Government & Politics

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 […]

hennepin county government center

Hennepin weighs buying hotels for homeless people with CARES funding

BY: - May 13, 2020

The Hennepin County Board is weighing buying hotels for several hundred people experiencing homelessness but delayed voting on the idea until May 19. Buying a hotel would shift the county’s focus from a short-term response to the COVID-19 pandemic to one that could last as long as two years. The move shows how some elected […]

Amid allegations of favoritism to red states, Minnesota firms did well in scramble for federal money

BY: - May 13, 2020

More than 46,000 Minnesota businesses received a total of $9 billion in loans during the first round of federal small business coronavirus relief, a larger sum than most states.  The Paycheck Protection Program loans have been critical in helping businesses in Minnesota and across the country avoid layoffs during the COVID-19 crisis.  But the program […]

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 […]

COMMENTARY

Minnesota is ready for marijuana legalization

BY: - May 12, 2020

Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler introduced legislation last week to little fanfare that would legalize adult-use marijuana in Minnesota. Recognizing that we currently have bigger priorities, he indicated that consideration of the bill would be tabled until after the pandemic. But it’s not too soon to discuss the idea’s merits. The Winkler bill is […]

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 […]

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 […]

DeVos finalizes sexual assault rules that critics say ‘roll back the clock’

BY: - May 6, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos finalized rules Wednesday that the administration says will improve due process in campus sexual assault cases, but that critics warn could discourage victims from coming forward. The new regulations expand rights for people accused of sexual misconduct on college campuses and make other changes to federal regulations governing schools’ obligations to […]

Federal funding for Brainerd Lakes, other small airports scaled back

BY: - May 6, 2020

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport will receive $4 million in federal stimulus funding instead of the $18 million it was allotted last month, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday. As the Reformer previously reported, Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport was set to receive far more than busier Minnesota airports — like those in Duluth and Rochester — under […]

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 […]

From surplus to deficit? Minnesota budget forecast Tuesday sets stage for legislative session’s final 2 weeks

BY: - May 4, 2020

Tuesday’s billion dollar question: Will Minnesota face a sudden budget deficit after expecting a $1.5 billion surplus just weeks ago?  The state budget office — known as Minnesota Management and Budget or MMB — is preparing to publish a budget forecast Tuesday, required by law for lawmakers to tap into a $2.4 billion budget reserve. […]