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Jennifer Brooks

Reporter | Region
phone: 612-673-4008
Jennifer Brooks is a regional reporter who covers stories around Minnesota and beyond.
Recent content from Jennifer Brooks
Tough work ahead for Tina Smith – on the Hill and at home

Tough work ahead for Tina Smith – on the Hill and at home

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith’s political connections and savvy quickly united Minnesota’s ideologically and geographically diverse DFL Party behind her as Al Franken’s replacement in the…
As Al Franken begins Senate exit, debate builds over his successor

As Al Franken begins Senate exit, debate builds over his successor

Now that Sen. Al Franken has announced he will resign in the coming weeks, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is facing a high-pressure decision over appointing a replacement.
Sen. Al Franken will announce plans on Senate floor at 10:45 a.m.

Sen. Al Franken will announce plans on Senate floor at 10:45 a.m.

The Minnesota senator, who called the latest anonymous accusation "preposterous," is set to speak about his future. It comes after Democratic leaders united Wednesday to tell him it was time to go.

Mining bill shakes up old alliances

One bill, touching on two issues close to Minnesota's heart — the mining economy and the wild beauty of the North Woods — divided the state's congressional delegation this week.
Senate Ethics Committee has opened inquiry into Al Franken

Senate Ethics Committee has opened inquiry into Al Franken

Also, a new accuser, an Army veteran, told CNN that a 2003 encounter came while posing for a photo with Franken, who was on a USO tour.
Minnesota Justice David Stras gets long-delayed Senate hearing for federal judgeship

Minnesota Justice David Stras gets long-delayed Senate hearing for federal judgeship

Stras declines to spell out views on issues but says he'd be "impartial voice" on federal courts.
Nov. 27: Back at work, Sen. Al Franken repeats public apology

Nov. 27: Back at work, Sen. Al Franken repeats public apology

The Minnesota Democrat continues his apology tour, then turns to legislation.
Sen. Franken says he can still be effective as crucial bills await

Sen. Franken says he can still be effective as crucial bills await

Ending an 8-day silence, the senator says he's ashamed by the accusations of groping, but ready to get back to work today.
Franken vows to regain trust of Minnesota after harassment allegations

Franken vows to regain trust of Minnesota after harassment allegations

"Let me say again that I'm sorry," the senator wrote in a statement. He apologized for embraces that "crossed a line."
Hit by scandal, Franken faces questions about ability to do job

Hit by scandal, Franken faces questions about ability to do job

A once-bright political career now hangs in the balance.
Franken apologizes to accuser; President Trump weighs in

Franken apologizes to accuser; President Trump weighs in

Leeann Tweeden said Franken kissed and groped her without her consent during a USO tour in 2006. Sen. Klobuchar has called for an ethics investigation of Franken.
Rep. McCollum says she once fended off lawmaker with rolled-up newspaper

Rep. McCollum says she once fended off lawmaker with rolled-up newspaper

'What are you doing?' the Minnesota Democrat fended off unwelcome attention from a fellow member of Congress by swatting him with newspaper.
Energized DFL hopes Trump backlash sticks around for 2018

Energized DFL hopes Trump backlash sticks around for 2018

Suburban swing districts south and west of the Twin Cities are drawing some of the most intense national interest, and generating some of the most excitement among Democrats hoping to flip two prize Republican seats next year.

Clock ticking on CHIP funding

Reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program used to be a fairly painless, bipartisan process. But few things are painless or bipartisan in Washington these days.…
Vin Weber's deep D.C. ties entangle him in Russia probe, grand jury

Vin Weber's deep D.C. ties entangle him in Russia probe, grand jury

News that the former Minnesota congressman had been caught up in Robert Mueller's probe has been hard to reconcile for friends.
U.S. Rep. Nolan steps up his urgent crusade to wipe out lung cancer

U.S. Rep. Nolan steps up his urgent crusade to wipe out lung cancer

His youngest daughter, Katherine Nolan-Bensen, received a diagnosis of advanced stage 4 lung cancer almost three years ago.
Franken to Sessions: American public cannot trust your word

Franken to Sessions: American public cannot trust your word

Minnesota Democrat calls on the attorney general to give full accounting of the Trump campaign's contact with Russia.
'We're not going anywhere': Planned Parenthood clinics brace for fight

'We're not going anywhere': Planned Parenthood clinics brace for fight

As opponents call for cuts, Planned Parenthood says its services are essential.
Senate health deal could spare MinnesotaCare millions in cuts

Senate health deal could spare MinnesotaCare millions in cuts

Senators say Minnesota effort to lower insurance rates shouldn't cost state millions in federal health-care funding.
Weinstein's bad money put to good use by Minn. charity

Weinstein's bad money put to good use by Minn. charity

For Sen. Al Franken, donations from the recently disgraced Hollywood producer were a political liability. For the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, where Franken's campaign redirected the money, that means hot food and warm socks for women in need in Minneapolis.
GOP Reps. Tom Emmer, Jason Lewis vote against disaster aid

GOP Reps. Tom Emmer, Jason Lewis vote against disaster aid

As California burned and Puerto Rico struggled to get the lights turned back on, the House approved another $36.5 billion in disaster aid. Those funds…
Ex-FBI analyst challenges Nolan for DFL nod as Eighth District race heats up

Ex-FBI analyst challenges Nolan for DFL nod as Eighth District race heats up

DFLer Leah Phifer touts her experience as a counterterrorism expert.
As GOP eyes stronger judicial push, Franken fights to retain veto of home-state nominees

As GOP eyes stronger judicial push, Franken fights to retain veto of home-state nominees

Clash heats up over power to veto court appointees.
Congress misses health care deadline; Minnesota feels pinch

Congress misses health care deadline; Minnesota feels pinch

An emergency infusion of federal funding will keep children's health insurance programs going for another month.
Carla Nelson of Rochester joins race to replace Walz in Congress

Carla Nelson of Rochester joins race to replace Walz in Congress

State Senate Republican holds subdued event in wake of Vegas shooting.
Sen. Klobuchar steers health care debate to middle ground

Sen. Klobuchar steers health care debate to middle ground

Minnesota senator shared the stage with Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, who sponsored the latest, likely unsuccessful, GOP attempt to dismantle the ACA.
Latest health bill in Senate could end up costing Minn. billions

Latest health bill in Senate could end up costing Minn. billions

The Graham-Cassidy bill could defund MinnesotaCare and shift funding from Minnesota to states like Wisconsin. "This takes us back several steps." a Minnesota health official says.
Dayton: 'Nightmarish' fed insurance process could cost state millions

Dayton: 'Nightmarish' fed insurance process could cost state millions

The millions of dollars that Minnesota wants to spend to limit rate hikes in the individual health insurance market could cost the state millions more in federal funding for low-income health care.
Sen. Franken comes out for single-payer health-care plan

Sen. Franken comes out for single-payer health-care plan

The Minnesota Democrat announced Tuesday that he has signed on as a cosponsor of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' single-payer health care plan, calling health care "a right for all Americans."
DACA's demise intensifies battle on immigration in Minn.

DACA's demise intensifies battle on immigration in Minn.

Within hours of last week's announcement that the Trump administration is ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, a diverse cast of Minnesotans with a stake in the program sprang to action.

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Franken won't back Trump pick of Minn. justice for 8th Circuit

Franken won't back Trump pick of Minn. justice for 8th Circuit

The Democratic senator said Tuesday he will not return a blue slip that would allow the nomination of David Stras to advance to a vote, concerned that the justice is too conservative.
Stretched for workers, Minn. businesses lament immigration pushback

Stretched for workers, Minn. businesses lament immigration pushback

Labor projections suggest the state needs to increase, not cut, legal immigration.
Congress braces for September crunch

Congress braces for September crunch

Congress returns this week from a monthlong recess to a legislative calendar counting down to Sept. 30, the deadline to fund the government or at least pass a stopgap to keep it running a few months longer.
Deadline looms for Congress to reauthorize insurance program for low-income kids

Deadline looms for Congress to reauthorize insurance program for low-income kids

Federal lawmakers have until the end of September to renew funds for the CHIP program.
Minnesota state Sen. Richard Cohen joins mass exodus from presidential arts council over Charlottesville

Minnesota state Sen. Richard Cohen joins mass exodus from presidential arts council over Charlottesville

The President's Committee on Arts and Humanities resigned to protest Trump's response to Charlottesville
Minnesotans in Congress react to latest Trump comments on Charlottesville

Minnesotans in Congress react to latest Trump comments on Charlottesville

A handful of Minnesota’s members of Congress, including several DFLers and one Republican, tweeted in response to President Trump’s comments on Tuesday suggesting that counter-protesters…
Minnesota Voters Alliance plans to file suit to get access to voter registration data

Minnesota Voters Alliance plans to file suit to get access to voter registration data

Among other things, the group wants to examine names, addresses and voting history in search of fraudulent votes that may have been cast.
Senate signs off on legislation to fight scammers who target the elderly

Senate signs off on legislation to fight scammers who target the elderly

The Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, which passed unanimously, strengthens the federal reporting system for fraud complaints and requires the FTC to monitor fraud schemes targeting seniors.
Minn. lawmakers go to bat for Canadians making solar panels on Iron Range

Minn. lawmakers go to bat for Canadians making solar panels on Iron Range

A simmering trade battle could endanger a solar-panel plant in Mountain Iron, Minn., in a region eager for jobs other than the boom-or-bust work in the taconite mines.
Minnesota's Lori Swanson joins 18 attorneys general in asking Congress to block transgender troop ban

Minnesota's Lori Swanson joins 18 attorneys general in asking Congress to block transgender troop ban

The proposal would violate American values, as well as the Constitution and would harm transgender residents in their states as well, the officials wrote.
McCain's heads-up to Klobuchar: 'I'm voting no'

McCain's heads-up to Klobuchar: 'I'm voting no'

The Republican senator tipped off Amy Klobuchar before casting his vote against 'skinny' Obamacare repeal.
National group sets up shop in Minnesota to support Paulsen

National group sets up shop in Minnesota to support Paulsen

The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), a deep-pocketed national super PAC, gets a jump on the fierce campaign battle for the seat 15 months before the election.
Trade watchers wary as Minnesota politicians support steel tariffs

Trade watchers wary as Minnesota politicians support steel tariffs

A tariff on imported steel that President Donald Trump says will shore up the sagging U.S. steel industry enjoys growing political popularity in Minnesota, even as those who specialize in trade policy warn that it could injure other critical parts of the state's economy.
White House's Made in America week puts MyPillow founder next to Trump

White House's Made in America week puts MyPillow founder next to Trump

The president trumpeted U.S.-made goods at the White House this week — and put in a plug for the Minnesota pillow company.
Congress narrowly rejects proposal for military to conduct a 'strategic assessment' of Islam

Congress narrowly rejects proposal for military to conduct a 'strategic assessment' of Islam

The Pentagon won’t be conducting a threat assessment of Islam after all. Tucked into a massive military spending bill was a provision that would have…
Sen. Klobuchar on Trump panel's try for voter info: 'Jump in Lake Superior'

Sen. Klobuchar on Trump panel's try for voter info: 'Jump in Lake Superior'

That came as Senate Democrats called on the Trump administration to rescind the request.
Dayton says walleye restrictions on Lake Mille Lacs could be eased

Dayton says walleye restrictions on Lake Mille Lacs could be eased

Two days after protest, Dayton says the DNR will survey Mille Lacs this fall.
Medical marijuana clinics opening doors to PTSD patients

Medical marijuana clinics opening doors to PTSD patients

State will enroll them, but VA urges caution.
As he runs for governor, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz aims for middle ground

As he runs for governor, U.S. Rep. Tim Walz aims for middle ground

Now mounting his first statewide bid, Walz is a kind of endangered political species: the rural Democrat.
Minnesota lawmakers share their wish lists for rest of 2017

Minnesota lawmakers share their wish lists for rest of 2017

WASHINGTON – Every Minnesota lawmaker has a wish list. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison wants to change the way rating agencies assign credit scores. His…
Congress tries to navigate coming drone economy

Congress tries to navigate coming drone economy

Minnesota's Jason Lewis backs bill to give counties, cities some legal oversight.
Rep. Erik Paulsen: Charity game should be held, plans to be on field

Rep. Erik Paulsen: Charity game should be held, plans to be on field

Paulsen is on congressional baseball team targeted by gunman, but wasn't at practice; roommate Scalise was among those wounded
Limits on journalists in U.S. Capitol pulled back after Klobuchar, others weigh in

Limits on journalists in U.S. Capitol pulled back after Klobuchar, others weigh in

Klobuchar called for access after hallway ban issued.
First DFLer jumps into southern Minnesota congressional race

First DFLer jumps into southern Minnesota congressional race

The former state senator is first DFLer to join the race.
At Capitol, final bills take shape as push is on to finish Minn. budget

At Capitol, final bills take shape as push is on to finish Minn. budget

In a special session, Gov. Dayton and lawmakers work to finalize the state's $46 billion budget.
Special session starts now: Last-minute budget deal reached

Special session starts now: Last-minute budget deal reached

"We've got a framework. We still have details to work out," Dayton said, calling a special session for 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, to end at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.
Dayton signs bill to bring Minn. driver's licenses in line with federal rules

Dayton signs bill to bring Minn. driver's licenses in line with federal rules

No budget agreement, but the battle over ID bill appears to be over, along with worries that passports would be needed to fly.
GOP bill to overhaul state's troubled teacher licensing system passes

GOP bill to overhaul state's troubled teacher licensing system passes

GOP hopes overhaul will ease staffing shortages; DFL critics worry standards will slip.
Legislature cracks down on female genital mutilation

Legislature cracks down on female genital mutilation

The Minnesota House voted to impose harsh new penalties on doctors who subject little girls to the painful ritual.
Minnesota's medical cannabis providers have lost $11M in two years

Minnesota's medical cannabis providers have lost $11M in two years

MinnMed and LeafLine Labs have lost $11 million in the past two years.
St. Olaf: Racist note that spurred student protests was 'fabricated'

St. Olaf: Racist note that spurred student protests was 'fabricated'

The college president made the revelation after first not disclosing the validity of the note but saying its author had confessed.
Klobuchar visits Iowa as the 2020 presidential rumors swirl

Klobuchar visits Iowa as the 2020 presidential rumors swirl

With a 2018 re-election race in Minnesota still in front of her, Klobuchar sidestepped the presidential question. Still, with a 72 percent home-state approval rating in last month's Minnesota Poll, she offered herself as a national voice for a political party trying to find a path back to power.
St. Olaf students boycott classes in protest of new racial incident

St. Olaf students boycott classes in protest of new racial incident

The college president signed off on student demands to address concerns about racism on the campus of the Northfield college.
Historic Hibbing school auditorium to get a remake

Historic Hibbing school auditorium to get a remake

Hibbing High School prepares to renovate its storied stage

Klobuchar, Emmer team up to fight proposed cuts to humanitarian aid

Fighting a catastrophic famine in the Horn of Africa is a "nonpartisan" issue, they say.
Gators, goldfish show how Minn. struggles to keep pets out of ponds

Gators, goldfish show how Minn. struggles to keep pets out of ponds

The involuntary invaders are crowding Minnesota lakes, dumped there by negligent owners.

Woman, children report seeing an alligator roaming Rochester

But a 45-minute search by police netted no reptile.
20 years later: Grand Forks reshaped by Red River flood

20 years later: Grand Forks reshaped by Red River flood

Even as the 20th anniversary of the Great Flood approaches, few in Grand Forks care to look back. When they do, they recall the fear, the heartbreak and hard work.
Oh my Darling: Search for church arsonist continues

Oh my Darling: Search for church arsonist continues

The little white church was a community's last link to the past.
Super Bowl hosts share the wealth statewide

Super Bowl hosts share the wealth statewide

Worthington is the latest town to win a grant from the legacy fund
Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner plans to retire in April

Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner plans to retire in April

Sheriff's long career was shadowed by the 27-year search for 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling.
David O'Connor, decorated veteran and beloved teacher, dies at 92

David O'Connor, decorated veteran and beloved teacher, dies at 92

David O’Connor had one last medal pinned to his chest near the end of his life. One final honor for a man who served on…
Pierre the Voyageur in Two Harbors disarmed by windstorm

Pierre the Voyageur in Two Harbors disarmed by windstorm

The towering statue in Two Harbors, Minn., lost its entire right forearm to high winds that raked the Lake Superior shoreline on Tuesday. The same storm spawned early tornadoes, downed trees and knocked out power to thousands of people across the state.
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