Rachel E. Stassen-Berger / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL—When the state of Minnesota sends its bid to become digital retailing giant Amazon's new home base, the package will be full of facts but without the hoopla other regions have rolled out to land the project known as HQ2. Washington, D.C.'s mayor prepared a video of herself asking Amazon's Alexa about the new headquarters; an Arizona region sent a cactus to Amazon's Washington headquarters; and Birmingham, Ala., set up Amazon delivery boxes around town and created a Dash button-themed social-media campaign.
ST. PAUL — On partisan lines, a Minnesota legislative panel Thursday, Oct. 5, rejected state employee contracts, sending unions back to their current contracts. The contracts would have covered nearly 30,000 state employees, giving some 2 percent and 2.25 percent pay raises during the two-year period. Republicans on the state's Subcommittee on Employee Relations said the raises were generous and could leave little funding left to pay for rent increases or other increased operating costs.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota has a Confederate symbol in its possession. It has long caused controversy. And Minnesota is not moving it. The Confederate icon—a scarred and hole-worn Virginia battle flag—was captured by the First Minnesota Pvt. Marshall Sherman at the bloody and brutal Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. Many of the First Minnesota Regiment, a volunteer force, died in the Union battle against the South and Sherman won the Medal of Honor for his role.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder will be eligible to try medical cannabis starting Aug. 1. To receive the drug through the program, patients need to visit a health care professional who must then certify to the Minnesota Department of Health that the patients suffer from the condition. Once certified, patients can then register on the state health department's website. Registration for PTSD started July 1. Before this summer, people who suffer the effects of post-traumatic stress were not eligible for the drug.
ST. PAUL — In a filled-to-capacity Ramsey County courtroom Monday morning, June 26, the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton laid the aftermath of their political dispute at the desk of District Court Chief Judge John Guthmann. The question they asked, through their lawyers: Can a governor veto the appropriation for the Legislature as a way to return lawmakers to the bargaining table?
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton hired former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Sam Hanson to defend him in the lawsuit the Minnesota Legislature filed against him. "After reviewing the lawsuit and in consultation with the Attorney General, I have chosen to hire outside counsel to represent us," Dayton said in a statement Wednesday. The Legislature claims the governor's veto of their funding this month was an unconstitutional breach of the constitutionally mandated separation of powers. Dayton has noted the constitution gives him line-item veto authority.
ST. PAUL — Real ID, the legislation that would give Minnesotans assurance that their state-issued identification would meet federal standards, still isn't completed at the Legislature. The joint-House-Senate committee charged with crafting a compromise to get a bill to Gov. Mark Dayton's desk hasn't even met in public for days. Behind the scenes, leaders say they are still trying to complete the task.
ST. PAUL—Democratic state Rep. Tina Liebling has been known around the Minnesota Capitol as a policy wonk since she arrived in the House in 2005. Liebling, an attorney with a master's degree in public health, represents the Mayo Clinic-focused Rochester district, has served on health committees, chaired a health committee and spoken out on health care issues for more than a decade. She digs into details of legislation. Now, she wants to take the policies for which she has long been known to a statewide stage. On Sunday, she announced that she would run for governor.
ST. PAUL—The debate over transportation funding — and the hard divide on solutions — is back at the Minnesota Capitol. On Tuesday, the Minnesota House released its plan to fund the state's roads and bridges. Like the plan the Senate released earlier this week, the proposal redirects current spending to roads. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, as he has before, is proposing increasing the gas tax to pay for transportation needs.
ST. PAUL—Senate Republicans say Gov. Mark Dayton is jeopardizing the possibility of the Legislature approving a law to bring Minnesota's driver's licenses into compliance with federal Real ID standards. "I am very concerned," said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, a Republican from near Nisswa. "Senate Republicans have a simple strategy: We just want to focus on Real ID. Let's get Real ID done."