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.

Los Angeles Times journalists sue Minn. State Patrol over injuries sustained during George Floyd protests

By: - May 26, 2021

Two Los Angeles Times journalists are suing the Minnesota State Patrol for injuries they sustained while covering protests last May in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by Derek Chauvin. Houston Bureau Chief Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Carolyn Cole, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, were among a group of journalists who were assembled near the Minneapolis Police […]

4 days left to finalize a $52 billion budget, but ‘working groups’ meet largely out of public view

By: - May 24, 2021

Just four days remain for lawmakers to finalize a $52 billion budget, at least according to a deadline DFL Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders announced last week. For the most part, insofar as any decisions are being made, they are happening behind closed doors.  On the last day of the legislative session, the governor […]

Minn. Attorney General Keith Ellison will lead prosecution against Brooklyn Center officer accused of killing Daunte Wright

By: - May 21, 2021

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will be leading the prosecution against former Brooklyn Center police officer Kim Potter, who is accused of second-degree manslaughter in the April 11 shooting death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright.  The decision to have Ellison’s office prosecute Potter is a victory for activists who had called for either Ellison or a […]

What happened over the past four-and-a-half months at the Minnesota Capitol

By: and - May 21, 2021

It was supposed to be one of the most consequential legislative sessions in a decade. Instead, lawmakers adjourned on Monday announcing only a broad “numbers-only” budget that still needs to be crafted and passed by June 30 or force the state into a partial government shutdown. Faced with an $883 million budget deficit, a state […]

New House Republican caucus gives Shakopee lawmaker the boot

By: - May 19, 2021

Troubles keep mounting for freshman state Rep. Erik Mortensen, the Shakopee Republican who can’t seem to get along with fellow conservatives.  Mortensen has been kicked out of the New House Republican Caucus, previously a five-man group of conservatives who defected in 2018 to form a new caucus.  State Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, sent a letter […]

5 takeaways from the legislative session that wasn’t: Lawmakers leave work unfinished

By: - May 18, 2021

The 2021 legislative session came in like a lion and went out like a lamb.  When lawmakers first returned in January to hash out a new two-year budget, they faced a projected deficit of $883 million, a divided Legislature and a herculean vaccination effort that would shape the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a […]

Walz, Legislature agree to $52 billion budget framework, boosted by $2.8 billion in COVID relief

By: - May 17, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz and top Minnesota legislative leaders on Monday announced they had reached a “numbers only” budget, agreeing to a $52 billion two-year budget that would fund summer school, cut taxes for businesses and Minnesotans and divvy up more than $2.8 billion in federal COVID-19 recovery funds.  The agreement arrives in the waning hours […]

Do I still have to wear a mask in Minnesota? In some cities, businesses, yes

By: - May 14, 2021

Within two hours of Gov. Tim Walz’s sudden Thursday announcement that he would end Minnesota’s statewide mask mandate, YMCA employees in the Twin Cities learned by email that “effective immediately” many patrons and employees would no longer need to wear masks indoors if fully vaccinated. By next morning, YMCA employees received another email saying the […]

Statewide mask mandate ends Friday after CDC says fully vaccinated people can ditch masks indoors

By: - May 13, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday said he will end the statewide mask mandate that he implemented last summer, following new guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors. Walz earlier this month said he would end the statewide mask mandate that […]

Minnesota House approves legalizing recreational marijuana; Senate unlikely to follow

By: - May 13, 2021

The Minnesota House passed a wide-ranging proposal to legalize recreational marijuana Thursday by a vote of 72-61, drawing a handful of Republican votes that were enough for passage.  The measure would expunge most cannabis convictions and create a regulatory framework for retail sales. It is the first time a chamber of the Minnesota Legislature has […]

Walz, faith, business leaders renew calls for action on police reform measures

By: - May 12, 2021

More than a dozen faith, business leaders and activists joined DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday calling on Senate Republicans to approve new police reform and accountability measures.  “If it looks like we have a community up here, that’s our intent,” Walz said, saying he was not sorry for the long list of speakers.  Less […]

Walz, DFL hope to break through stalemate on police accountability, reform measures as session end nears

By: - May 12, 2021

Monday is the adjournment of the legislative session, leaving just days for lawmakers to bridge major differences in policy in a public safety bill that could shape how police departments do their work.  The police killing of Daunte Wright led to renewed calls by Democratic lawmakers to approve new police accountability and criminal justice reform […]