Real State Budget Talks Start With ‘Minnesota Two-Step’

State lawmakers begin the “Minnesota two-step” this morning. That is how Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, on Thursday described the planned release of spending compromises key legislators have reached as they begin the real work of crafting a two-year state budget expected to hit $46 billion. The Friday announcement, the first step of the…
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Farmers Make Buffer Changes A Top Issue

A new requirement for farmers to provide plant buffers around water has bubbled up to be a top rural issue in the Minnesota Capitol, and not necessarily politically partisan. Farmers need more information before the buffer law begins Nov. 1, a Democratic-leaning farm group reports farmers said during a series of 14 meetings around the…
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Chief Justice Worries About Legislative Budget Plans

The Minnesota court system’s leader says she fears state residents will feel an impact if legislative budget proposes become law. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea of the Minnesota Supreme Court said she does not want to return to the days when criminals were set free because courts could not wade through cases quickly enough. “Justice delayed…
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Chatter: Transportation Funding May Be On The Move

Transportation funding is confusing and controversial, and Minnesota state leaders say vital. Democrats and Republicans have remained so far apart on the issue for years that little has been done to plug what is called an $18 billion gap between current spending and what is needed over the next decade. The past week may or…
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Senate Votes To Limit Local Power On Minimum Wage, Related Issues

Minnesota communities could not regulate wages, benefits or employee scheduling under legislation that appears headed to Gov. Mark Dayton. Bill sponsor Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said that it would not hamper local control, as critics say. “I am all for local control and I don’t think you can get any more local than relationships between…
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