GOP Pushes ‘smarter Government’ Spending Plan

Republicans want to finish a southwest Minnesota water project, kill the state film board, fund a tractor safety program, get rid of two business economic development programs and help Mille Lacs Lake-area businesses suffering from walleye fishing restrictions. All of that is part of what the GOP says would come without raising overall state spending.…
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Small-town Minnesota Grocers Look To State For Help

Minnesota’s small-town grocery stores are closing at a rate that is expected to speed up as their owners age. In most cases, owners have no plans to transfer ownership, leaving communities without local stores. State Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, is seeking $10 million to help stop the exodus, although on Tuesday he admitted it…
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Buffer Maps Coming By July 1, But Plenty Of Questions Remain

Minnesota landowners are to have access to maps showing where they need to install buffer strips by July 1, but questions, distrust and clarifications remain. The Minnesota Legislative Water Commission on Thursday heard that preliminary maps are to be available online this summer, with landowners able to zoom in on their properties. That information should…
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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…
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Bird Flu Infects Budget Talks

Minnesota poultry farmers found themselves in the midst of political bickering Wednesday as high-level negotiators pushed time limits for resolving Democrat-Republican state budget differences. Rep. David Bly, D-Northfield, asked the House to debate a bill providing state agencies money to respond to avian flu issues. “Time is running out,” Bly said during his unsuccessful attempt.…
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