Author

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez

Ricardo Lopez was a senior political reporter for the Reformer.

Infrastructure law is ‘blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America’ Biden says in Minnesota

By: - November 30, 2021

ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — On his first visit to Minnesota since he was elected, President Joe Biden on Tuesday touted the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package he recently signed into law. Biden spoke during a brief stop at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount.  Minnesota will receive more than $6 billion in federal funds, of which $4.5 billion […]

Rep. Omar hangs up on Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert after ‘unproductive call’

By: - November 29, 2021

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar said she spoke by phone Monday with Colorado GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert. It did not go well. “I decided to end the unproductive call,” Omar said in a statement. Boebert apologized Friday for joking that she felt safe sharing an elevator ride with Omar, who is Muslim, because Omar wasn’t wearing […]

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith says Build Back Better will pass by end of year

By: - November 22, 2021

Sen. Tina Smith, the junior Democratic senator from Minnesota, was at the White House last Monday as President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package into law. Minnesota stands to gain more than $6 billion of that money. Smith spoke with the Reformer to give an update on where negotiations stand on the second […]

Lawmaker vows to close loophole allowing private GOP club for lobbyists

By: - November 18, 2021

A state senator said she plans to introduce legislation banning a private members-only club for lawmakers and lobbyists.  The Reformer last week reported that the Senate Victory Fund, the Senate GOP campaign arm, earlier this year requested an advisory opinion on a proposal to lease and open a private meeting space for lawmakers and dues-paying […]

Walz, citing political fallout for health commissioner, will not declare COVID state of emergency

By: - November 17, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday said he would not call a state of emergency in response to  the COVID-19 surge in Minnesota, arguing it would be ineffective and would cause political fallout that would hobble his administration’s pandemic response.  Walz, who is in Finland on a trade mission, said a peacetime emergency declaration would be […]

State lawmaker in dispute over up north lakefront property

By: - November 17, 2021

State Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, and his wife, Kari Mortensen, violated a cease-and-desist order to halt construction on a boat storage shed because it was too close to the shoreline of property they own on Poplar Lake in northern Minnesota.  Mortensen, the Republican lawmaker who has courted controversy since he was first elected to the […]

Senate GOP gets OK to create private club for legislators, lobbyists during session

By: - November 12, 2021

Senate Republicans last month received approval from the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board to create a private meeting space for legislators and lobbyists and other dues-paying members, raising concerns about transparency and undue influence and access.  A spokeswoman confirmed that the Senate Victory Fund, the Senate GOP’s campaign committee, sought the Finance Board opinion on its […]

Walz faces criticism for slow response to public records request

By: - November 10, 2021

A public-records advocacy group on Wednesday said it has repeatedly asked the administration of Gov. Tim Walz for emails from a non-public-facing email address used by the governor but received no response. Public Record Media, a nonprofit group, published requests it sent in May asking for correspondence about the state’s response to the civil unrest […]

‘Infrastructure week is finally here’ in Minnesota, led by $4.5 billion for roads

By: - November 9, 2021

U.S. Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips on Tuesday touted the billions in dollars coming to Minnesota as part of the just-passed legislation.  Craig and Phillips appeared in St. Paul to promote the package they voted for along with U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, the only three of Minnesota’s eight U.S. representatives to vote for President […]

Former DFL state representative Carly Melin to serve as Senate DFL chief of staff

By: - November 8, 2021

Former DFL state representative Carly Melin will serve as chief of staff of the Senate DFL, according to a news release.  Melin, 36, served three terms in the Minnesota House representing parts of the Iron Range. She currently works as director of government affairs for the office of Attorney General Keith Ellison.  The Senate DFL […]

Suburban DFL state senator expected to run for reelection against progressive challenger

By: - November 5, 2021

A battle for the DFL endorsement is shaping up in a suburban Twin Cities Senate district, pitting a progressive queer woman of color and senior moderate man who, unlike many other similarly situated state senators, is expected to run for reelection.  Sen. Greg Clausen, DFL-Apple Valley, has not officially announced he is seeking another four-year […]

Lawmakers fail to reach compromise on pandemic bonus pay, advance competing plans to Legislature

By: - October 27, 2021

Minnesota lawmakers on Wednesday voted to advance two competing plans to distribute $250 million in pandemic bonus pay to essential workers.   A committee of DFL and GOP legislators, and three appointees of Gov. Tim Walz, for weeks had been deadlocked in how to distribute the aid, divided over who should receive the backpay.  It’s unclear […]