Politics in Minnesota
Updated: 5 min 43 sec ago
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.
State lawmakers on Monday sent a campaign finance bill to Gov. Mark Dayton that allows candidates to raise and spend more money. The bill received bipartisan support in the House and Senate but also drew dissent from DFLers in the majority on some provisions.
Democrats who control the Legislature saved some politicking and deal-making on Capitol restoration bonding and taxes for the final hours of the regular 2013 Legislative session
The inclusion of business-to-business taxes, particularly those that could cost farmers, are causing last-minute tensions over the omnibus tax bill.
The bill passed the House by a tally of 68-66, with the entire House Republican caucus joined by five moderate Democrats who voted in opposition.
A proposed constitutional amendment that would give an independent panel the authority to set salaries for House and Senate members passed the Senate on Monday morning by a 43-23 vote margin. The amendment is expected to be on the ballot in 2016.
The House passed a tax bill that includes just over $2 billion in tax increases by a 69-65 vote early Monday morning. The legislation now heads to the Senate and is the lynchpin of the budget deal needed to conclude the legislative session.
The Senate passed a transportation finance bill that includes no significant new revenue by a 43-24 vote on Sunday evening. The bill already cleared the House and is now headed for a signature by Gov. Mark Dayton.
In his letter to Skoe, Dayton wrote, "Had I known about the Board's findings, I would not have reappointed him to the Tax Court."
Late Saturday night, House and Senate conferees adopted a tax bill containing $2 billion in new taxes and a handful of provisions added at the last minute.
The bill will increase the basic funding formula to schools by $234 million, or 3 percent, which Marquart said would break down to more than $300 in new spending per student.
The House and Senate on Saturday night passed their negotiated deal on funding for the next two years for the environment and agriculture. The conference report is the settlement between the opposing viewpoints in the DFL majorities between business and environmentalists.
House and Senate conferees have agreed on a set of regulations for frac sand mining in southeastern Minnesota. One conferee said the breadth of the issues that are addressed makes the legislation the first of its kind in the country.
The legislation, which includes a 5 percent rate increase for nursing homes next year and additional spending for mental health services in schools, passed of the chamber floor on a 39-28 vote. At the start of the debate, bill author Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, said the final budget bill was considerably better than a proposal passed earlier in the year. That’s because both chambers originally faced a $150 million targeted budget cut in health and human services, but that number was scaled back to $50 million when leadership reached final budget targets with Gov. Mark Dayton.
The House passed a health and human services finance bill that reduces anticipated spending by $50 million on a 73-61 party line vote on Friday night. The legislation, which includes a 5 percent rate increase for nursing homes, is now headed to the Senate.
DFL legislative leaders have taken a proposed increase in the state’s per gallon gasoline tax off the table. Although nothing at the Legislature is ever truly dead until adjournment, the fate of the gasoline tax appears to be sealed, according to news reports and the House and Senate transportation chairs.
The Mayo Clinic's "destination medical center" took another step towards gaining up to $400 million in state financial support on Friday evening. The tax conference committee adopted language laying out the financial terms and governing structure for the estimated $5.5 billion project.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, who earlier this week said a proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage was likely dead, now says there’s a “very good chance” something could get done on the issue yet this year.
The state House on Friday agreed to submit to Minnesota voters a constitutional amendment question that asks if an independent council should be given the authority to determine legislators’ pay.