With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Corey Mitchell, Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Minnesota legislature

Disaster contingency fund likely to cover state's share of storm damages until next year

Posted by: Abby Simons Updated: September 9, 2014 - 12:27 PM

A $3 million disaster contingency fund will likely cover the state’s share of nearly $41 million in summer storm damage until the Legislature reconvenes in January 2015, according to analysis by state officials.

The memo to Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders from Minnesota Management Commissioner Jim Schowalter and and Budget and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Kris Eide outlines the plan to cover the $40.8 million in damages caused by severe storms and flooding following assessments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

According to FEMA, 37 Minnesota counties and three tribal governments qualify under the President’s Disaster Declaration, meaning the federal government will cover 75 percent of the damage costs, leaving the state on the hook for $10.2 million. Between staggered withdrawals from the $3 million allocated by the Legislature, and advances from the Department of Revenue, there will likely be no need to call the Legislature to a special session to allocate more disaster money.

“We anticipate the existing appropriation will be sufficient to reimburse communities for the 25% non-federal share of the FEMA Public Assistance payments due between now and January 20145.” The memo read, adding that priority will be given to areas that suffered more significant damages.

Read the entire memo here:
 

Managing Disaster Expenses Sept9 Final

Dig even deeper into House race data

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: September 8, 2014 - 3:49 PM

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune launched interactive maps and forecasting graphics that dig into the Minnesota House elections.

Below, you can dig even deeper by looking at some of the underlying data.

The House district voting history accounts for redistricting by analyzing precinct voting results to show how the voters in the new districts voted in past elections.

In the below spreadsheet you can scroll back and forth and up and down to view all the data.

* I = incumbent

Can you forecast who will control the Minnesota House?

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: September 8, 2014 - 12:09 PM

Photo: screenshot of the interactive House tool

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glenn Howatt

Over the weekend, the Star Tribune launched an interactive graphic to dive into district-by-district voting trends in House districts and allow readers to make their own election forecast for this year's House election.

You can see and play with that graphic here. You can share your predictions on social media and we will track all the predictions for further reports.

The data online involves not only the current members of the House and the 2014 election but analyzing the election results from past elections. Because of decennial redistricting, this involved analyzing precinct voting results to show how the voters in the new districts voted in past elections.

Wellstone Action, Klobuchar vet to advise Alliance for a Better Minnesota

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: August 28, 2014 - 4:52 PM

The Alliance for a Better Minnesota has found a new Democratic operative to direct its operation through the election, the group announced.

Ben Goldfarb, who ran Democratic U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's first campaign and has been active in other campaigns, will guide the big spending Democratic interest group as a senior strategic advisor. Goldfarb is currently the executive director of Wellstone Action, which trains "progressive" candidates.

Carrie Lucking, who has directed the Alliance since 2011, is leaving to work for Education Minnesota. This is her last week at the Alliance.

Education Minnesota spent nearly $5 million on political causes since 2008, including donating at least $660,000 to the Alliance's funders. The Alliance has spent more than $10 million since 2007 to get Minnesota Democrats elected.

Alliance for a Better Minnesota has already run a major television ad promoting Gov. Mark Dayton's re-elected and earlier this month ran online ads going after Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden.

Joe Davis, the Alliance's deputy director, will run the group's day-to-day operations, Alliance Communications Director Emily Bisek said.

Updated

Thousands of state legislators from around U.S. in Minneapolis

Posted by: Patrick Condon Updated: August 19, 2014 - 3:32 PM

Somewhere around 5,000 state legislators and legislative staffers from around the United States have gathered in Minneapolis this week to talk policy and politics. 

The National Conference of State Legislatures kicked off its 40th annual "Legislative Summit" on Tuesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It's by far the largest nationwide organization representing state lawmakers from all 50 states. 

A number of prominent Minnesota legislators from both parties are hosting events and participating in discussions at the four-day meeting, including state Senate president Sandy Pappas, House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. Gov. Mark Dayton is scheduled to offer welcoming remarks at a general assembly meeting on Wednesday morning. 

Hundreds of sessions will cover a wide range of policy concerns and political issues. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is scheduled to join Cindy McCain, wife of U.S. Sen. John McCain, to discuss an initiative they're leading to reduce human trafficking in the U.S.

Other speakers include retired Gen. Wesley Clark, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and national political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, co-authors of the bestselling books "Game Change" and "Double Down."

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