Government & Politics

In a victory for Walz, Ramsey County judge rules in favor of statewide mask mandate

BY: - March 16, 2021

A Ramsey County judge ruled in favor of Gov. Tim Walz’s statewide mask mandate on Monday, issuing a point-by-point order slapping down a lawsuit claiming Walz had overstepped his authority and that COVID-19 did not qualify as an “act of nature” under the state’s peacetime emergency statute. Ramsey County District Court Judge John H. Guthmann ruled against […]

Native leaders in Minnesota celebrate Haaland’s historic confirmation to head Interior

BY: and - March 16, 2021

U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland made history on Monday when she became the first Native American to ever be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold a position in a president’s cabinet. In a 51-40 vote, senators confirmed Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat, to serve as secretary of Interior, where she will run a $21 billion […]

Chauvin attorney seeks delay, prospective juror dismissed after city settles with Floyd family

BY: and - March 15, 2021

The defense lawyer for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin made a flurry of motions Monday morning in response to an unprecedented $27 million settlement agreement announced Friday with the family of George Floyd, who died under Chauvin’s knee last May.  Defense Attorney Eric Nelson said he was “gravely concerned” about the news, questioning the […]

‘They’re going to take the baby’: Foster care barriers keep families separated

BY: - March 15, 2021

Lakecia and Rhonald Gant lost their 27-year-old daughter when she was murdered in 2019, leaving them to care for their 2-year-old granddaughter.  Days later, Lakecia Gant found her husband in tears in the living room. “They’re going to take (the) baby,” he told her. A social worker had just told Rhonald Gant that their granddaughter […]

Minneapolis City Council sends proposed police charter amendment to commission for review

BY: - March 12, 2021

The Minneapolis City Council voted 11-2 on Friday to advance a proposed charter amendment that would eliminate the police department and replace it with a new department of public safety under the control of the City Council rather than the mayor. Shortly after taking the vote, the City Council approved a $27 million settlement agreement […]

Pandemic restrictions in Minnesota to ease dramatically starting March 15

BY: - March 12, 2021

Gov. Tim Walz on Friday dramatically loosened COVID-19 restrictions, expressing optimism that life in Minnesota would soon return closer to normal a year after he first declared a peacetime emergency because of the pandemic. Starting Monday, social gatherings with multiple households will be allowed, with up to 50 people outdoors and 15 indoors, largely the […]

Nearly half the jury in the Chauvin trial is seated: Here’s who they are

BY: - March 12, 2021

By day’s end Thursday, nearly half the jury that will decide the fate of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had been seated.  They will render a verdict on Chauvin, who faces charges of second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Jury selection is moving at a much faster pace than expected. Up to three […]

Muslim community leaders oppose potential re-appointment of Andrew Luger as U.S. Attorney for Minnesota

BY: - March 11, 2021

A coalition of Muslim and other faith and community leaders on Thursday stated their opposition to the potential re-appointment of Andrew Luger as U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Led by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, community leaders have begun organizing against Luger’s nomination for a post he held from […]

Minnesota Senate approves bill to exempt Paycheck Protection Program loans from state taxes

BY: - March 11, 2021

The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Thursday that will protect businesses that received federal money from having to pay Minnesota taxes on it. The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Bakk, I-Cook, received 55 votes in favor and 12 against. The Paycheck Protection Program was established under the massive CARES Act last year to help […]

Twitter account of governor’s chief of staff hacked, sends tirade of racist messages

BY: - March 11, 2021

The Twitter account of Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s chief of staff was hacked Thursday morning, and unleashed a tirade of racist, antisemitic and pornographic messages, including some directed at the governor. The account @chrischmitter had not tweeted since October 2020, but starting at 8:23 am CT on Thursday, the account let loose more than a […]

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu among finalists for U.S. Attorney for District of Minnesota

BY: - March 10, 2021

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, a litigation and investigation counsel for Medtronic, is one of three finalists for the job of U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, according to sources familiar with knowledge of the selection process.  Velazquez-Aguilu, a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Minnesota, is being considered for the potential appointment by U.S. […]

Biden COVID-19 relief bill passes; Minnesota to get $4.9 billion

BY: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — A sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after the U.S. House passed the latest pandemic relief measure Wednesday on a party-line vote. Minnesota state and local governments are expected to receive $4.9 billion, radically changing the budget outlook at the state Legislature, as well for many cities […]