Rachel E. Stassen-Berger / St. Paul Pioneer Press
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 — The decision to veto the Legislature's funding was a slowly simmering idea for Gov. Mark Dayton until shortly before he took the action in June, he said in an interview. It was not until he saw that the $130-million, two-year legislative appropriation was set off on its own in a larger funding bill — "kind of an inviting target," he said — and his administration calculated the long-term cost of the tax cuts lawmakers approved — about $5 billion over the next decade — that he started thinking seriously about nixing the funding.
ST. PAUL — Faced with the possibility of the Senate shutting down this summer and the House closing up shop shortly thereafter, Gov. Mark Dayton empowered his attorney to negotiate to fund the Legislature — even as the Legislature is suing him for vetoing its funding.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Senate plans to shut down in July and the House in September in response to Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of legislative funding, the Legislature told a district court Thursday, June 22. Last month, Dayton vetoed the $130-million, two-year budget for the Legislature in an attempt to bring lawmakers back to the negotiating table. The Legislature sued over the vetoes. The case will have its first hearing in Ramsey County District Court on Monday.
ST. PAUL — State Rep. Paul Thissen, a former House speaker who made a run for governor seven years ago, announced Thursday, June 15, that he will seek the state's highest office again. Thissen brings a Minneapolis voice to the crush of names vying for governor. An attorney, he has specialized in health care in the Legislature and become increasingly vocal on transparency issues since Democrats lost the House under his leadership. "We need a governor who knows that governing is best done with Minnesotans and not for them," Thissen said in his announcement speech.
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 — It'll be Minnesota versus Buenos Aires versus Lodz competing for the chance to host the World Expo in six years. The Bureau International des Expositions, the France-based intergovernmental organization that has overseen such expos and World's Fairs since 1931, picked bids from the United States, Argentina and Poland as the final three on Monday, June 12. If the United States wins, the 2023 expo would be held in Minnesota.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Legislature struggled to finish its work — the final coda came at 3 a.m. Friday — but managed to approve thousands of pages of legislation, brimming with hundreds of changes to the way Minnesota does business. Some of those changes are unexpected and little noticed. It took four days after the Legislature's constitutional deadline to complete plans for a $46 billion, two-year budget for Minnesota. While many of the measures await final action from Gov. Mark Dayton, here are some of the more obscure actions the Legislature approved:
ST. PAUL — Minnesota has adopted the federal Real ID standards for driver's licenses after years of debate.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Republicans want to fundamentally redesign the state's laws governing how candidates raise and spend campaign money. For the past 40 years, Minnesota candidates could get a partial subsidy for their campaigning from the state. And for most of the last 25 years, donors who give candidates small amounts of money — $50 per person — could get a refund for their contributions. The laws were designed to keep candidacy accessible to all and allow Minnesotans of limited means to connect with candidates.