The latest bills offered in the GOP-controlled Senate and DFL-controlled House are stand-ins for a continuing argument over the governor’s emergency powers.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz also tipped attendees at a League of Minnesota Cities webinar that an upcoming budget forecast would be good news — that the state’s current surplus would grow and the projected shortfall in the future would “shrink even substantially more.”
That still doesn’t mean lawmakers will pass legislation to make a key state tax credit permanent before it expires.
In many ways, the bill introduced at the Minnesota Legislature this session reflects the latest national trends around the issue.
In 2020, the DFL-affiliated groups vastly outspent their GOP counterparts and saw their House majority shrink, while also failing to retake the state Senate.
What had been a tense-but-civil relationship has become one of open antagonism, for the same reason much of state and national politics has: the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
Yes, Minnesota’s corporate income tax is borne by owners and shareholders. But also by workers and consumers.
State Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said tax increases are a non-starter with Senate Republicans, however, calling it “a line in the sand.”
Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, who chairs the state’s Capital Security Advisory Committee, said the state must balance building security and access for the public.
What two Minnesota Senate resolutions say about where the parties are, even as Joe Biden is sworn in as president.
One reason for the lack of action is anti-gambling sentiment among some legislators. Another is opposition from Minnesota’s tribal nations.
Since both the Minnesota House and Senate began allowing lawmakers to vote remotely, being “present” doesn’t require the 201 members to be, well, present.
An unemployment benefit bump makes up the largest amount of money, though there is also funds for rental assistance, public schools, higher education, child care, COVID testing, vaccination programs, transit and highways.
A heated media forum Monday with the governor and the four legislative leaders featured a back and forth about the invasion of the U.S. Capitol and whether lawmakers’ rhetoric contributed to it. But it was sometimes hard to distinguish between anger over the attack and frustration over the state’s response to COVID-19.
Walz had been on the teleconference for more than 20 minutes before he spoke. When he did, he unloaded. “How do we find common ground when we have people who won’t say the election was fair?” Walz asked.
Among other reforms, one proposal would require lobbyists — and groups that hire them — to say how much they spend on television or radio ads advocating for or against particular legislation.
The bad news: Minnesota lawmakers will once again be sequestered from the public unless they venture out beyond the chain-link fence that now surrounds the Capitol. The good news? Parking shouldn’t be a problem.
As much as COVID-19 and the homicide of George Floyd dominated government and politics in 2020, there were other stories that seemed important at the time — and will likely return to prominence after the pandemic is over.
State and local governments didn’t get a hoped-for second infusion of money in the $900 billion COVID relief package passed by Congress earlier this week, but they did get word that they didn’t have to spend CARES Act money within the calendar year.