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Erin Golden

Reporter | Politics and government reporter
phone: 612-673-4790
Erin Golden reports on Minnesota government and politics. Before joining the Star Tribune, she reported for the Omaha World-Herald and The (Bend, Ore.) Bulletin.
Recent content from Erin Golden
Republican legislative leaders House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka spoke outside the State Capitol on Monday.

2018 Legislature: What passed, what didn't and what's next

Lawmakers have adjourned their session, but many major initiatives of the year face a veto threat from Gov. Mark Dayton
Vile, appalling disgusting, debacle, badly mismanaged, beholden to special interests, just some of the ways Gov. Mark Dayton described actions by by t

Dayton veto threat hangs over legislative session's final bills

Minnesota lawmakers adjourned late Sunday after finalizing a handful of tax and spending measures, but with little chance they'd have much to show for three months of work as Gov. Mark Dayton vowed to veto most of their major efforts.
With the clock ticking, it's unclear whether Republican leaders at the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton will reach accord on a handful of pr

Minnesota lawmakers, Gov. Dayton at odds as finish line nears

In session's second-to-last day, a late meeting between Dayton, lawmakers produced no agreement.

Myriad laws pass muster as Legislature scurries to wrap up

Many make specific tweaks to existing state law or apply only to certain cities or counties — the kind of legislative action that rarely gets attention.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton reflected on the final days of the 2018 legislative session in the library of the governor's residence.

Dayton promises veto of key tax bill, lashes out at Legislature

Gov. Mark Dayton is promising to veto a key tax bill that the Republican-controlled Senate passed narrowly Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions between the governor and the Legislature's GOP majorities.
The Minnesota State Capitol.

Dayton vetoes abortion bill that requires asking about ultrasound

Doctors would have had to offer patients a look.
Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans is one of just two members of Gov. Mark Dayton’s inner circle who have been with him from t

As right-hand man to Dayton, Frans is Capitol's chief defuser

Budget czar Myron Frans is poised to crunch numbers and jump in with the right idea during the legislative session's final days.

Abortion ultrasound bill heads to Gov. Dayton's desk

The bill approved by the Legislature requires doctors to ask women if they'd like to see an ultrasound before having an abortion.

Minnesota Senate Republicans propose $825 million for public works

The proposal is similar to one from the House but much smaller than one offered by the governor.

Minnesota Senate votes to ease child care regulations

Lawmakers vote to relax regulations in effort to ease child care shortage.
Rep. Paul Marquart, ranking DFLer on the House Tax Committee, commended GOP Rep. Greg Davids for his work as committee chairman on Monday after the Ho

Minnesota lawmakers have two weeks left, much to do at the Capitol

The Legislature is behind its usual pace in getting bills turned into law.
Families of those killed by distracted drivers listened during a February rally at the State Capitol to drum up support for a law that would ban the u

Hand-held cellphone bill backers make push in session's final weeks

Senate sponsor and advocates blame partisanship, but Senate leader says measure could still advance this year.
GOP Governor candidate Mary Giuliani Stephens announced Rep. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley as her running mate in a State Capitol press conference.

Woodbury mayor running for governor taps rural state representative as GOP running mate

Mary Giuliani Stephens selected Rep. Jeff Backer, who represents the Morris area, as her lieutenant governor running mate.
Gov. Mark Dayton, shown last week, is urging the Legislature to approve additional funding for schools.

Dayton proposes nearly $138M in emergency aid to schools

With many schools preparing to lay off teachers and staff members —or close their doors altogether — Gov. Mark Dayton said the state should step in to help.
Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles in his St. Paul office.

Legislative audit finds early education programs 'complex and fragmented'

Need for coordinated push in early education cited.
The cover of Thinking Minnesota showcases the article alleging political “indoctrination” in the Edina School District. It was sent to all househo

'Academic balance' measure advances in Minnesota Senate

The plan came in response to a recent controversy in the Edina School District.

House approves school safety funding for Minnesota schools

Money could be used for building improvements or additional staffing.

Minnesota Supreme Court considers future of cameras in courts

The state's high court held a public hearing Wednesday on the future of a pilot project allowing cameras in criminal sentencing hearings.
State Rep. Erin Maye Quade, of Apple Valley, second from right, holds a 24-hour sit-in on the Minnesota House floor for stronger gun laws, Tuesday, Ap

DFL Rep. Erin Maye Quade ends House floor sit-in, vows to continue pursuing gun control

The lawmaker from Apple Valley said she wanted to draw attention to the Legislature's inaction on gun-control measures.
Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley holds a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor for stronger gun laws. Other DFL reps are joining her. She is here with Raym

DFLer Maye Quade stages House floor sit-in, wants stronger gun laws

Rep. Erin Maye Quade was joined by a handful of others in the House.

Minnesota lawmakers consider broadening harassment policy

One proposal would relax definition of what's considered harassment.
At a Nov. 15 hearing, Sen. John Jasinski, R-Faribault, described how some constituents received two sets of license tabs due to problems with the MNLA

Lawmakers say state should pay for licensing problems

State's flawed computer system has some registrars operating in the red.
In a photo she shared on Twitter, GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach met Friday with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.

Dayton, Fischbach pledge to work together in governor's office

In first meeting to discuss Fischbach's new role, they avoid legal issues.
The DFL kicked off its get-out-the-vote bus tour at the State Capitol Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in St. Paul, MN. Here, Sen. Al Franken, second from le

Tina Smith, a political insider, steps onto the national stage

Long known as a "velvet hammer" behind the scenes, she must craft her own public persona as Minnesota's next senator.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to the U.S. Senate, where she will replace Sen. Al Franken.

Dayton picks Lt. Gov. Tina Smith for Franken's Senate seat

Sen. Al Franken, facing accusations of sexual harassment, said last week that he would resign "in the coming weeks." Smith would be up for election next November.
The constitution says the state Senate president ascends to the lieutenant governor's office. Senate President Michelle Fischbach, seen here Wednesday

Dayton's Senate appointment could create a mess at State Capitol

GOP Sen. Michelle Fischbach says she'll keep seat in Senate; Dayton administration disagrees.

Third DFLer joins race for Minnesota state auditor

So far, no Republicans have signed up to run for Rebecca Otto's seat.
Gov. Mark Dayton was tight-lipped Friday, saying only he wants “a great United States senator for Minnesota.”

Dayton not ready to talk about Franken seat; Smith mulls run

Minnesota's DFL governor said Friday that he'll name a replacement for Sen. Al Franken "in a couple days," but he wouldn't say who it might be.
Gov. Mark Dayton left following the end-of-year budget forecast Tuesday.

Minnesota projected to have $188 million budget deficit

The deficit in the current two-year budget cycle is projected to grow to $586 million in the 2020-21 biennium. Since the state budget must be balanced, it would require cutting spending or raising more revenue.
Rep. Tony Cornish and Sen. Dan Schoen announced Tuesday that they will soon resign, ending a jarring period in Minnesota politics, when the State Capi

Special elections set to replace Minn. legislators accused of harassment

Voters to decide who will replace two legislators who quit after allegations.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he's cancer-free, encourages more screening

Governor proclaimed 'Cancer Screen Week" in Minnesota, says own experience taught importance of early detection.
In this Oct. 26, 2017, photo, a woman walks past the Briva Health enrollment office for MNsure, Minnesota's insurance marketplace, in Minneapolis.

Candidates agree: Health care is the top issue in Minn. governor's race

DFL and GOP candidates offer up vastly different fixes.
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Matt Dean talked with fairgoers at the Minnesota State Fair this year. On Saturday, Dean finished first in a straw po

Rep. Matt Dean tops GOP governor straw poll

Party activists picked among a field of seven candidates who hope to be on the ballot in 2018.
The South Saint Paul Quick-Serv License Center. ] GLEN STUBBE ï glen.stubbe@startribune.com Thursday, September 28, 2017 The upgrade of Minnesota's v

State outsources drivers licensing system upgrade work for $26M

Following the bumpy rollout of a new vehicle licensing system, the state of Minnesota is hiring a private firm for similar upgrades to its drivers licensing operations.
In his last year in office, Gov. Mark Dayton wants to focus on expanding pre-K access, passing a public works bill and overhauling senior care standar

In final year, Dayton ready to move on from fight with GOP

He says he'll lift budget veto and rebuild relationship with Republican legislators.
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said the program helps erase divide between rural, populous areas.

Faster internet coming to greater Minnesota, with help from the state

The $26M is for broadband projects across the state.
Jaime Tincher, with Gov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton's chief of staff to serve as St. Paul deputy mayor

With governor's term winding down, members of his administration are lining up their next positions.
Cynthia Miller, right, wiped away tears as many speakers talked about how they were sexually harassed in the past. She came to the protest with friend

Rally at Minnesota Capitol calls out sexual harassment

In speeches, several women who serve at the Capitol who said they are frustrated by harassment and discrimination regularly encountered there.
After the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of the budget of the state House and Senate and the Legislative Coordinating Commissi

Gov. Dayton's line-item veto of Legislature's budget upheld

The decision hands Gov. Dayton a legal victory as he seeks to rework costly tax breaks and other measures he signed into law this spring as part of a new state budget.
MN.IT Commissioner Thomas Baden took a lot of hard questions Wednesday from members of the Senate Transportation Committee, who hammered him about the

Gov. Dayton, Minnesota officials apologize for licensing problems

Dayton, state's top IT official say rollout of state's new vehicle licensing system has not gone as planned, inconvenienced Minnesotans.
Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, in a 2016 Star Tribune file photo.

Senate worker: Schoen 'crossed line' by sending explicit photo

Sen. Dan Schoen is facing renewed calls to resign after an employee of the state Senate reported that he sent her an unsolicited sexually explicit photograph.
The polls open at the Brian Coyle Center for city elections last Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. DAVID JOLES ï david.joles@startribune.com

U.S. Supreme Court to consider Minnesota law barring political clothing at polls

Groups are challenging a state law about political apparel at polling places.
Mayor Betsy Hodges spoke to her campaign volunteers on election night at Gandhi Mahal restaurant in Minneapolis. GLEN STUBBE glen.stubbe@startribune.c

Caught in the middle, Hodges squeezed out in Minneapolis

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges mounted a re-election bid this year based on the same messages that had won over so many of the city's voters. But this time many of the same people who propelled Hodges into office voted to replace her. On Election Day, she became only the second Minneapolis mayor in 40 years to run for a second term and lose.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka

Minn. Senate faces December furloughs, shutdown

Amid a budget stalemate with the governor, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said the Senate will run out of money Dec 1.
After “reds” like Jerry Ewing, right, and “blues” like Tamara Kaiser discussed common stereotypes, they were invited to speak one-on-one about

'Reds' and 'blues' sit down together to try to heal the political divide

A group called Better Angels is organizing the gatherings of Republicans and Democrats to talk, listen and find what they have in common.
Customers stood in long lines at the department of vehicle services office Friday at the Sears in St. Paul.

Minn. vehicle registration problems make for long waits

A recent run of problems with the state's new vehicle licensing system is prompting new headaches during an already bumpy transition.
Gov. Mark Dayton spoke at a Capitol press conference in September, after mediation broke down with legislative leaders in the long-running political a

Nov. 1: Gov. Dayton rejects Legislature's calls to restore funding

Republicans dispute his assertion that lawmakers have access to $45 million.
Gov. Mark Dayton held a 9:30 a.m. press conference to talk about the impact of the Republican tax bill on Minnesotans.

Dayton says GOP tax plan would cut deductions for 900K Minnesotans

The governor called a morning news conference to blast the GOP plan still in the works in Washington — particularly a proposed elimination of federal deductions for income, sales tax and property tax.
CenturyLink is based in Monroe, La.

CenturyLink ordered to be more clear in billing Minn. customers

A ruling in a lawsuit by the attorney general includes ordering the company to stick to the prices it initially quotes to customers buying phone, internet and cable packages.
Dean Phillips' outreach director Clara Severson, right, accompanied him as he spoke to an Indivisible group in Edina. Dean Philips, got a hug from a s

Unhappy with Trump, Minnesota 'resistance' eyes next election

Many activists are tackling local issues, launching own bids for office.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Speaker Kurt Daudt at a press conference in September. GLEN STUBBE • glen.stubbe@startribune.com

Minnesota Legislature asks Ramsey County judge to restore funding

The legal battle with the governor dates back to May.
In this Nov. 25, 2015 photo, Transportation Security Administration agents check travelers identifications at a security check point at O'Hare Interna

What the Real ID extension means for Minnesotans

Recent announcements about Minnesota’s timeline for implementing the federal Real ID Act have left some Minnesotans feeling relieved about their upcoming travel plans — and…
Minnesota sample identification card and drivers license.

Minnesotans don't need new ID to board planes for a year

Federal officials said Wednesday that the state now has through October 2018 to comply with the federal Real ID law.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton says pitch to Amazon doesn't pledge specific tax break

The governor said the state's proposal to land the company's second headquarters focuses on the state's strengths, rather than promises of tax breaks.
A recently built trio of geodesic domes, an addition to Amazon's Seattle headquarters building, in September.

Minnesota finalizes pitch for Amazon HQ

Gov. Mark Dayton reviews the state's plan to attract company's headquarters.
Minnesota sample identification card and drivers license. This is a sample provided by the Minnesota department of Public Safety ORG XMIT: MIN15092616

Minnesota gets one Real ID extension, but will need another soon

Residents can keep using regular driver's licenses, but only until Jan. 22.
At the South St. Paul Quick-Serv License Center, computer problems sometimes make completing transactions excruciatingly slow, its operators said.

State's roll-out of new licensing system straining offices, drivers

Drivers report being over- or undercharged for their plates and tabs, and licensing offices saw repeated systemwide shutdowns and monthslong processing delays.
Lynx players and staff flashed four fingers for their four championship wins as they posed with Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith in front of t

Gov. Dayton hosts Lynx for victory reception

The governor welcomed the WNBA champions to his home Friday morning.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Dayton, lawmakers continue dispute over Legislature's budget situation

Each tells own tale of Legislature's finances.
Tenzin Dolkar

Dayton names an adviser as new state rail director

Tenzin Dolkar, a policy adviser in the governor's office, will oversee rail safety efforts.
Congressman Keith Ellison holds a Puerto Rican flag with University of Minnesota physician Dr. Miguel Fiol on Ellison’s left, who was in Puerto Rico

Minnesota lawmakers, residents urge more help for Puerto Rico

Lawmakers and residents ask federal government to do more. "A life preserver is not a handout."
DFL Rep. Erin Murphy was the first candidate to enter the contest for governor.

Rep. Erin Murphy puts health care at center of campaign for governor

The DFL legislator has some high-profile opponents, but she has quietly carved out a spot as a candidate to watch.
Gov. Mark Dayton, pictured at a news conference Sept. 22, said he disagrees with kneeling protests, but defends players’ right to kneel. GLEN STUBBE

Dayton disagrees with kneeling protests, but also Trump response

The DFL governor said athletes should find other ways to protest, but he defends their right to kneel during the national anthem.
Gov. Mark Dayton, pictured at a news conference Sept. 22, said Monday that the U.S. Senate health care plan is a “sham” that would hurt Minnesotan

Dayton says U.S. Senate health care plan is a 'sham' that will hurt Minnesotans

The governor warned Monday of significant cuts to Medicaid programs.
Gov. Mark Dayton spoke at a news conference Friday after mediation talks with the Legislature's GOP leaders broke down.

Mediation falls apart in GOP's veto battle with Gov. Dayton

Court-ordered mediation between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders broke down around noon Friday, when GOP leaders said Dayton ended the session.
The sessions weren't held at the State Capitol in St. Paul, but at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm in downtown Minneapolis, where retired Judge Rick Sol

Dayton, legislative leaders wrap up mediation sessions for the day

The state's top leaders held closed-door talks under orders from the Minnesota Supreme Court
Gov. Mark Dayton

Minnesota officials seek clarity from Washington over premium relief, MinnesotaCare funding

Dayton, Paulsen, others blast apparent plan by Trump Administration to link 'reinsurance' waiver to cut in MinnesotaCare support
The Minnesota State Capitol

Closed-door mediation for Dayton, Legislature to begin Thursday

Dayton, GOP leaders staying mum about mediation sessions, as taxpayer-funded legal bills keep growing.
The latest turn in the monthslong dispute between the governor and Legislature provides a rare glimpse into the finances of the Legislature, which is

Fight between Dayton, lawmakers shines light on hefty legislative expenses

Court filings provide a rare glimpse into expenses.
Gov. Mark Dayton

Legislature warns of winter shutdown if no deal with Dayton

GOP report says Senate will run out of funds by December, House by February. The update may add urgency to court-ordered mediation the governor and lawmakers begin this week.
The Minnesota State Capitol is largely quiet, but major issues are still unresolved between the Republican legislature and DFL governor.

Gov. Dayton, GOP leaders lay out legal cases in their veto fight

Both sides filed new arguments as the Minnesota Supreme Court considers constitutional clash.
Gov. Mark Dayton walks out of the courtroom in the Capitol after oral arguments concluded.

Retired judge to mediate dispute between Dayton, Legislature

The governor and lawmakers jointly selected Rick Solum, a former trial lawyer and judge who has long focused on mediation.
“I think there is a strong appetite to see women in higher office,” said GOP state Sen. Julie Rosen, shown in 2013, who is considering a bid for g

Republican women consider runs for Minnesota office — but so far, few pulling trigger

A few consider major bid in party that historically chooses male candidates.
Gov. Mark Dayton walks out of the courtroom in the Capitol after oral arguments concluded.

Minn. Supreme Court says Dayton veto was constitutional

The Minnesota Supreme Court has found that Gov. Mark Dayton's line-item veto of legislative funding was constitutional -- but said an ongoing dispute between the DFL governor and Republican-led Legislature will take more work to be resolved.
A new report says Minnesota added 57,000 clean-energy jobs in 2016 — a rate of growth nearly 4 percent larger than job growth overall in the state.

Surge in Minnesota clean-energy jobs prompts calls for tighter energy standards

Some state lawmakers are championing a new goal: generating 50 percent of the state's energy from renewable sources by 2030.
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