ST. PAUL — Greater Minnesota could see expanded access to broadband, more money for public schools and a tax cut for some as part of a budget framework put forth in the state Capitol. Legislative leaders and the governor late Sunday, May 19, announced their framework for a two-year $48 billion spending plan, which was set to be hashed out further by conference committee chairs and commissioners on Monday and beyond. The Legislature is expected to return as early as Thursday for a special session to approve or vote down parts of the spending plan.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Sunday, May 19, announced a compromise budget deal with hours remaining in the legislative session. After days of closed-door meetings, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Gov. Tim Walz emerged with a plan to spend $48 billion over the next two years, a roughly 6% increase in spending from current funding levels.
ST. PAUL — Legislative leaders and the governor reentered closed-door budget negotiations Tuesday, May 14, a day after they deadlocked and broke off talks. For more than eight hours on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, discussed possible paths to a timely budget deal. Democrats and Republicans sit on either side of a $2 billion divide in terms of how much the state should spend over the next two years.
ST. PAUL — Budget negotiation talks remained in limbo Wednesday, May 8, days after Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor deadlocked over plans to raise taxes to fund boosts to education, road repairs and other state government spending. But two key leaders said they'd be willing to talk shop Saturday, May 11, at the Governor's Fishing Opener. The event has traditionally offered a reprieve from budget talks for legislative leaders and the governor as they cast their first lines of the fishing season together.
ST. PAUL -- Some of the toughest fights of the year are set to start this week at the Capitol. Legislative leaders and the governor will come together to negotiate how much the state should spend on its responsibilities like education, health care and roads and bridges. And those targets will constrain what lawmakers can pass as they negotiate compromise bills in conference committees. The talks come after weeks of debates over on either side of the divided Legislature over how the state should spend nearly $50 billion over the next two years.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota should buy a packaged computer software system to handle vehicle licensing and registration rather than finishing the rollout of the state's system, an independent group of information technology experts found. And that will come at a cost. A panel of experts on Wednesday, May 1, released its report of findings on the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS, and recommended that the state cut its losses, let the program enter one more update, then transition to a system developed by a private vendor.
ST. PAUL -- Leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature dug in hours before the Minnesota House of Representatives was set to debate two gun control measures Monday, April 29, as part of a larger public safety funding proposal. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, rallied with gun control supporters Monday morning and said the measure would pass in the House, despite opposition from some in her caucus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, meanwhile, said the bills would be "dead" in the Senate.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to hike Minnesota's tax on gasoline took a step forward Monday, April 29, in the state Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives on a 74-58 vote approved a plan to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years as part of the body's $7.2 billion transportation spending plan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers spent days debating large funding proposals this week, with the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives and GOP-led Senate passing very different plans for how the state should spend almost $50 billion over the next two years. A new report provided fodder for lawmakers fighting against tax hikes proposed by the governor's office. And after months of attempted negotiations to use federal funding to boost election security, a GOP senator said she would dig in to get the deal she wanted.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Walz called on lawmakers to write their story together, a story of compromise in divided government. House Democrats said they'd push to put two gun control bills in a budget proposal, possibly setting up a standoff with a key Republican leader. Senate Republicans shot down a key tenet of the governor's budget proposal in a committee hearing Democrats viewed as a stunt, teeing up a tough road ahead for a gasoline gas tax hike. Amid messages of a willingness to compromise this week, actions on either side of the Legislature told a different story.