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State budget forecast holds steady, projects $1.4 billion surplus
By Jonathan Avise
Gov. Mark Dayton addresses the media regarding the November Budget and Economic Forecast on Friday Dec. 2. Photo by Paul Battaglia

A Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton are projected to have a $1.4 billion surplus available as they craft the state’s biennial budget during the upcoming 2017 legislative session.

The November Budget and Economic Forecast, released Friday, is the second of two annual reports prepared by Minnesota Management and Budget. It painted a stable fiscal picture for the state, little-changed from the previous forecast in February.

“This forecast may sound boring to you all,” MMB Commissioner Myron Frans said during a news conference Friday. “But, trust me, in this case boring is good.”

The release of another report on the state’s fiscal health is due in late February, but Friday’s forecast release sets the stage for the governor and legislative leaders to begin laying out their priorities for the 2017 legislative session, which begins Jan. 3. Lawmakers must complete their work by May 23.

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Dayton, legislative leaders close to wrapping December special session deal
By Mike Cook

Gov. Mark Dayton and caucus leaders met for more than an hour Friday afternoon in hopes of reaching agreement on health care premium cost relief and reviving the bonding and tax bills that failed to be signed into law earlier this year.

House committee structure and chairs named for upcoming biennium
By Mike Cook

House Republican leadership has announced the committee structure and chairs for the 90th legislative biennium scheduled to convene Jan. 3, 2017. The plan is for 27 committe...

Republicans hold House, expand their majority
By Jonathan Avise

House Republican and House DFL caucuses are expected to elect their leadership during organizational meetings later this week.

House committee buzzes over governor's executive order on pollinator decline
By Lee Ann Schutz

Agriculture commissioner says governor ‘set the table’ for meaningful discussion on actions to address the decline in the bee population and other pollinators. But members say the order was premature.

State fair poll: Tax hikes for transit, transportation receive positive responses
By Mike Cook

Most of those participating in the House of Representatives state fair poll are willing to pay more in taxes to fund metro area transit and additional funding for statewide transportation needs.

Dayton declares he won't call special session
By Mike Cook

Gov. Mark Dayton said he and legislative leaders could not reach agreement on all issues needed to call legislators back to St. Paul to finish work not completed earlier this year.

With lawmakers deadlocked on light rail, still no special session
By Jonathan Avise

Disagreement among top Minnesota lawmakers over state funding for the proposed Southwest light rail line continues to stand in the way of a potential special session, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders said Friday.

Dayton, leaders say deal is near for August special session
By Jonathan Avise

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders said Friday they expect to hold a special session in mid- to late-August to pass at least a corrected tax bill and public works borrowing bill.

Little special session progress as legislative leaders, governor meet again
By Mike Cook

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders met for little more than an hour Wednesday in hopes of reaching a potential compromise on taxes, transportation and bonding that could then be passed by the Legislature.

Bonding bill that failed in session’s final moments gets first hearing
By Jonathan Avise

House and Senate lawmakers on Tuesday resumed their sparring over a proposed $1 billion bonding bill as legislators work to resurrect the public works borrowing package as part of an agreement on a potential special session.

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Republicans affirm Daudt, Peppin leadership; DFL chooses Hortman
By Lee Ann Schutz

Current House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin retained their leadership positions Friday for the 90th legislative session scheduled to begin Jan. 3, 2017. DFLers chose Rep. Melissa Hortman as minority leader.

Dayton, Daudt pessimistic on prospects for special session
By Jonathan Avise

A potential special session appears to be no closer following a meeting Tuesday between Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders.

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