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A compendium of Session Daily articles dating back to 2004

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House passes measure to require licensure of abortion clinics
By Chris Steller

Providers of abortions could need a license from the state to operate. A new licensure program, including inspections every two years, a $365 biennial license fee and a system for suspension or revocation is envisioned in HF812, sponsored by R...

Ending state funding for abortions gets House OK
By Chris Steller

State-sponsored health programs administered by the Department of Human Services would not be able to pay for abortions, except as needed to continue participation in a federal program. The House passed HF809 Monday 77-54. Sponsored by Rep. Ma...

Expanding autism-related benefits heads to governor’s desk
By Ricky Campbell

The House on Monday approved a bill that would extend and expand benefits to people with autism and related conditions. Sponsored by Rep. Roz Peterson (R-Lakeville) and Sen. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka), HF919/SF562* modifies a 2013 law that provided ...

Public hospitals could see fewer investment restrictions
By Jonathan Mohr

Public hospitals would be able to invest more broadly under provisions of a bill passed 120-11 by the House Wednesday. Sponsored by Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), SF341*/HF559 would allow public hos...

House passes bill with aim to provide greater access to dental care
By Jonathan Mohr

Some dental hygienists and assistants might be able to provide services in schools, long-term care facilities and other settings without a licensed dentist first examining the patient. Sponsored by Rep. Nels Pierson (R-Rochester), HF1712 would...

'Starting Line': How do you save for the future?
By HPIS Staff

'Starting Line' examines a bill sponsored by Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn that would create a state-sponsored retirement savings plan for privately employed workers who might not have access to a retirement plan.

Minnesota Index: Immigration in Minnesota
By Tory Cooney

Estimated number of 2014 Minnesota residents who were born in foreign countries         428,000             As percent of the state’s total population      7.1 Estimated number of 1920 Minnesota residents were born in foreign countries    ...

Week in Review: April 17-21
By HPIS Staff

When lawmakers return Monday, they will have four weeks to work with Gov. Mark Dayton in crafting a 2018-19 biennial state budget. Some of the heaviest lifting began in earnest this week as conference committees in nearly every budget area had...

$61 million and plenty of policy separates House, Senate state government bills
By Ricky Campbell

A committee of 10 legislators – five from the House, five from the Senate – began working Friday toward reconciling a $61.29 million difference in how to fund state government agencies over the next two years and the policies that dictate their op...

Funding differences, concerns aplenty as public safety conferees begin their work
By Mike Cook

When combined, the House and Senate proposed increases in public safety and judiciary funding for the 2018-19 biennium are nearly $92 million below that requested by Gov. Mark Dayton. Bridging these differences is the goal of the Judiciary and...

Government audits of insurance companies gets House OK
By Ricky Campbell

After surfacing complaints from the insurance industry about how the Department of Commerce conducts audits, the House passed a bill Thursday intended to add transparency and predictability to how the government examines insurance companies. S...

Bill subjecting commission sales reps to state law passes House
By Ricky Campbell

The House passed a bill Thursday that would close a loophole that businesses based in other states have used to terminate commission-based sales employees in Minnesota. HF1294, sponsored by Rep. Bob Loonan (R-Shakopee), would add additional re...

House passes data changes, background checks for appraisers
By Ricky Campbell

The House on Thursday passed a bill that would make a number of technical changes to laws governing real estate appraisers. HF593, sponsored by Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell), as amended, would make data on disciplinary action against apprais...

Cost-saving measure for credit unions, members now moves to Senate
By Ricky Campbell

Credit unions would be able to embrace technology and encourage members to show up for meetings and submit votes electronically, under a bill passed 130-0 Thursday by the House. HF1477, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury), would make t...

Higher Ed conference group begins to hash out policy differences
By Nick Longworth

Tasked with crafting a proposal that would offer affordability and accessibility for post-secondary education opportunities, Gov. Mark Dayton has asked lawmakers to do so without attaching policy provisions. The House passed HF2477/ SF2214*, s...

House OKs limits to life insurance policies by suspected terrorists
By Ricky Campbell

Insurance companies may be able to limit life insurance payments to beneficiaries of suspected terrorists. Sponsored by Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska), HF1397 was passed, as amended, 127-2 by the House Thursday and heads to the Senate where Sen. Wa...

House recognizes research, fiscal departments for 50 years of service
By HPIS Staff

The non-partisan House Research and House Fiscal Analysis Departments were recognized by the House Thursday for their 50 years of service. Both departments were created in 1967. A resolution was read that described how essential the department...

Omnibus tax bill repurposes some 2016 vetoed provisions, adds some new
By Lee Ann Schutz

There hasn’t been a comprehensive omnibus tax bill since 2013 when Gov. Mark Dayton instituted a new fourth-tier income tax to deal with a daunting $6 billion budget deficit. During the ensuing years of budget surpluses, Republicans put forward co...

House, Senate negotiators tackle transportation bills in hopes of finding a deal
By Jonathan Avise

Can Minnesota lawmakers reach a long-discussed, long-term transportation funding deal? House and Senate negotiators began their work Wednesday on trying to strike a transportation funding agreement they hope a skeptical Gov. Mark Dayton will sign ...

'Inefficient and efficient at the same time': It’s conference committee season
By Ricky Campbell

Legislation packed with new or changing policies and billions in state-funded programs have made their way through the committee process, through both the House and Senate and, because of discrepancies in their wording and funding, now have to go ...

Buffer law, fee increases on table as environment conference committee starts
By Jonathan Mohr

Fee increases at state parks, delays in the buffer law, even who can use scopes on muzzleloaders, are just a few of the issues up for negotiation as the omnibus environment, natural resources policy and finance conference committee met for the first time Wednesday.

Ed finance omnibus bill conference committee digs into details, seeks unified proposal
By Nick Longworth

With the fate of voluntary pre-kindergarten programs across the state to be determined, a House-Senate conference committee met Wednesday to discuss details in proposed legislation that has split lawmakers down the aisle this session. A confer...

Panel hears how Real ID compliance bills differ
By Chris Steller

How Minnesota might comply with the federal Real ID law — an issue that has dogged the Legislature for a decade — began getting hashed out in a House-Senate conference committee Tuesday. The HF3*/SF166 conference committee met for about an hou...

House minority leader responds with own protest and dissent
By Chris Steller

House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) submitted her own two-page protest and dissent Tuesday in response to a protest and dissent published in the April 7 House Journal and signed by nearly 50 Republican House members. At i...

House ethics panel stands at ready to self-police
By Chris Steller

Disputes over government ethics have been roiling politics around the globe this year, from Washington, D.C. to the protester-packed streets of Romania and South Korea. Things are quieter in Minnesota, at least as far as the House committee ch...

Starting Line: Seeking ways to prevent wolf-livestock conflicts in Greater Minnesota
By HPIS Staff

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota has the highest population of wolves in the continental United States. With an estimate of nearly 2,300, the range at which wolves live and hunt has progressively extended in northern Min...

With five weeks to go, lots for 2017 Legislature to get accomplished
By HPIS Staff

When legislators return to St. Paul next week after the week-long Passover/Easter break it is expected to get hectic as members will have just under five weeks to complete their work and avoid a potential special session.

Week in Review: April 3-7
By Mike Cook

It took tired members about three hours to wrap up their week of lengthy floor debates by approving the omnibus health and human services bill Friday afternoon after being in the House Chamber until just after midnight the previous night. With...

House passes omnibus health bill that would scrap MNsure
By Tory Cooney

The House passed its omnibus health and human services finance bill, as amended, on a 75-53 vote Friday after emotional discussion. Supporters hailed the legislation as a financially responsible way to support some of the most vulnerable membe...

Dayton demands fiscal integrity from lawmakers
By Jonathan Mohr

With the Legislature poised to begin its Passover/Easter recess, Gov. Mark Dayton had a message for lawmakers who will return April 18 with five weeks left in the 2017 session and much yet to be done.  “We’re not going to let the fiscal integr...

House OKs omnibus state government finance bill that reduces spending
By Ricky Campbell

A two-year, $944 million plan to fund state government agencies and offices passed the House 75-55 early Friday. Supporters say it would help prioritize core government functions while opponents contend the cuts are too deep. Sponsored by Rep....

House gives its blessing to omnibus jobs and energy bill
By Chris Steller

The omnibus job growth and energy affordability policy and finance bill would distribute $380 million to agencies and programs concerned with economic development, power generation and workforce housing in Minnesota, while shaking up the way gover...

Student data on school laptops would get privacy protections
By Chris Steller

Students using school-issued laptops, tablets, and other devices could know their data has special protections in state law.  Sponsored by Rep. Eric Lucero (R-Dayton), HF1507, dubbed the “Student Data Privacy Act,” would amend the Minnesota Go...

State reporting on abortions could expand to track telemedicine use
By Tory Cooney

Annual state reports on induced abortions already include a lot of information – where the procedures take place and what kind of procedures are used – but not how many abortions are performed through telemedicine. “Information on abortion is ...

From home cooks to fences and feedlots, omnibus ag policy bill passes House
By Jonathan Mohr

The financial threshold farmers must meet to participate in the state’s debt mediation program may increase for the first time in more than 30 years after the House passed the omnibus agriculture policy bill 109-25 Wednesday. Sponsored by Rep....

House unanimously passes omnibus agriculture finance bill
By Jonathan Mohr

Money for farmer-led councils that could prompt more buy-in to the state’s buffer program is included in the omnibus agriculture finance bill passed by the House 134-0 Wednesday. Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF895/SF780* w...

House passes ‘affordable, accountable’ higher education omnibus bill
By Nick Longworth

Legislators this session are focused on providing affordability, accountability and accessibility for post-secondary education while carving out a proposal Gov. Mark Dayton will ultimately sign. “I think we have a good bill with various initia...

House passes more than $500 million in Legacy appropriations
By Jonathan Mohr

The House voted 131-0 to pass more than $500 million in Legacy appropriations Tuesday although concerns persist that funding for water quality projects falls short in some areas and is misplaced in another. Sponsored by Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fai...

High school league rules on transfer student eligibility need clarity
By Nick Longworth

In 2016, the Minnesota State High School League oversaw the eligibility of 2,400 student transfers, of which 132 were appealed to the league office. Auditor report outlines suggestions for state’s leading high school sports provider.

Omnibus public safety bill gets House OK; returns to Senate
By Mike Cook

Calling for a tougher penalty for freeway-blocking protesters, containing provisions for a potential western Minnesota prison, and seeking increased funding in many areas, the omnibus public safety bill received strong House support Monday after m...

House passes overhaul of teacher licensure system
By Nick Longworth

In an effort to address the state’s teacher shortage and rectify a licensure system that some say has become overly confusing and complex, Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) sponsors HF140 that would overhaul the process for those seeking to teach...

Minnesota Index: Child care in Minnesota
By Chris Steller

Number of Minnesotans under age 5 in 2015      346,825 Percent of Minnesota households with children under age 6 and all parents in the workforce     74                 State rank           3 Annual cost of child care for an infant in ...

Dayton will allow reinsurance bill to become law
By Ricky Campbell

A two-year, $542 million proposal to subsidize insurance companies with high-risk customers will become law after Gov. Mark Dayton announced Monday he wouldn’t sign nor veto it. HF5*/SF720, sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Ga...

Starting Line: Protecting press rights of student journalists
By HPIS Staff

A high school or college newspaper is where many writers get their start. These publications help student journalists learn more about the profession and work toward a potential career. Freedom of speech and of the press is the law of the land, bu...

Week in Review: March 27-31
By HPIS Staff

For many legislators and staff, a chance to rest this weekend could not have arrived soon enough. While the number of bills heard in House committees during the week decreased, the magnitude of those acted upon increased. That can be attribute...

House passes omnibus education finance bill sans voluntary pre-K funding that governor wants
By Nick Longworth

Contentious since its creation, an education finance proposal that Gov. Mark Dayton has described as “appalling” is another step closer to his desk. Its approval ultimately holds the fate of voluntary pre-kindergarten programs across the state in ...

Roads and bridges focus of transportation bill passed in House, but opponents say transit to suffer
By Jonathan Avise

The House on Friday passed an omnibus transportation finance bill that would rely heavily on borrowing and General Fund dollars to increase state spending by roughly $2 billion on roads and bridges over the next two years.

House passes $830 million omnibus environment bill
By Jonathan Mohr

The omnibus environment and natural resources bill was passed by the House 80-53 Thursday, with supporters calling it “common sense” legislation that slows government spending while adding transparency, and opponents objecting to several policy pr...

Omnibus tax bill passes House amidst concern over its $5.2 billion size
By Lee Ann Schutz

Bill proposes $1.35 billion in tax relief, including an increase to the income limit at which Social Security is taxable, a refundable student loan payment and college savings plan credits, and expansion of the child dependent care credit.

House passes $542 million state-based reinsurance bill
By Ricky Campbell

With an upfront price tag of $542 million, a plan to subsidize insurance companies in exchange for the hope of stabilizing the individual market and lowering premiums passed the House Thursday on a 74-57 vote. Sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-...

Historic preservation office could leave historical society
By Chris Steller

The work of evaluating whether planned road construction and other projects could harm historic resources could move from the Minnesota Historical Society to the Department of Administration. Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL-Intl. Falls), the sponsor of ...

Contentious omnibus health and human services finance bill to Ways and Means
By Tory Cooney

DFL members of the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee roundly criticized the $13.73 billion omnibus health and human services bill before it was approved as amended Wednesday and sent to the House Ways and Means Committee. “Ther...

More than $11 million sought for landfill hazardous waste removal
By Mike Cook

“It’s like a little mountain in the middle of town,” said Rep. Mark Uglem (R-Champlin). Sponsored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), HF269 would appropriate $11.35 million in bond proceeds to remove hazardous waste and contaminated soil from an Andover landfill.

Federal approval hangs over compromise reinsurance proposal
By Ricky Campbell

Lawmakers agreed Wednesday that if the federal government doesn’t chip in, Minnesota won’t go through with its plan to establish a $542 million state-based reinsurance program. Sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) and Sen. Gary Dahms (R-R...

Transportation bonding asks forwarded to House Capital Investment Committee
By Jonathan Avise

Big bucks through borrowing for roads, bridges, bus and rail lines were the focus of a barrage of bills heard Wednesday by the House Transportation Finance Committee. The committee heard 58 bills proposing hundreds of millions of dollars in bo...

House moves to give innocent owners ‘their day in court’
By Chris Steller

Say you co-own a car with another person who gets convicted of driving while intoxicated and police seize the vehicle. Currently in Minnesota, you don’t have standing to ask to get the car back. Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake) said her “sma...

House OKs fire sprinkler uniformity bill
By Ricky Campbell

A technical change to state law approved Wednesday by the House would go a long way for some homebuilders and contractors who say the cost of installing automatic fire sprinklers is stymieing townhouse construction.

Help for physicians wanting to practice in multiple states
By Tory Cooney

The House, with a 128-0 vote Wednesday, approved a technical change that would make it easier for physicians to receive expedited licenses in some other states. HF474, sponsored by Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake), would authorize the Board o...

Omnibus bills provide framework for the state's biennial budget plan
By Ricky Campbell

At the beginning of the state’s two-year fiscal cycle, the first year of the legislative session is traditionally a “budget year.” It’s a lengthy process, but it’s one that requires a significant number of hands to craft the final document. In Min...

MNsure would get axe under omnibus health and human services finance bill
By Tory Cooney

Incorporating language from more than 80 bills, the omnibus health and human services finance bill, HF945, as amended, calls for a $622.88 million cut from current spending, for a total of $13.73 billion during the 2018-19 biennium. The bill i...

Panel pushes omnibus jobs and energy bill to Ways and Means
By Chris Steller

The omnibus jobs and energy bill got a quick massage Tuesday from the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, which adopted nine amendments. The committee then approved HF2209, as amended, on a 13-9 roll-call, p...

Additional $111.5 million in biennial funding OK’d by public safety committee
By Mike Cook

The House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee was given a budget target that would increase biennial spending by $111.5 million, yet it isn’t enough to gain the support of all members.

House passes moratorium on creating permit for ditch mowing, haying
By Jonathan Avise

The commissioner of transportation would be prohibited from requiring or issuing permits to mow or bale hay in ditches within MnDOT right-of-way under legislation OK’d Tuesday on the House Floor. House lawmakers passed HF124/SF218*, sponsored ...

House OKs use of supplemental federal highway funds
By Jonathan Avise

House lawmakers passed a measure 130-0 Tuesday that would appropriate an additional $105 million in federal funding to the Department of Transportation for road construction this year. The new allocation in HF837, as amended, and sponsored by ...

More dental students could go where help is needed most
By Tory Cooney

Students of all accredited dentistry schools would be able to practice with supervision in Minnesota, under a bill passed 130-0 by the House Tuesday. HF397/SF662*, sponsored by Rep. Bob Loonan (R-Shakopee) and Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center...

Controversial ‘Stand Your Ground’ expansion headed to House Floor
By Mike Cook

The use of deadly force is permitted in Minnesota to resist or prevent an offense when someone “reasonably believes” the offense exposes them “to great bodily harm or death” or prevents the commission of a felony at their residence; authority to use such a defense mechanism could expand.

Clash of political ideologies as state government omnibus bill moves on
By Ricky Campbell

The House State Government Finance Committee on Tuesday approved its omnibus bill that includes a $430 million reduction in executive branch spending and multiple reforms intended to streamline state government. Passed on a 10-6 party-line, ro...

‘System failures’ and bikini waxes among concerns in omnibus state government budget bill
By Ricky Campbell

Commissioners and agency heads throughout Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration lined up Monday to decry the omnibus state government finance bill, a two-year, $943 million spending package that they say is too harsh in times of projected financial ab...

Buffers funding included in $500 million omnibus legacy bill
By Jonathan Mohr

(CORRECTION: The original post said $7.5 million in new money would be to protect aquatic habitat against invasive carp. The provision is an extension of time to spend 2012 funding.) REFILED MARCH 29, 2017: Although more than $500 million woul...

Public weighs in on omnibus jobs and energy bill
By Chris Steller

The omnibus jobs and energy bill drew words of praise and objection — sometimes both from the same testifier — as the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee began hearing public comments on HF2209 Monday morning. ...

Minnesota Index: Teacher supply
By Nick Longworth

Minnesota public school teachers 2014-15 Number of public schools             2,051 Number of full-time equivalent teachers              55,277 Pre-kindergarten and school readiness teachers, including those less than FTE   1,850 K...

'Starting Line': Providing co-parenting services for unmarried parents
By HPIS Staff

Co-parenting is a term used to describe two parents working together to raise a child while living separately. Just like traditional parenting, co-parenting has it challenges. This week on "Starting Line" we learn about a bill that aims to assist ...

Week in Review: March 20-24
By Mike Cook

Omnibusfest was in full swing this week as numerous House finance committees unveiled their all-encompassing omnibus bills: agriculture, education, environment, higher education, jobs and economic development, public safety, taxes, and transportat...

Public weighs in on reinsurance, but no finalized plan this week
By Ricky Campbell

With separate proposals from each legislative chamber pining for approval, lawmakers on Friday began their work to reconcile differences in a state-based reinsurance program they believe will help reduce the cost of insurance premiums across the i...

Omnibus education finance bill approved during contentious hearing
By Nick Longworth

After receiving sharp criticism from Gov. Mark Dayton, an education finance proposal likely to promote plenty of debate has taken another step in its journey. Approved as amended by the House Education Finance Committee Friday, the omnibus edu...

Ag committee approves omnibus agriculture finance bill
By Jonathan Mohr

After adding an amendment meant to increase farm safety, the House Agriculture Finance Committee approved the omnibus agriculture finance bill Friday. Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF895, as amended, would appropriate more ...

Soccer stadium help attached to omnibus tax bill heading to Ways and Means
By Lee Ann Schutz

The House omnibus tax bill grew in scope Friday with a couple of amendments — one that would provide some tax exemptions for the proposed St. Paul soccer stadium, and another that would increase the education tax credit to apply to private school ...

Omnibus environment bill clears first hurdle
By Jonathan Mohr

The House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance committee approved the omnibus environment bill Friday morning after several hours of debate spanning two days.   After taking testimony on HF888 – which would appropriate over $80...

Omnibus jobs and energy bill mixes shrimp farming, nuclear payments
By Chris Steller

Minnesota could see small-to-sizable shifts in how government is organized and what it spends money on in the areas of energy and economic development over the next two years. The House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Committee began work ...

Omnibus transportation bill starts its drive toward House Floor
By Jonathan Avise

The House Transportation Finance Committee approved an omnibus transportation bill Thursday that the legislation’s Republican sponsor says marks a critical step forward for road and bridge funding in the state.

Higher ed finance bill offers funding increases, debt help for students
By Nick Longworth

Updated 7:08 p.m. with committee action Focused on investing in the future and helping students receive an affordable education, legislators are looking to ensure funding stays stable for post-secondary institutions across the state. HF247...

Simplified reimbursement measures sought for short-term crisis stays
By Tory Cooney

For someone undergoing a mental health crisis, a safe place to stay while getting help and deciding what to do next can makes all the difference, Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) told the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Thursday...

Omnibus tax bill priorities lay out $1.3 billion in tax relief
By Lee Ann Schutz

If a tax bill is to be enacted this session, it is apparent that a lot of compromise will be needed to align House interests with those of the governor. Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly clearly laid out to the House Taxes Committee Thursda...

Aging voting equipment could get $14 million makeover
By Ricky Campbell

After the federal government purchased new voting equipment for everyone following the 2000 election through the Help America Vote Act, equipment necessary for a basic civic engagement is rapidly deteriorating.

Omnibus environment bill spares EQB, but makes significant changes
By Jonathan Mohr

The 14-member board that helps oversee environmental permitting and regulatory compliance would survive under the provisions of an omnibus bill now under consideration, but its composition would change significantly, as would its authority. Th...

Omnibus public safety bill calls for more spending; gun, protester changes
By Mike Cook

The omnibus public safety bill calls for more funding headed to state’s courts and Corrections and Public Safety departments; peace officers would be able to carry guns at a sporting venue; and penalties would be toughened for protesters who block freeways.

Proposals for e-filing state taxes, early education director merge into one bill
By Chris Steller

A plan to create a new system allowing individuals to file their state income tax returns online for free, as well as create a government position to oversee early education and development is headed to the House Floor. After reviewing provisi...

Metro officials, transit agencies warn of big setbacks under GOP transportation plan
By Jonathan Avise

Metropolitan Transit officials and advocates voiced their opposition on Wednesday to the day-old House Republican transportation plan, warning it would force deep cuts in Metropolitan Council bus service and unfairly restrict local officials from ...

Omnibus Ed finance bill offers opportunity in some areas, closes doors in others
By Nick Longworth

After carefully considering Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget recommendations earlier in session, education policymakers are looking to expand the Legislature’s commitment to early education while also closing the doors on two of its struggling schools. ...

MNsure repeal revisited, in the running for inclusion in omnibus bill
By Tory Cooney

MNsure was too big of a project that was rolled out too quickly and doesn’t do what it promised, Rep. Matt Dean (R-Dellwood) told the Health and Human Services Finance Committee Wednesday. HF10, sponsored by Dean, would repeal the 3-year-old s...

Tax relief aimed at young and old, GOP leaders say
By Lee Ann Schutz

Targeting the middle class, House Republicans announced their intent to put forward a $1.35 billion package of tax relief for the 2018-19 biennium. Calling it a work in progress, House Taxes Committee Chair, Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) said r...

Hearing begins on omnibus agriculture finance bill
By Jonathan Mohr

Farmers who want more say in water quality regulations may be pleased by a provision in the omnibus bill the House Agriculture Finance Committee began to consider Wednesday. Sponsored by Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake), HF895 would establi...

Dayton wants a new transportation bill, criticizes reinsurance proposal
By Ricky Campbell

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday urged the Republican-controlled Legislature to authorize $105 million for stalled infrastructure projects, criticized lawmakers’ plans to fund a state-based reinsurance program and demanded responses from insuranc...

Biomass contracts could be rejiggered
By Chris Steller

Biomass energy contracts that date to a 1994 law mandating renewable energy could be renegotiated or terminated under HF759, sponsored by Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia). The bill would let Xcel Energy ask the Public Utilities Commission for a...

House GOP lays out $6 billion map for road and bridge construction
By Jonathan Avise

House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled an omnibus transportation bill that would lean heavily on General Fund dollars and borrowing to pour roughly $2 billion into road and bridge projects across the state over the next two years. Christened th...

Recent bomb threats spark call to help fund security grants
By Mike Cook

In the past couple of months, more than 150 bomb threats have targeted Jewish centers across the country, including in St. Louis Park and St. Paul. “In my almost 20-year career, I have never seen anything quite like the environment we are curr...

More insurance protection sought for foster families
By Tory Cooney

Children traumatized from neglect and abuse bring a range of survival mechanisms with them into a foster home, some of which can be incredibly destructive, Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea) told the House Health and Human Services Finance Committe...

Committee holds over plan to house prisoners at Appleton facility
By Mike Cook

Since 2010, a privately owned prison has sat vacant in Appleton. Owned and maintained by CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America, the potential state use or operation of the 1,600-bed facility continues to pit local officials wh...

Campaign finance board could lose all rulemaking authority
By Chris Steller

The Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board doesn’t often make rules on its own. You could count the number of times they’ve done so over the past 21 years on one hand. Under HF2419, sponsored by Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R-Sartell), the board...

House property tax proposal leaves cities behind, but helps business
By Lee Ann Schutz

House Republicans are proposing over $302 million in property tax relief over the 2018-19 biennium – but it’s far from a done deal. HF603, as amended, was laid out Monday for the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division. Public...

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