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.
ST. PAUL -- The leaders of Minnesota's divided Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, Feb. 11, set public deadlines for writing a nearly $47 billion spending plan. At a news conference at the Capitol, Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa pledged to hit the spending targets and said making the dates public would let Minnesotans hold them accountable to those deadlines.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to ban drivers from holding cell phones behind the wheel took its first step forward on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The bill, House File 50, passed through the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee on a voice vote following emotional testimony from family members of people who'd died in texting and driving related accidents. The bill moves now to the House Ways and Means Committee. A twin bill introduced in the Senate is set to have its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Transportation Finance and Policy.
ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, said it would bring legislation aimed at cracking down on the rising price of insulin. At a news conference, legislators said they'd aim to require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about their reasons for boosting insulin prices and set up a system that would allow those with diabetes to access refills if they can't afford the drug.
ST. PAUL — The ongoing federal government shutdown is costing Minnesota and how much longer the state can bear the expense is coming into question, state officials said Tuesday, Jan. 15. As the state entered the 25th day of the partial federal government shutdown, budget directors said the state had doled out nearly $100 million to cover the costs of key federal programs but still didn't know if it could expect repayment from the feds.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers want drivers to put the phones down. And under the legislation they brought forward this week, drivers could face penalties if they don't. A bipartisan group of legislators on Monday, Jan. 14, brought forth two proposals aimed at curbing the use of electronic devices behind the wheel. The first would bar holding a cellphone while behind the wheel and the second would bump up the penalties for causing a crash spurred by texting and driving.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House Democrats on Wednesday, Jan. 9, shared their first 10 bills, a mix of health care, education, infrastructure and gun control policies that they said would offer a snapshot into their goals for the legislative session.
ST. PAUL -- In his first official act as governor, Tim Walz on Wednesday, Jan. 9, signed an executive order setting up a government council aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in state hiring and other decision-making. The DFL governor said the new body comprised of commissioners and members of the public is aimed at reducing disparities and inequities based on gender, race, geography and economic status. And it stems from a similar council established by former Gov. Mark Dayton.
ST. PAUL—A class of new lawmakers took their oaths of office Tuesday, Jan. 8, establishing a new order in the statehouse and setting the stage for conflict over top issues. It was the first day of the legislative session and leaders of the country's only split Legislature said they were eager to rack up early bipartisan wins but signaled that big disagreements were on the horizon.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature should make it illegal to engage in sex with a person who is too intoxicated to consent and require police departments and prosecutors to compile data on sexual assaults reported and their outcomes, a state coalition formed to improve law enforcement response to sexual assault said Tuesday, Dec. 18.