Rachel E. Stassen-Berger / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Senate leaders think they've struck a deal to revive a defeated measure to bring Minnesota into compliance with federal Real ID standards. Three weeks ago, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected a bill to make the state's driver's licenses compatible with federal requirements that will go into effect next year. All the Senate's Democrats and five of the Senate's Republicans voted against the measure. The final vote was 29-38.
ST. PAUL — For local Democrats, there's always money in the mini-doughnut stand. Over the last 50 years, or so, a group of Democrats from Ramsey County has organized volunteers to run a doughnut booth at the Minnesota State Fair. The group, which has been registered as the "10th Ward & Rural Ramsey County (fka DFL Donut Booth)" since 1977, then contributes the profits to local Democratic-Farmer-Labor groups.
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 — Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, long thought to be positioning herself to take over when Gov. Mark Dayton leaves office, said she has decided to pass on a gubernatorial bid. "After careful consideration, and many conversations with family and friends, I have decided not to run for Governor in 2018," the Democrat said in a statement on Friday, March 17.
ST. PAUL—Lobbying interests spent nearly $67 million last year trying to sway Minnesota officials, according to reports released Thursday.. Lobbyists have been on the rise over the past decade, according to state reports. State and local hearings are rife with those seeking to make their clients' voices heard.
ST. PAUL—Next year's Minnesota legislators are going to get a 45 percent raise. An independent council, created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment, will raise state lawmakers' salary from $31,100 to $45,000. "Since it is a citizen-Legislature, I think we have to be conscientious and not give them such a raise that the normal average citizen would say, 'Wow'," said Diana Burlison, one of the members of the council.
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."
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton wants to enable undocumented immigrants to get Minnesota driver's licenses and he wants the Legislature's Real ID bill to help make that happen, he told the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. As they stand, both the House and Senate measures to bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal Real ID standards would bar the possibility of the administration creating licenses for people in the country illegally. But Dayton said Democrats, particularly in the Senate, can change that.
ATLANTA — U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison fell a few votes shy of victory in his bid to lead the Democratic National Committee on Saturday, ceding the post to former Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez.
WASHINGTON — Days after the nation elected Donald Trump president, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison launched a campaign to run the Democratic National Committee. Ellison was one of the first to announce his campaign to chair the party and quickly picked up powerful endorsements, including from U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer. Since the November campaign launch — he had been quietly preparing for quite a while — the race has grown.