Politics in Minnesota
Updated: 6 min 24 sec ago
Gov. Mark Dayton doesn’t enjoy raising anyone’s taxes. The first-term Democratic governor, reflecting on his now-complete third legislative session, knows the headlines have mostly been about the $2 billion in tax increases that he and the Democrats who control the Legislature enacted this year.
At a Friday morning committee hearing, just 10 days before the close of the legislative session, Rep. Steve Drazkowski offered an idea for dealing with the state’s troubled civil commitment program for sex offenders. Drazkowski proposed creating a bipartisan task force to recommend changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program.
The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and the conservation and sporting groups that back it scored a big victory on Thursday when Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed two projects in this year’s Legacy bill.
Now that the 2013 legislative session has concluded, there may be a lot of Minnesota voters who are sorry – sorry about how they voted last fall, or maybe sorry that they didn’t vote. Either way, they’re likely to agree with the sentiment expressed in that 1958 hit record by Connie Francis, “Who’s Sorry Now?”
Put aside the politics, and the question of who-knew-what-when. There are two policy problems highlighted by the controversies at the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice.
Celebration is the order of the day as a legislative session comes to a close. Tales of incredible accomplishment or of fearsome peril abound. Huck Finn would be proud of some of the yarns that get spun.
The Service Employees International Union announced on Thursday that it is backing Betsy Hodges in the Minneapolis mayoral contest. The two-term city council member is seeking to replace R.T. Rybak, who is not running for a fourth term.
The survey conducted earlier this week by Public Policy Polling revealed 49 percent approval and 47 percent disapproval for Dayton.
In an apparent reversal from the negotiated deal on the Legacy bill earlier this week, Gov. Mark Dayton has line-item vetoed two projects that the Legislature appropriated from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The projects were controversial because neither was recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
The Independence Party of Minnesota plans to take the state to court if the school-aid shift isn’t paid off by Dec. 1. IP Chairman Mark Jenkins has scheduled a state Capitol press conference on Thursday to announce his legal plans.
If you ask Gov. Mark Dayton, one-party rule worked out well for just about everyone this session. “I think it worked extraordinarily well for Minnesotans,” the governor said in a celebratory Tuesday morning press conference.
The omnibus tax bill passed by the House and Senate in the final 24 hours of the legislative session contains $2.1 billion in additional revenues. That much is easy to decipher. But within that broad outline there are inter-connecting rate hikes, credits, exemptions and expenditures that will take days or weeks to fully unpack.
It was four minutes to midnight on the final day of session when the Minnesota Senate passed the omnibus tax bill that wrapped up the Legislature’s work on the state’s $38 billion budget for the 2014-15 biennium. The down-to-the-wire finish followed a contentious final two weeks of negotiations between House, Senate and the governor’s office over the terms of final budget and policy deals.
The campaign finance bill that state lawmakers have sent to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk will allow candidates to raise and spend more money, a step that its backers termed necessary in light of the growing role of independent expenditure groups in political campaigns.
The decision of the DFL leadership to have the state of Minnesota recognize same-sex marriages is just another battle won and lost in our culture wars. It did not end the conflict between religious perspectives on the legitimacy of personal sexual practices.
With the 2013 legislative session behind us, people are sorting out the impact of the policies enacted by the Legislature and governor. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s transportation infrastructure will simply continue to deteriorate.
Talk to people in Oregon about health care for long and eventually you will be asked something like this: “You’ve heard the air conditioner story, right?”
The legislative session is over. Party leaders and committee chairs may have made the most noise, but which freshman legislators were the most impressive?
Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Lori Gildea has ruled that a pair of House DFLers will not be subject to recall elections, rejecting the efforts of a local Republican activist who had claimed that the legislators should face removal from office for voting to legalize gay marriage.
Differences that had festered all session long on the Legacy dedicated funding bill for environmental and cultural projects were settled early in the morning on the last day of session. The House and Senate passed the compromise, which now awaits approval by Gov. Mark Dayton.