Brand accuses Senate GOP of foot dragging on legislation to address farmer suicides

By |2019-04-01T10:57:42-05:00April 1st, 2019|

A greater Mankato area lawmaker is displeased with Senate Republicans. Democrat Minnesota State Representative Jeff Brand of St. Peter. "Unfortunately, it's politics as usual," said St. Peter DFL State Representative Jeff Brand. Brand said he believes said the G.O.P.-led chamber is dragging its feet on legislation, passed with urgency in the state House. "Like, for instance, mental health resources," he explained, "We passed out House file 232 a few weeks back, which allocates the money to hire a new Ted Matthews to go around the state to meet with farmers at the kitchen table." Matthews is a psychologist who [...]

FarmFest begins on Tuesday with focus on trade, farm bill, boidiesel and political landscape

By |2018-08-06T17:25:18-05:00August 6th, 2018|

FarmFest near Redwood Falls is underway through Thursday with plenty of events focused around Minnesota's political landscape, along with discussions on water quality, trade and biodiesel. Farm Management Analyst Kent Thiesse says the political candidate forums will feature numerous topics for those running in the November election. "Ag trade and the farm bill will be the highlight topics of discussion. Then obviously things like rural healthcare, workforce immigration issues and all of those kind of issues will be part of it too. But those other two issues right now are in the forefront. Especially the congressional ones, when we get to the [...]

Fischbach takes oath as lieutenant governor

By |2018-05-27T06:13:52-05:00May 27th, 2018|

Minnesota has a full-time lieutenant governor once more. Longtime Republican Sen. Michelle Fischbach was sworn in Friday morning to join Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's administration. Fischbach was thrust into the job automatically in January when Dayton appointed Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate. But she resisted taking the oath or performing the job's duties for months as she sought to maintain her Senate seat. A Democratic constituent sued her twice challenging the dual roles. She says that the end of the legislative session changed that calculus. Fischbach says she expects the lawsuit to be withdrawn.

Minnesota Lawmakers introduce $50 per-acre tax credit for buffer land

By |2018-05-10T16:47:27-05:00May 10th, 2018|

The financial burden on farmers for implementing Minnesota's Buffer Strip Law may be eased by a proposal in the Legislature. Under the new bill in the House and Senate, farmers would receive a 50-dollar per acre credit for eligible farmland that was converted to buffers. House Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) sits on the Ag Finance and Policy committees and says the tax credit would total 27.3-million dollars by 2021. Rep. Clark Johnson "As I watched this whole buffer issue emerge, one of the problems that's left undone is how do you deal with the taxes. Because a lot of [...]

Bill changing abortion ultrasound rules clears Legislature

By |2018-05-10T14:48:37-05:00May 10th, 2018|

A bill requiring doctors to give pregnant women the option to see an ultrasound before having an abortion has cleared the Minnesota Legislature. The House passed the bill Thursday by a 79-48 vote. A handful of Democrats joined Republicans to approve the measure, which the Senate passed earlier this month. Democrats argued it's a veiled attempt to hinder women's access to abortions. But Republicans say the regulation will help give women more information before deciding to have an abortion. The debate is a familiar topic at the Capitol, but it faces stiff odds at becoming law. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has [...]

Senate GOP proposes $825M for public construction

By |2018-05-09T16:28:45-05:00May 9th, 2018|

Minnesota Senate Republicans are proposing to spend $825 million on public works projects with a heavy focus on infrastructure like roads and building repairs. The broad details of the bill released Wednesday fall largely in line with the House Republicans' own $825 million bonding bill. But both are roughly half the size of Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's $1.5 billion proposal. It sets up a heated debate over borrowing between the governor and the Republican Legislature. Those bills are generally worked out in the final days of the legislative session. Lawmakers must adjourn May 21. Dayton has argued the time is ripe [...]

Senate approves changes meant to ease child care shortage

By |2018-05-07T16:43:20-05:00May 7th, 2018|

The Minnesota Senate has passed a handful of measures aimed at loosening restrictions on child care providers. The push comes following lawmaker's concerns that certain regulations are leading to a shortage of child care facilities, especially in rural areas. A handful of measures relaxing restrictions on training and licensing requirements overwhelmingly cleared the Senate Monday. According to the Department of Human Services, the number of family providers dropped from nearly 11,000 in 2011 to less than 9,000 in 2016. Sen. Bill Weber, a Republican from Luverne, says onerous requirements are causing many providers to close. His bill would tweak several license [...]

Senate poised to vote on tax plan with income tax cut

By |2018-05-03T14:49:15-05:00May 3rd, 2018|

The Minnesota Senate is preparing to vote on its plan to cut income tax rates while matching the federal tax overhaul. The Republican-controlled Senate's proposal up for a vote Thursday would lower taxes on the first income bracket from 5.35 percent to 5.1 percent. It would also trigger future tax cuts when the state has a budget surplus and exempt estates worth up to $5 million from taxes. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has signaled some openness to the tax rate cut. But he favors his approach of redirecting $400-plus million in additional tax revenue to middle income families through new tax [...]

Johnson: ‘Floored by the fact that we cannot really provide the investment needed in education’

By |2018-05-03T14:43:59-05:00May 3rd, 2018|

Education funding has been put on the front burner this week in St. Paul after Gov. Mark Dayton requested Lawmakers to provide 138-million dollars in emergency funding for school districts dealing with budget deficits. The request comes late in the session, but House Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) says school districts are reporting they will have to layoff workers because they are short on funds. Rep. Clark Johnson "I was totally floored when the Republicans said, well that's a local issue, the states not going to deal with it," said Johnson. "Well that's easy for someone to say in [...]

Minnesota House and Senate pass bill to tighten up campaign finance laws

By |2018-05-03T12:42:10-05:00May 3rd, 2018|

A bill that would make several changes to campaign finance laws is headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk after passing on a vote of 123-0 on Wednesday in the House. Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) will retire this year, but says Minnesotans should be proud that the state requires lawmakers to provide information to the public on where financing comes from. "Of course it always begs the question about these other interest groups that don't have to share that information, which I think is a continuing problem. But at least we've got that foundation for elected officials and people running for [...]

Go to Top