Recent content from J. Patrick Coolican
With time running out, legislative leaders tentatively planned a special session Thursday to hammer out final budget agreements through a series of conference committees or "working groups."
The contrasting scenes with Minnesota senators approving a stopgap bill and Gov. Tim Walz addressing teachers reflected the strains after a week of closed-door budget talks.
"The politics of who wins legislative elections have never been more divorced from what actually happens in St. Paul," one DFL operative said.
Closed-door negotiations continue, with less public finger-pointing.
Deadline looms on Monday.
Will Minnesota avert a state government shutdown? It's complicated. Here's a primer on the budget battle.
Negotiations on a state budget are stalled, so what would a stalemate mean for both sides going forward?
New revenue figures immediately come into play during the budget negotiations.
Minnesota Senate GOP leader Paul Gazelka, father of child with a dual gender identity, seeks to heal political and personal wounds. "I cry over this issue," he said, choking up during an interview
As the budget marathon nears its end, all parties are on guard for the sort of accounting gimmickry that has often marked past spending battles at the Capitol.
It's not surprising that Gov. Tim Walz would put one of his closest advisers inside the Department of Corrections.
Two wildly divergent education spending proposals emerged from the DFL-led House and the Republican-controlled Senate — with scarcely two weeks left in the legislative session.
Pest control companies oppose the bill, saying it would create a "crazy-quilt" of regulation.
Governor says he wants more information about claims that BCA fell short.
Republicans say the tax drives up costs; Democrats say the poor would pay.
It passed the House on a mostly party-line 74 to 58 vote. Senate Republicans have long vowed to fight the proposal, which would push the gas tax from 28.5 cents to 48.5 cents per gallon — a 70% increase.
The three modes of politics these days seem to be sanctimony, outrage and sanctimonious outrage — much of it delivered with all the dramatic…
Gov. Tim Walz said last week he will tighten hiring rules after reports that the IRRRB — long accused of DFL cronyism — passed over a qualified woman and deviated from normal procedures by publicly posting the position for just 24 hours, instead of the usual 21 days.
It's a marathon to get bills off the floors — and into talks.
At the same time, low-income Minnesotans also would benefit most from the governor's spending proposals, which are funded by the tax increases.
It passed a budget measure that looks little like the Senate proposal.
The position, while not new, has been elevated to the level of assistant commissioner.
The campaign-style tour, during the Minnesota Legislature's weeklong recess, was designed to use Walz's retail politicking chops and extroverted persona.
Coming out of the Easter/Passover break, with a mere five weeks to the finish, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has a difficult path forward.
The standard hiring process was circumvented in awarding a civil service job that pays a six-figure salary to a prominent Iron Range Democrat, according to a newspaper report.
Cybersecurity, aging software and hardware will be major challenges.
All are vulnerable Republicans in districts where a Democrat holds at least one of the House seats.
Lawmakers, staffers and lobbyists gather at Mancini's and go retro.
The focus of the visit reportedly is to celebrate President Trump's tax cut act on the day -- April 15 -- that income tax filings are due.
House plan looks to corporations for more school aid but sets up battle with GOP in Senate.
The first-term Democrat cites inflation and road repairs. Republican leaders say the increase is not needed in a time of surplus.
The DFL-controlled House released a massive $7.28 billion, two-year transportation bill while the Republican-controlled Senate transportation committee rejected the gasoline tax hike as well as other tax increases.
Dueling proposals vie to reshape the market in the state, especially with the rising cost of prescription drugs.
The Legislature is an unusual work environment because no one is the boss of the lawmakers, other than the voters.
State Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, the GOP majority leader, called the cost projection "a real problem." He does not plan to hold hearings or a floor vote on the proposal this session.
As the party that wants an activist government, Democrats have the most to gain from building up public trust that comes from surpluses.
New revenue data fuels the tax debate at Capitol.
The governor welcomed hundreds of military veterans converging on the State Capitol to press for housing, disability services and upkeep of cemeteries.
MnDOT has identified 500 road and bridge projects for development around the state — if lawmakers approve new revenue.
Energy firms, business groups and unions were leaders in spending.
Republicans are using their three-seat majority in the state Senate to block the ambitious agenda of newly elected DFL Gov. Tim Walz.
On one point, both sides agree: They would like to give Minnesotans future relief from complications many are enduring this year as they file.
Legislative auditor found no evidence that child-care money was funneled to terrorists, as was alleged in a TV news report.
Republicans say the fees are no different than tax increases.
Republicans in the Minnesota Senate voted down a measure Monday to legalize marijuana for recreational use, abruptly ending debate on the subject — for now.
Advocates of legalization are pushing hard and see an opening, with Gov. Tim Walz ready to sign a bill. Even the GOP-controlled Senate will hold a hearing Monday on a legalization measure.
The Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project continues to be one of new Gov. Tim Walz's most complex political challenges.
U.S. House Democrats plan on a resolution formally condemning Omar's recent statements on Israel.
Hey, Gov. Tim Walz: Enjoying your new job? This week highlighted some of the challenges of being governor, even when you win a historic…
Spokesman said she was commenting on "undue influence of all foreign interests.
After the debilitating November election, Minnesota Republicans needed a win.
She's aiming to be unlike any other first lady in Minnesota history, with an office in the Capitol and an ambitious policy portfolio.
Walz said he expects to sign bipartisan legislation that would spend roughly millions on prevention, enforcement and treatment.
Infinite Campus CEO aims to support "centrists" such as Walz and Klobuchar.
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin showed why he's known as such a skilled fundraiser.
End-of-year fundraising reports show significant financial support for Walz, including heavy spending by independent groups backing his candidacy.
Democratic lawmakers are already moving on two tracks to legalize marijuana.
A veteran auditor alleges that he was subjected to "unfair and discriminatory treatment" because of his race and national origin.
The Supreme Court paved the way for sports betting, but with a full agenda already, busy lawmakers may take their time.
State's system has been plagued by high-profile failures, and an IT leader is difficult to find.
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz is the first Minnesota governor to publicly indicate support for legalizing recreational marijuana, giving activists fresh hope the state might pass the measure this year. But Minnesota opponents are lining up against legalization.
More signs that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is moving toward a presidential run: She made the rounds of national media outlets this past week.…
Jim Nobles took the action after public safety officials didn't turn over information on mishandled data.
Bipartisan bills boost penalties for texting and restrict drivers to hands-free devices.
The Cook Democrat was his usual self after the Senate's first floor session last week.
As a legislator and St. Louis County commissioner, he served with pride, humor.
Walz filled out most of his Cabinet after an exhaustive process that included more than 500 applicants.
History suggests presidential elections are both better for Minnesota Democrats and far less volatile than midterms.
Under Carnahan, the GOP lost every statewide race but fought to a draw in congressional races in Minnesota.
State Sen. Tony Lourey will take over Human Services; Sarah Strommen is the first woman appointed to lead the DNR.
Minnesotans entrusted a new crop of elected officials with big jobs in the November election. The next year will be a hugely important proving ground,…
A mix of good economic fortunes, shrewd political skill and the missteps of his opponents has allowed Dayton to make his mark.
We're in the middle of a rapid change in the state's politics, especially as Gov. Mark Dayton passes the baton to Gov.-elect Tim Walz. It's…
After first show sells out, star responds to plea.
If not for the American Indian population, which comprises 13 percent of Bemidji, John Persell probably would not have won his Minnesota House seat. Persell,…