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Patrick Condon

Reporter | Politics and government
phone: 651-925-5049
Patrick Condon covers all aspects of Minnesota politics, the state budget, the administration and state agencies.
Recent content from Patrick Condon
Outstate interest groups say the Minnesota Legislature disappointed them

Outstate interest groups say the Minnesota Legislature disappointed them

Rural communities expected more after they helped the GOP gain a majority in the House.
Special session of unusual setting, suspense wraps up

Special session of unusual setting, suspense wraps up

Minnesota's political leaders approved billions in spending, including passage early Saturday of the environmental and agriculture budget bill, avoiding a state government shutdown.
Gov. Dayton calls a special session of Legislature for 10 a.m. today

Gov. Dayton calls a special session of Legislature for 10 a.m. today

The final deal to finish the state budget, struck Thursday night, sets the table for a special session today where approval of money for environmental and agricultural programs is still in doubt.
Bakk says some Senate DFL votes are in doubt for budget deal

Bakk says some Senate DFL votes are in doubt for budget deal

Gov. Mark Dayton is tentatively scheduled today to meet with all four legislative caucus leaders in hopes of nailing down a final agreement and set a special session.
Dayton backs down over auditor, likely clearing way to special session

Dayton backs down over auditor, likely clearing way to special session

Gov. Mark Dayton said three disagreements remain between him and House Republicans in the clutch of budget bills that would be up in the special session.
Dayton, Daudt fail to agree in dispute over state auditor

Dayton, Daudt fail to agree in dispute over state auditor

A special session is needed so legislators can approve remaining pieces of the budget and avoid a partial shutdown of state government on July 1, but only the governor can call it.

Lawmakers agree on hefty public works bill, but overall deal remains elusive

Key legislators agree on hefty bonding bill; Dayton holds fast on audits.
Timing of special session uncertain, with fuzzy details

Timing of special session uncertain, with fuzzy details

Questions on school spending, budget items must be resolved.
Special sessions aren't very special anymore

Special sessions aren't very special anymore

“It’s become a perennial breakdown, and it doesn’t have to be this way,” said Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester.
As budget talks bog down, layoff notices are pending for 9,500 state workers

As budget talks bog down, layoff notices are pending for 9,500 state workers

As political stalemate lingers, agency begins preparing to let state workers go.

Special session site set, but no budget deal in sight as Dayton resumes meetings with legislative leaders

Dayton releases a lengthy list; meanwhile, layoff notices loom for 10,000 state employees.
With divided Legislature, what was -- and wasn't -- accomplished in 2015

With divided Legislature, what was -- and wasn't -- accomplished in 2015

A big surplus had some thinking this session would be smooth, but the extra money fueled extra debates.

CAPITOL SCORECARD • 2015 LEGISLATIVE SESSION Divided Legislature, mixed results

Minnesotans chose divided government in last year’s election, giving Gov. Mark Dayton a second term while flipping control of the House to Republicans. And division…

Dayton signs spending bills, prepares for school funding standoff with House Republicans

$25 billion approved for human services, higher-ed, transportation, public safety.
Dayton to make good on veto vow, call for special session

Dayton to make good on veto vow, call for special session

Dayton said he would veto $17 billion in education spending as soon as the bill lands on his desk and will call a special legislative session once he and House Republicans can settle the standoff.
Last night of session brings confusion at Minnesota Capitol, uncertainty over schools funding

Last night of session brings confusion at Minnesota Capitol, uncertainty over schools funding

Governor holds firm to veto threat over early ed funding
Dayton renews early education veto threat as deadline nears

Dayton renews early education veto threat as deadline nears

Dayton says he’s willing to risk shutdown, special session to boost funding for early ed.
Gov. Dayton takes issue with Minnesota legislators' budget deal

Gov. Dayton takes issue with Minnesota legislators' budget deal

Minnesota House and Senate leaders said late Friday that they had struck a tentative budget deal, but the governor was objecting to the level of education funding and said he intends to stand firm.
Minnesota state budget talks drag on as deadline approaches

Minnesota state budget talks drag on as deadline approaches

Wrangling by lawmakers led to a higher education deal, but little other progress.
As budget talks continue at Capitol, state lawmakers fret

As budget talks continue at Capitol, state lawmakers fret

Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders have private budget discussions, give few details, as rank-and-file members worry.
With clock ticking at Capitol, budget talks continued into night

With clock ticking at Capitol, budget talks continued into night

With little apparent progress and time running out, Dayton and lawmakers trade accusations
As budget talks intensify, Dayton doubles down on school funding

As budget talks intensify, Dayton doubles down on school funding

Republicans balk at request for a 2 percent increase (up from 1 percent) for school spending.

At State Capitol, many issues remain with one week left in session

Republicans, DLFers want to cooperate, but finding common ground difficult.
House Speaker Daudt meets with Gov. Dayton, Bakk about budget

House Speaker Daudt meets with Gov. Dayton, Bakk about budget

Republican leader is optimistic that session will close on time.
Gas tax mailer raises eyebrows — and questions about disclosure

Gas tax mailer raises eyebrows — and questions about disclosure

Allegations about coordinated attacks are flying more frequently as laws governing political donations and coordination between political groups and outside allies grows increasingly murky.
Rookie House Speaker Daudt looks to defy odds at Capitol

Rookie House Speaker Daudt looks to defy odds at Capitol

With only two weeks left in the session and gaping divisions between DFL and GOP spending goals, Daudt, a former car salesman, faces a test of his ability to close a deal.
Minn. Senate OKs gas tax hike for roads, bridges

Minn. Senate OKs gas tax hike for roads, bridges

Under the bill, Minnesota drivers would pay an additional 16 cents a gallon to help bankroll statewide transportation upgrades, a tax that would rise with the cost of fuel.
At state Capitol, GOP hits major snags in playing to rural base

At state Capitol, GOP hits major snags in playing to rural base

Budget plan delivers on some outstate priorities, but tax cuts would leave little left for fulfilling promises.
Minn. turkey deaths to top 2M with new outbreaks

Minn. turkey deaths to top 2M with new outbreaks

Three more farms in Minnesota were hit on Tuesday.
Senate votes to bar state dollars from being spent on soccer stadium

Senate votes to bar state dollars from being spent on soccer stadium

Bipartisan 61-4 vote signals low support for Minneapolis project.
Republican lawmakers push for $85M state aid cut to Twin Cities, Duluth

Republican lawmakers push for $85M state aid cut to Twin Cities, Duluth

Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth would lose about $85M in yearly aid under House Republicans’ plan.
New Minn. Senate building is on the rise, but cost still a controversy

New Minn. Senate building is on the rise, but cost still a controversy

Costs for $90M Senate building have DFL, GOP bickering about how to pay for it.
Republicans back Downey in bid to stay state party chairman

Republicans back Downey in bid to stay state party chairman

He easily defeated challengers despite lingering party debt.
GOP renews ethics complaint again Minneapolis DFLer Hayden

GOP renews ethics complaint again Minneapolis DFLer Hayden

In addition to misuse of funds, GOP critics say he lied to ethics panel.
Gov. Dayton calls for investing surplus and pooling resources

Gov. Dayton calls for investing surplus and pooling resources

Opportunities presented by Minnesota’s economic good fortune shouldn’t be squandered, Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday, urging legislators to spend most of a budget surplus on programs he said would pay off for decades.
Cigar tax cut considered at Capitol, but anti-smoking activists push back

Cigar tax cut considered at Capitol, but anti-smoking activists push back

State would lose $1 million a year in revenue if cigar tax is rolled back.
Dayton says debt-backed construction would boost state jobs

Dayton says debt-backed construction would boost state jobs

He touts jobs potential of bonding plan, but his list faces long odds at Capitol.
Minnesota legislators have plenty of work ahead as recess ends

Minnesota legislators have plenty of work ahead as recess ends

Lawmakers return from recess facing divergent views, lengthy agenda and a tight schedule.
As Legislature heads for final weeks, Dayton agenda in question

As Legislature heads for final weeks, Dayton agenda in question

Gov. Dayton's ambitious education and transportation spending proposals collide with the radically different priorities of the House Republican majority.
Dayton considering ban on taxpayer-funded travel to Indiana

Dayton considering ban on taxpayer-funded travel to Indiana

Indiana religious freedom law sparked national firestorm, concern about gay rights implications
Downey gets opponent for Republican Party chair post

Downey gets opponent for Republican Party chair post

Bill Jungbauer is running, citing concerns over party finances.
March 10: Layoffs begin at Target; Dayton meets CEO Cornell

March 10: Layoffs begin at Target; Dayton meets CEO Cornell

Downsizing could take two years, but CEO assured Gov. Dayton company will keep strong local presence.

Senate DFLers unveil budget plan, setting up debate

The last of three proposals that will now define the spending debate comes in closer to Gov. Dayton’s blueprint.

Unforeseen costs add $30 million to State Capitol renovation project

Water damage, other unexpected costs push total remodeling price over $300M.
Minnesota Poll: Gov. Dayton has healthy 54 percent approval rating

Minnesota Poll: Gov. Dayton has healthy 54 percent approval rating

The governor's approval rating rebounded to some of his best numbers since he first took office in 2011.

House Republicans' budget plan calls for $2 billion in tax relief

Republicans say they want to give $1.9B surplus back to taxpayers; DFL says budget cuts services.
Republicans roll out $7B plan for roads that avoids gas tax hikes

Republicans roll out $7B plan for roads that avoids gas tax hikes

Plan avoids gas tax hike; Dayton, DFLers say there’s room for negotiation.
Gov. Dayton takes his preschool pitch to class

Gov. Dayton takes his preschool pitch to class

The governor is seeking $348 million to expand preschool to 4-year-olds across the state.
Rochester Civic Center expansion begins

Rochester Civic Center expansion begins

It comes in a busy week that included plans to buy a historic downtown theater and the start of a study needed for high-speed rail to Twin Cities.

Education wins big in revised Dayton budget plan

Budget rewrite redirecting millions of surplus funds sets up a clash with the GOP, which wants tax relief.
Dayton, GOP have different visions for $1.9B surplus

Dayton, GOP have different visions for $1.9B surplus

Minnesota’s predicted budget surplus has nearly doubled, leaving Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers with $1.9 billion to spend, save or return to taxpayers. But parties are split on how best to use the windfall.
In U of M appearance, Pawlenty talks presidential politics, education

In U of M appearance, Pawlenty talks presidential politics, education

Wisconsin governor can’t match Jeb Bush on fundraising, but will appeal to broader base, he says.
Minn. NAACP chapters raise alarm about continued lack of MnDOT construction jobs for minorities

Minn. NAACP chapters raise alarm about continued lack of MnDOT construction jobs for minorities

Minority-owned firms lag in state contracts despite MnDOT efforts
Different GOP messages emerge on Minnesota budget surplus

Different GOP messages emerge on Minnesota budget surplus

State’s party chair wants to give it all back; others say not so fast.
Minn. Senate moves to boost pay for 18 staffers

Minn. Senate moves to boost pay for 18 staffers

The move comes as dust still settling over Dayton’s attempted pay hikes for commissioners.

Minn. State Investment Board will keep buying Israeli bonds

Gov. Dayton said he’s sensitive to human rights concerns but pointed to the bond between the U.S. and Israel.

Bill aims to help farmers tap into Cuban market

Sensing a major new source of exports for Minnesota producers, a group of state lawmakers want $100,000 to help small farmers tap into opportunities presented…
Minnesota GOP leaves unpaid bills with national vendors

Minnesota GOP leaves unpaid bills with national vendors

The party, still in financial straits, owes firms several hundred thousand dollars.
Feb. 26: Dayton signs compromise bill on pay raise flap

Feb. 26: Dayton signs compromise bill on pay raise flap

Bill sends nearly $16 million in emergency funding to three agencies.
Dayton and Bakk mend fences; lawmakers look to end pay-hike fight

Dayton and Bakk mend fences; lawmakers look to end pay-hike fight

DFL’s leaders clear the air after pay-raise dispute, plan joint appearance on March 5.
Dayton, other lawmakers question ouster of UMD coach

Dayton, other lawmakers question ouster of UMD coach

“We believe that there is more involved in this decision and implore the University to share this information,” the governor and senators said in a letter to university leadership.
Dayton-Bakk dispute recalls '89 DFL meltdown at the Capitol

Dayton-Bakk dispute recalls '89 DFL meltdown at the Capitol

  A governor publicly dismisses the Legislature as a “circus.” The Senate majority leader, a fellow DFLer, shoots back that the governor is “dictatorial and…
State Capitol leaders try to resolve bitter pay-raise dispute

State Capitol leaders try to resolve bitter pay-raise dispute

House Speaker Kurt Daudt acts as go-between in Dayton-Bakk raise fight.
Senate DFL targets rural Minnesota in spending initiative

Senate DFL targets rural Minnesota in spending initiative

Senate spending package calls for $230M in additional spending over two years.
Dayton, Bakk go to separate corners, but feud still simmers

Dayton, Bakk go to separate corners, but feud still simmers

GOP-controlled House taking up pay issue that triggered feud between top DFLers as veto threat looms.
Dayton-Bakk fractures throw DFL agenda into doubt

Dayton-Bakk fractures throw DFL agenda into doubt

DFLers hope that the governor’s anger cools and that the two will talk.
Gov. Dayton: DFL Sen. Bakk 'stabbed me in the back'

Gov. Dayton: DFL Sen. Bakk 'stabbed me in the back'

The two most powerful DFLers in Minnesota government had a bitter and public falling-out Thursday amid ongoing controversy over pay raises for state agency commissioners.
Dayton wants $10M to replace state's two aging airplanes

Dayton wants $10M to replace state's two aging airplanes

Older planes become costly to maintain, spend more time on the ground.
Minnesota Republicans attempt to block Dayton cabinet pay raises

Minnesota Republicans attempt to block Dayton cabinet pay raises

Political back-and-forth heightens between Dayton, GOP over pay hikes for his cabinet.
Iowa gets early taste of presidential crop

Iowa gets early taste of presidential crop

Once again, Iowa political activists are gearing up for their quadrennial wooing by a procession of national political leaders.
Dayton's $42B budget gives most new money to education

Dayton's $42B budget gives most new money to education

Proposing a state budget $7 billion larger than when he took office, Dayton seeks major spending boosts for schools, learning programs.
Competing transportation plans face shaky chances

Competing transportation plans face shaky chances

Gov. Dayton and House GOP are far apart on transportation projects, in what to do and how to pay for it.

Legislature gives final OK to $17M disaster relief bill

Gov. Mark Dayton is now expected to sign the $17 million measure.
Urban-rural split in Minnesota grows deeper and wider

Urban-rural split in Minnesota grows deeper and wider

At the Capitol, both sides are lunging to lock down support in rural Minnesota, after the November elections. The outstate-metro debate has far-reaching implications for Minnesota politics.
DFL unveils $800 million fix for roads and bridges

DFL unveils $800 million fix for roads and bridges

Call for new wholesale gas tax and higher license fees mirrors Gov. Dayton’s transportation plan.
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