Political Chatter: Negotiations Take A Different Path

This year’s negotiations to end the Minnesota legislative session could be called different, unusual, strange or, even, weird. Of course, one difference — although far from unique — is they did not produce a budget before the May 18 constitutional end of the session. That aside, the process was, er, uncommon. One example is that…
Read More

Greater Minnesota Issues On Table At Session End

The 2015 Minnesota Legislature convened at noon Jan. 6 with a $1 billion surplus and a greater Minnesota focus. It ended Saturday morning (the House adjourned at 1:30 a.m., followed by the Senate at 1:56 a.m.) amid disputes, more than $800 million left unspent (after the surplus grew to $1.9 billion) and debating greater Minnesota-centric…
Read More

Lawmakers Finish Budget

Minnesota legislative leaders succeeded early Saturday to pass the final piece of the state budget. The central issue was a controversial agriculture and environment finance bill that environmentalists said was too weak. After senators voted to change the bill, the Republican-controlled House restored the measure to its original form, sending it back to the Senate.…
Read More

Legislative Notebook: Jobs-energy Bill Funds Aircraft To Jobless Payments

Legislators approved a jobs and energy bill that funds workforce housing, job training and broadband expansion. The bill passed in a Friday special legislative session provides a $4 million loan to Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft and allows Iron Range taconite workers and poultry workers with flocks affected by the avian flu to get extended unemployment benefits.…
Read More

Update: Controversial Ag-environment Bill Fails Minnesota Senate Vote

Minnesota senators defeated by a single vote the spotlight bill of today’s special legislative session, raising the possibility of a second special session. On a 33-32 vote, the agriculture-environment funding legislation lost as other budget bills were being passed in an effort to finish the state’s $42 billion, two-year budget. The bill needed 34 to…
Read More