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.

Senate GOP issues first offer in budget negotiations, calling for Voter ID, no taxes

By: - May 4, 2021

Senate Republicans on Tuesday issued the opening salvo in legislative budget negotiations, making public their first offer with House DFL leadership.  Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, outlined his caucus’s priorities during a brief news conference, calling for no tax increases to balance the state’s budget, which currently is forecasted to see a […]

Walz, Democrats make last ditch plea for police reform in legislative session’s final days

By: - May 4, 2021

For the second time in less than a year, a high stakes debate over police reform has erupted at the State Capitol, with emerging progressive lawmakers from racially diverse communities pushing for changes their constituents are demanding.    After the recent police killing of Daunte Wright and guilty verdict in the murder trial of former Minneapolis […]

Dark money accounted for majority of spending in Minnesota’s most competitive races, report finds

By: - May 3, 2021

A new report from the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs found that the cost of the 2020 election in Minnesota totaled nearly $163 million, a remarkable sum of cash that raises questions about transparency in campaign finance. 2020 was a presidential election year with […]

Walz says State Fair is on track to ‘be pretty close to a normal event,’ citing vaccination rate

By: - April 30, 2021

The Great Minnesota Get-Together is on track to return this summer, Gov. Tim Walz signaled Friday.  The pandemic led Minnesota State Fair officials to cancel the event last year, but with vaccination rates up, Walz said it’s likely to return this year.  “Everything looks to me on the horizon — and where the vaccine is […]

Corrections officer under investigation after Stillwater incident with Black protestors

By: - April 26, 2021

A 26-year-veteran of the Minnesota Department of Corrections is on leave after a Sunday incident in which his wife used the N-word at protesters gathered in Stillwater.  Activists — many of them Black Minnesotans — had gathered at the Stillwater home of Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, the prosecutor handling the case of former Brooklyn […]

GOP Senate majority leader cancels plans for stand-alone hearing on police accountability

By: - April 23, 2021

Senate Republicans have cancelled plans to hold a stand-alone hearing on police accountability measures, the Republican Senate majority leader announced Thursday.  In the wake of the Brooklyn Center police killing of Daunte Wright, Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, last week said he was “committed” to holding hearings. “We’re committed to having hearings,” he […]

Activists confront Washington County Attorney at his Stillwater home, demanding murder charge for ex-Brooklyn Center cop who shot Daunte Wright

By: - April 23, 2021

Activists traveled to the Stillwater home of Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, the prosecutor who has brought a second-degree manslaughter charge against former Brooklyn Center Police Officer Kim Potter in the killing of Daunte Wright, demanding Orput charge her with murder. Led by civil rights activist and attorney Nekima Levy Armstrong, a group of demonstrators […]

Chauvin verdict: Guilty on 3 charges in George Floyd’s death

By: , , and - April 20, 2021

The jury has spoken, and found Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and face down on the pavement at 38th Street and Chicago Avenue last May.  Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder; guilty […]

Gov. Tim Walz seeks $9 million to pay for out-of-state law enforcement assistance as protests, unrest continue

By: - April 19, 2021

The Minnesota Senate on Monday voted 48-19 to approve $9 million in emergency funding to pay for out-of-state law enforcement assistance Gov. Tim Walz sought over the weekend.  Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said Walz asked legislative leaders to quickly approve the funding, adding that all four caucus leaders agreed to the […]

Should Minnesota have a state soup? If so, is it wild rice soup? Cream of mushroom?

By: - April 16, 2021

A Republican lawmaker wants an official Minnesota state soup.  State Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, confirmed to the Reformer that he is offering the amendment to a state budget bill to designate a state soup study group.  He said that like many amendments offered during floor debates, it was meant to be in jest and to […]

DFL lawmakers promise change; families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright demand justice

By: and - April 13, 2021

Minnesota began dealing with the aftermath of the police killing of Daunte Wright Tuesday, as lawmakers at the State Capitol called for accountability and reform, while the families of Minnesotans killed by police demanded justice. Civil Rights attorney Ben Crump said Wright’s family will get justice for the 20-year-old Black man shot by police during […]

DFL lawmakers press for police accountability, while Senate GOP leader makes no promises on new laws

By: - April 13, 2021

Minnesota lawmakers are set to debate new police accountability measures following the Brooklyn Center police killing of Daunte Wright.  State Rep. Cedrick Frazier, DFL-New Hope, and other fellow Democratic-Farmer-Labor colleagues have called on budget negotiations to halt until new police accountability and reform measures are adopted.  The freshman legislator, who authored a bill that would […]