed at alleviating health insurance coverage needs, as well as addressing child care concerns for front-line workers laboring to slow the spread of COVID-19. Starting Monday, March 23, uninsured Minnesotans can enroll for health insurance through MNSure.org for a 30-day period ending April 21. […]

Minnesotan stranded in Guatemala after country seals border to contain COVID-19 outbreak

By: - March 18, 2020

Andrew Jacot, a St. Paul architect and travel junkie, is currently stranded in Guatemala after the country’s president abruptly announced Monday that he would be sealing the nation’s borders for at least two weeks. “From tomorrow, we will be cut off from the rest of the world,” President Alejandro Giammattei said in a national televised […]

Legislature passes COVID-19 package in the middle of the night; recesses

By: - March 17, 2020

Minnesota lawmakers early on Tuesday unanimously voted to make $150 million in grants available to healthcare providers to prepare for a surge of patients because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency legislation came together quickly, with legislative leaders announcing on Monday that they would negotiate details of the bill to ensure Minnesota hospitals and medical […]

Gov. Walz orders temporary closure of bars, restaurants and gyms as COVID-19 cases rise

By: - March 16, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Monday ordered the temporary closure of bars, restaurants, gyms and other places of public accommodation throughout the state no later than Tuesday at 5 p.m. Restaurants will not have to close entirely; under the Walz executive order, restaurants can continue delivery and takeout services, but state health officials have issued […]

Gov. Walz orders schools temporarily closed to curb COVID-19 outbreak

By: - March 15, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday took his most drastic action yet to contain the spread of COVID-19, ordering the temporary closure of Minnesota public schools starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. Walz says school districts should use the time to plan a transition to distance learning for the foreseeable future. “We cannot […]

walz emergency

Gov. Tim Walz declares state of peacetime emergency as number of COVID-19 cases grows

By: - March 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials on Friday issued a “peacetime emergency” declaration in response to the widening COVID-19 outbreak, issuing recommendations that call for curtailing large gatherings with more than 250 people. The number of confirmed cases in the state is now 14. Walz sought to project calm, explaining that the emergency declaration […]

Exclusive: AFSCME Council 5 experiencing financial woes, membership decline, documents reveal

By: - March 12, 2020

The abrupt departure of two top leaders this past summer were just the beginning of troubles for one of the state’s largest and most powerful public sector unions, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5.  Documents obtained by the Minnesota Reformer show that Julie Blehyl, the recently named executive director of the […]

Walz unveils scaled-down supplemental budget request amid COVID-19 worries

By: - March 12, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday unveiled a slender supplemental budget proposal that would leave unspent $1.2 billion amid growing worry about the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economy. “What we’re seeing both globally and we’re seeing in other states, I think that probably has tempered expectations to do our No. 1 […]

Rep. Omar announces marriage to Timothy Mynett, political consultant paid by her campaign

By: - March 11, 2020

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minneapolis, on Wednesday announced on Instagram that she is newly married to Timothy Mynett, a political consultant who had worked for her campaign.  “Got married!” Omar wrote. “From partners in politics to life partners, so blessed!,” adding an Arabic phrase that translates to “praise be to God.”  A spokesman for Omar […]

Minnesota COVID-19 cases grow to 5 as state ramps up efforts to curb outbreak

By: - March 11, 2020

Minnesota health officials on Wednesday said they will begin moving toward “community mitigation” efforts following the confirmation of two additional COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to five confirmed cases.  Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease division, said the state on Tuesday tested samples from 100 patients, including […]

Walz signs $21 million coronavirus response bill; Minnesota confirms third case

By: - March 10, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signed into law a bill authorizing the state to spend $21 million to fight the outbreak of coronavirus.  The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, sailed through the Legislature Monday, receiving unanimous approval by both the House and the Senate.  The additional funding now brings the state’s […]

Lawmakers approve $21 million for coronavirus response

By: - March 9, 2020

The Minnesota Legislature on Monday unanimously approved $21 million in funding for the state’s coronavirus preparedness.  Republican and DFL legislative leaders raced to get the bill to DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s desk this week. The governor is expected to sign the legislation into law Tuesday. The Senate bill by Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, had […]