For five months DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature sparred at the Capitol over how to eliminate the state’s $5 billion budget deficit. But with the legislative session concluded and no end to the budget impasse in sight, the debate will now move beyond St. Paul as legislators face constituents in their home districts.
To the surprise of many, time ran out on the Legislature before votes were taken on several prominent bills unrelated to Minnesota’s general fund budget battle. While some bills passed the Legislature in the last three days of session, a raft of legislation now sits in limbo, including the Legacy funding bill and pension reform.
Republican Rep. Steve Drazkowski and others say they have accepted the $34 billion number. But in their eyes, this means that they have already “compromised” on the budget — even if it’s only with other Republicans.
Republican House members have introduced legislation that would prohibit creation of a health insurance exchange as proscribed by the 2010 federal health care overhaul. Rep. Doug Wardlow, R-Eagan, is the chief author of the bill. Eight other Republican legislators are co-sponsors.
In their efforts to assemble and pass an all-cuts budget, Republican legislative leaders have found themselves engaged in a session-long game of whack-a-mole within their own caucuses. Pockets of discord continue to surface periodically within Republican legislative ranks, compelling the leadership to defuse tensions. Now, however, the pressures are coming from the caucuses' right flank.
"Interlocutory appeal" is not exactly the most glamorous issue on which to focus at the start of a legislative career. But that's the arcane subject of Rep. Doug Wardlow's first bill introduction during his rookie term at the Capitol.
There were few surprises when the Minnesota House GOP released committee rosters last week. Legislators, Republican and Democrat alike, landed in spots where they've sat before, or - in the case of new lawmakers - where they have accrued relevant experience in their professional and personal lives.
When the 87th Minnesota Legislature convenes in January, it will seat 60 new members - the third-highest total of the past 40 years. Fifty-four of those new faces will be Republicans.
In 2004, Jim Carlson took on first-term Republican Rep. Lynn Wardlow in House District 38B. The race was a decidedly uphill battle.
The newly formed business-backed political action committee MN Forward has announced support today for six state legislators. MN Forward, which was formed after the Citizens United Supreme Court case that allows businesses to spend their own money to influence elections, includes three DFLers on the list.
After losing by a mere 519 votes in 2008 to DFLer Mike Obermueller, math teacher and former state House Republican Rep. Lynn Wardlow didn’t rule out an attempt to win back his old seat representing Eagan.
Political candidates were out in force this morning at Eagan's annual Fourth of July parade; check out our gallery of images.
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