Government & Politics

Senate adjourns special session without additional confirmation votes on Walz appointments

BY: - July 7, 2021

After contentious debate over outstanding commissioner nominations, the Minnesota Senate adjourned the special legislative session on Wednesday, jettisoning plans to confirm two of Gov. Tim Walz’s appointees.  Two confirmation votes were slated for Wednesday, but debate started off on a testy note after Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, made her third motion since Friday […]

Minnesota got $500 million for early childhood programs. Here’s where it’s going.

BY: - July 7, 2021

Child care and early learning programs in Minnesota will get a $500 million funding boost over the next two years, under the state budgets signed into law last week. It’s an unprecedented sum for the struggling industry — but advocates worry it isn’t a sustainable investment. Virtually all the money comes from federal COVID-19 relief […]

White House says executive order coming on labeling beef as a ‘Product of USA’

BY: - July 6, 2021

WASHINGTON — The White House will unveil an executive order in the coming days that directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clarify that meat can only receive a “Product of USA” label if that livestock is raised in the U.S. rather than abroad, press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday afternoon. “The EO directs […]

Pollution control commissioner resigns ahead of confirmation vote in Minnesota Senate

BY: and - July 6, 2021

Minnesota’s top pollution regulator resigned her post on Tuesday, preempting a Senate confirmation vote on her nomination after Republicans signaled they would fire her over differences in environmental policies. Laura Bishop, who served as commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the past two and a half years, had been a top Senate target […]

Legislative score card: Who won and who lost in $52 billion state budget

BY: - July 6, 2021

After months of wrangling, many missed deadlines and partisan gridlock, DFL Gov. Tim Walz signed into law a new $52 billion budget on Wednesday just hours before parts of the state government were set to shut down.  Walz held a ceremonial bill signing in the Governor’s Reception Room, the first public event in the ornately […]

Law enforcement groups sue state over use-of-force law

BY: - July 2, 2021

Minnesota police groups are suing Gov. Tim Walz and the state of Minnesota over a change to the state’s police use-of-force law that was approved after the murder of George Floyd. The new law aims to create stricter standards for when use of deadly force by law enforcement is considered justified. The lawsuit, filed Friday […]

Senate GOP will hold confirmation hearings on Walz commissioners as special session continues indefinitely

BY: - July 2, 2021

Senate Republicans on Friday said they planned to review outstanding commissioner appointments next week, potentially moving to oust one or more members of DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s cabinet.  State Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, told her colleagues of the plan during a brief floor session. Unlike the DFL-led Minnesota House, the Senate did not adjourn […]

State Dept. of Education releases plan for spending pandemic relief funds

BY: - July 2, 2021

The Minnesota Department of Education released its plan this week outlining how the state will spend more than $100 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds. The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law in March, directed more than $123 billion to helping schools and students across the country bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota […]

Reformer Radio: Rep. Jordan Rasmusson on the future of the GOP

BY: - July 2, 2021

Rep. Jordan Rasmusson is a 28-year-old Republican lawmaker from Fergus Falls serving his first term in the Minnesota House. Although his age might indicate he’s the future of the Republican Party, he is also a throwback to the past, with a resume Republicans once longed for — Harvard College, the elite consulting firm McKinsey & […]

State to cover nearly $30 million in county costs for Enbridge tax settlement

BY: - July 1, 2021

The state of Minnesota will pay Canadian energy company Enbridge nearly $30 million to cover northern counties’ costs from a tax case settlement.  The deal — a last-minute addition to the state tax budget, passed by the Legislature early Thursday — is a big relief for 13 counties. They were each set to pay Enbridge […]

Sitting lawmakers will no longer be able to work as lobbyists as new law takes aim at GOP leader

BY: - July 1, 2021

Sitting lawmakers will no longer be able to work as lobbyists, after a Republican amendment taking aim at House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, was adopted nearly unanimously in the House and later approved by the Senate as part of a broader tax bill.  Offered by state Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, the measure will outlaw […]

Lawmakers give final approval to $52 billion budget, averting state government shutdown

BY: - June 30, 2021

Minnesota lawmakers at last completed a new $52 billion two-year budget on Wednesday with just hours to spare before parts of state government were set to temporarily shutter amid ideological differences in the divided Legislature.  DFL Gov. Tim Walz wasted no time, quickly signing the remaining budget bills, including a nearly $21 billion education bill, […]