ST. PAUL — Schools around the state are set to see a funding boost next year (as well as the year after) under a $48 billion, two-year spending plan passed through the Legislature and was signed into law. And that could mean districts struggling to make ends meet can skip bond referendum votes and resulting property tax hikes for Minnesotans, at least for now, Gov. Tim Walz and Commissioner of the Department of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker told reporters on Monday, June 10.
ST. PAUL — Drug distributors and manufacturers will be required to help pay for some of the aftermath of the opioid epidemic in Minnesota after Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, May 22, signed into law a sweeping package of legislation. The DFL governor announced that he signed into law the package that would require opioid distributors to pay fees expected to total more than $20 million. Those funds would be used to provide education and prevention programs as well as treatment programs.
ST. PAUL — Lawmakers closed out the 2019 session on Monday, May 20, with work left undone and will have to return to the Capitol to finish it. Gov. Tim Walz has said he'll call a special session, likely on Friday, but he hadn't done that yet on Wednesday afternoon. Before lawmakers make the drive back to the Capitol, here's a look at what they're dealing with and what Minnesotans can expect. Why are they going into a special session anyway? Minnesota lawmakers had until Monday, May 20, at midnight to wrap up a two-year budget. And they couldn't quite get there.
ST. PAUL -- A pair of gun control bills is scheduled for another primetime hearing Wednesday night at the Capitol. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division is set to take up the proposals that would require universal background checks at the point of sale or transfer of a firearm and allow law enforcement officers to remove a person's weapons if they're believed to pose a threat.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers need to approve emergency funding or risk losing contractors that know how to fix the state's troubled drivers licensing and vehicle registration computer system. Ahead of a Tuesday deadline, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives were preparing to pass proposals Monday, March 4, that would green light $13.3 million in one-time money for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS. The funds would keep the outside contract workers employed and continue fixes and improvements of the computer system.
ST. PAUL — Hundreds of gun control supporters and opponents packed into a Minnesota Capitol hearing room and overflow spaces Wednesday, Feb. 27, ahead of scheduled testimony on a pair of bills aimed at adding background checks for firearm purchases and allowing "red flag" removal provisions. Tensions were high and testimony was expected to run late into the night as the proposals came up for consideration in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Feb. 19, presented his first budget proposal which came with a $49.5 billion price tag for the next two years. It includes a boost for Minnesota schools, local communities and health care programs. And to fund those programs, as well as a transportation and infrastructure package, the DFL governor planned to use a projected $1.5 billion surplus and new taxes. Democratic lawmakers were largely supportive of the proposal while Republicans, who hold a key two-seat advantage in the Senate, said they'd oppose several pieces.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Feb. 12, advanced a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, to those younger than 21. The House Health and Human Services Policy Committee approved House File 331, which would bar the sale, lending or giving of tobacco products to Minnesotans younger than 21. Currently, Minnesotans can buy and use tobacco products beginning at age 18.
ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers is hopeful that data illustrating the state is one of the worst in the nation when it comes to the achievement gap for students of color will ensure the approval of a proposal to recruit more teachers of color and American Indian teachers to Minnesota classrooms.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers agree that scientists should get nearly $2 million to create a test that would detect a fatal disease in deer. But some want to take a tougher tack in the months before scientists release the test, setting a moratorium on new deer farms that can open in Minnesota and offering buyouts for existing ones.