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A compendium of Session Daily articles dating back to 2004

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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...

School bus stop arm violations could become pricier
By Jonathan Avise

Violating school bus stop arm laws could get more expensive under a bill approved Monday by the House Transportation Finance Committee. Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) sponsors HF380 that would raise the minimum fine for failing to stop for a ...

Electricity generated from rooftop solar panels could count toward state goal
By Chris Steller

Two electrical utility companies in northern Minnesota may be able to count larger rooftop solar energy installations toward a state mandate. Current law says a fraction of electricity sold by public utilities -- what Rep. Nolan West (R-...

Minnesota Index: Aging in Minnesota
By Tory Cooney

Number of Minnesotans in the 2010 census who were at least 65 years old          683,000                 Projected number in 2020            965,000                 Projected number in 2030, in millions     1.26 Percent of the projecte...

House Republicans outline $46.3 billion spending plan
By Ricky Campbell

House Republicans on Monday released their proposed budget for the upcoming biennium, a $46.3 billion spending plan that includes increases for health and human services, education, roads and bridges and $1.35 billion reduction in tax collections....

'Starting Line': In the top 10 percent? You're in
By HPIS Staff

In this week's "Starting Line," we find out why Rep. Regina Barr (R-Inver Grove Heights) is sponsoring a bill she hopes will help more high school graduates get into the state college or university they want to attend.

Week in Review: March 13-17
By Mike Cook

Two committee deadlines are down and the third — when committees must act favorably on major appropriation and finance bills — is two weeks away. A key benchmark toward reaching that final deadline took place Friday afternoon when Gov. Mark Da...

More money for pre-K education, savings are priorities in gov’s revised budget
By Ricky Campbell

After his administration announced late last month a larger-than-expected surplus, Gov. Mark Dayton released his adjusted budget numbers Friday that continues to prioritize pre-kindergarten, but braces for possible changes coming from Washington, ...

‘Snow angel’ grants would provide $4 million for ski areas
By Chris Steller

Minnesota’s 18 ski facilities could look forward to something they badly need, and it’s not snow. Sponsored by Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing), HF2367 would create a $4 million competitive grant program to help ski area operators pay for expansio...

Omnibus elections bill calls for calendar shifts
By Chris Steller

You could cast a state primary ballot in June. You could count on local special elections falling on only four calendar days. Your “I Voted” sticker might arrive in the mail. Those are three changes to Minnesota election law proposed in the om...

Cities make case for more local street funding
By Jonathan Avise

Local officials have repeatedly made their case before House lawmakers this session for more state assistance in funding local road repairs. Most of the discussion has focused on the state’s smallest cities, with municipalities under populatio...

Teacher seniority no guarantee of job retention under bill that passes House
By Nick Longworth

Due to the fluid nature of school enrollment and funding, teachers can face unexpected layoffs. Teachers can be recalled to available positions based on seniority, and the order in which they were placed on leave. Some contend this rehiring cr...

Advocates call for more cash assistance to help families in need
By Tory Cooney

An increase in temporary cash assistance for families in need coupled with a controversial delete-all amendment that would significantly decrease that amount, led to stiff partisan debate in the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Th...

State’s IT service needs more consolidation, $3 million in cuts proposed
By Ricky Campbell

Minnesota IT Services, the state’s centralized computer and technology service, would face a requirement to finish previously designated consolidation efforts, along with $3 million in personnel cuts and greater legislative oversight under a bill ...

Increased data sharing sought among government agencies
By Chris Steller

There could be more sharing of data between school districts and county corrections and social services departments. HF2245, sponsored by Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover), would make several changes to the state’s Government Data Practices Act con...

LCCMR bill moves forward despite substantial changes
By Jonathan Mohr

The amount of money meant to benefit Minnesota’s environment and natural resources remained largely the same, but how that money would be spent was the subject of sharp disagreement among members of the House Environment and Natural Resources Poli...

Funding a terrorist act deserves a felony charge, bill says
By Mike Cook

In a world where terroristic acts are seemingly plentiful, Rep. Keith Franke (R-St. Paul Park) sponsors a bill he hopes would detract someone from being part of such a deed. HF1475, as amended, would establish a felony offense for someone who ...

Political workers would not qualify for dislocated worker aid
By Chris Steller

People who lose their jobs working for political organizations can now get assistance through the state’s Dislocated Worker Program. HF1394, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-Woodbury), would remove such workers, including trackers and other c...

Proposed post-secondary programs for students with disabilities offer opportunity
By Nick Longworth

Students with intellectual disabilities could see increased post-secondary opportunities in coming years. Under HF2153, sponsored by Rep. Brian Daniels (R-Faribault), Minnesota State would offer academic programs for students with intellectual...

‘Deeper type’ of financial audit on CTIB, Met Council draws Otto’s ire
By Ricky Campbell

Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines) is proposing “a much deeper type” of financial oversight on two regional transportation agencies despite objections by officials of the targeted Met Council, some DFLers and State Auditor Rebecca Otto, who claim...

Fees strain middle class families with children who are disabled
By Tory Cooney

Children with disabilities and families that make too much money to qualify for Medical Assistance can still receive MA services, but their parents have to pay monthly fees based on income. And those fees have exceeded what many middle-class famil...

Road weight limit exemption sought for ambulances
By Mike Cook

When minutes can mean the difference between life and death, it is imperative that an ambulance quickly reach an ailing person. In parts of the state, at certain times of the year, the shortest route to the scene could be an illegal way. S...

Not just a metro problem — money sought to target central Minnesota sex traffickers
By Mike Cook

Sponsored by Rep. Tama Theis (R-St. Cloud), HF1932 would appropriate $600,000 in the 2018-19 biennium to expand enforcement and victim advocacy services of the Central Minnesota Sex Trafficking Task Force.

Howe pleads case for ‘painful’ state budgeting process
By Ricky Campbell

The point-person overseeing state government’s budget-crafting process told lawmakers on Wednesday that drawing up the governor’s spending priorities and piecing them together with agency heads for practical implementation takes about eight months...

Special license plate would 'honor those who have fallen'
By Jonathan Avise

Minnesota may offer a specialty license plate that would honor law enforcement officials killed in the line of duty and help raise money for a group that supports their loved ones in the aftermath. Rep. Duane Quam (R-Byron) sponsors HF678 that...

Jumbo shrimp farms touted as new agriculture industry
By Jonathan Mohr

Corn in the fields, cows in the pasture and artificial harbors filled with millions of gallons of 86-degree saltwater raising “the best tasting shrimp the world has ever seen.” That vision of Minnesota’s rural landscape may be closer to realit...

Push to find budget savings means mid-level agency numbers could dwindle
By Chris Steller

Starting in 2019, commissioners at two state agencies could potentially have less help. Current statute allows four deputy commissioners each at the Commerce Department and the Department of Employment and Economic Development. HF1005, spo...

Some wanting to marry find they’d be barred from a state program
By Tory Cooney

The federal program that funds Minnesota’s Family Investment Program is intended to promote two-parent families, but MFIP actually discourages low-income couples from getting married, Rep. Peggy Flanagan (DFL-St. Louis Park) told the House Health ...

Lawmakers seek solution as more electric vehicles mean less gas tax revenue
By Jonathan Avise

Minnesota’s roads are seeing a growing number of electric vehicles on them — and that’s a good thing, says Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington). But, he concedes, it’s a problem, too. That’s because electric cars use no motor vehicle fuel — a good...

Mandatory Minnesota State student activity fees could be no more
By Nick Longworth

Activity fees can put a noticeable dent in a collegian’s budget throughout the course of a full school year. “Students in Minnesota are struggling to pay student fees, which are growing to hundreds of dollars. I don’t think it’s fair,” Rep. Dr...

Minnesotans could cast ballots marked ‘Challenged’
By Chris Steller

Some ballots dropping into ballot boxes at polling places across Minnesota could carry a new word: “Challenged.” HF2039, sponsored by Rep. Cindy Pugh (R-Chanhassen), would create that status for voters registering to vote on Election Day whose...

Group residential homes seek more funding to support services
By Tory Cooney

Cindy Brown arrived on the doorstep of Katherine’s House in the summer of 2016 with nothing but a laundry basket, a suitcase of clothes and a life devastated by addiction. The board and lodge facility in Eveleth gives women struggling with mental ...

Student concurrent enrollment programs seek equal footing
By Nick Longworth

Lawmakers want to guarantee high school students considering post-secondary concurrent enrollment courses have every available opportunity to succeed. “We’re trying to ensure students have the opportunity to earn college credits while in high ...

State employees could opt out of state’s insurance coverage
By Ricky Campbell

If state employees want to decline their state-funded health insurance coverage, Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) thinks they should have that opportunity. Drazkowski sponsors HF1030, which would give eligible state employees who can prove th...

Making Minnesota better for veterans: Chair says ‘nonpolitical’ approach is best
By Ricky Campbell

The House Veterans Affairs Division wrapped up its work for the session Monday in the only way it knows how: by giving thanks and credit where it’s due. Rep. Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake), the division chair, read two resolutions thanking two me...

Sheriffs could refer more inmates for local mental health services
By Chris Steller

When screening indicates a county jail inmate may have a high degree of mental illness, the sheriff can make a referral to the local social services agency. HF1331, sponsored by Rep. Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River), would let local corrections offic...

Ag committee approves farm safety bill
By Jonathan Mohr

Although 2 percent of Minnesota’s labor force works in agriculture, 30 percent of the state’s workplace deaths in 2014 took place in agricultural jobs. That fact is contained in a report issued earlier this year after the 2016 Legislature dire...

Governor, lawmakers agree families need help with care costs — but how much?
By Lee Ann Schutz

Both the governor and Legislature agree that working families need help paying for child and dependent care costs – it’s a matter of in what form, how much and to whom? This year’s recrafted-from-last-year’s-dependent-care-credit-proposal was ...

House passes reinsurance program aimed at stabilizing individual market
By Ricky Campbell

The House passed a bill Monday that would establish a reinsurance program intended to help stabilize rising insurance premiums in the individual marketplace by providing health carriers a collective financial cushion. Approved on a 78-53 vote,...

Patchwork of local policies has lawmaker saying ‘no’ to their state aid
By Lee Ann Schutz

Communities and counties that don’t toe the line when it comes to certain policies held dear to some legislators would see their state local government aid reduced or eliminated. The parade of policy-driven penalty bills, sponsored by Rep. Ste...

Minnesota Zoo seeks $3.75 million in Legacy funding
By Jonathan Mohr

Already one of the largest zoos in the country with 5,300 animals and nearly 1.3 million visitors each year, the Minnesota Zoo is working to expand the programs it offers and seeking $3.75 million from the state to help with these efforts. The...

Utilities would pay property taxes based on plants’ output
By Chris Steller

Communities that rely on property taxes from electrical plants would see more stable revenue from a proposed change to how facilities’ market values are determined. HF1985, sponsored by Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston), would set values based on t...

Minnesota Index: Shining a light on government data
By Ricky Campbell

Minnesota statute requiring government “make and preserve” data: 15.17 Year the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act was established: 1974 Year Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act: 1966 Number of votes in U.S. House for/ ...

Starting Line: Gun violence prevention bill hopes to boost community safety
By HPIS Staff

Rep. Fue Lee (DFL-Mpls) sponsors HF1678, a bill that would establish the so-called “Taylor Hayden Gun Violence Prevention Act.” This week on "Starting Line" we learn why Lee sponsors this bill and hopes it raises gun violence prevention awareness.

Week in Review: March 6-10
By Mike Cook

Friday’s first committee deadline meant a frantic week in the House. For many committees and divisions, their normal meeting time wasn’t enough leading to members often gathering after dark to finish their business. Next week looks to be simil...

If it’s donuts-to-political-dollars, signs would be required
By Chris Steller

A mini-donut booth at the Minnesota State Fair could have to let customers know that money they spend there could end up in political coffers. HF2196, sponsored by Rep. Randy Jessup (R-Shoreview), would require that political committees sellin...

A Hmong-Lao veterans day called to recognize efforts in ‘Secret War’
By Ricky Campbell

For the more than 66,000 Hmong living in Minnesota, May 14 is a day of remembrance, reflection, mourning and celebration. On May 14, 1975, Laotian military base Long Tieng fell to the North Vietnamese, leaving the Hmong and Lao people, who had...

Assistive voting devices could print paper ballots
By Chris Steller

Voters using a touchscreen at their polling place could have their votes printed on a paper ballot. Just how similar ballots printed from an assistive-voting device should be to ordinary paper ballots was a matter of discussion Friday by the H...

Minnesota’s smallest cities seek state partner for road funding
By Jonathan Avise

The cost of maintaining local roads is an increasingly difficult burden to bear for many of Minnesota’s smallest cities. A bill held over Thursday by the House Transportation Finance Committee for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill could throw those communities a lifeline.

More support could help teens with mental health problems
By Tory Cooney

Adolescence is challenging enough without having a mental illness or an emotional behavioral disorder, Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) told the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee Thursday. It can become even more difficult when livin...

More funding sought for tuition costs for military, vets homes expenses
By Ricky Campbell

The state’s military personnel scholarships, veterans programs and cemeteries are becoming more and more expensive to Minnesota taxpayers. Lawmakers on Thursday continued sorting through Dayton’s budget recommendations for the Department of Mi...

Committee struggles with 'what is a meeting, anyway?'
By Chris Steller

Government meetings in Minnesota are open to the public. But what counts as a meeting? HF1105, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Howe (R-Rockville), would add a definition to the opening section of the state’s Open Meeting Law. A meeting would be defined...

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