More than 100 MinnPost members and readers gathered at Elsie’s on Thursday to hear from reporters about the upcoming Minnesota legislative session. State government reporter Peter Callaghan, education reporter Erin Hinrichs, and environment and workforce reporter Walker Orenstein previewed what’s to come at the Capitol this spring.
Hinrichs laid out what projects education leaders are looking to get funded. Higher education officials are requesting $7.1 billion to address maintenance projects on multiple university campuses, while K-12 leaders are looking for funding to support early learning and special education.
Meanwhile, Callaghan said that the upcoming legislative session will be the first phase of the 2020 election, when all state House and Senate seats will be on the ballot. Certain bills, like voter ID laws pushed by Republicans and marijuana legalization pushed by DFLers, will be put forward even though they have little chance of actually passing into law. Callaghan also gave some insight into how the bonding bill is made.
Orenstein explained that movement on environmental issues in 2020 is likely to be limited due to DFLers controlling the House and Republicans controlling the Senate. Each party has different views on energy policy and emissions standards, and he predicted that nothing will happen with mining, either.
The question-and-answer session was moderated by MinnPost editor Andy Putz. The MinnPost Social series — presented by Great River Energy and RBC Wealth Management— allows MinnPost journalists to share their insights with the public. The events are free for MinnPost members and $10 for nonmembers.