As they prepare to take the reins of state government starting in 2013, Minnesota Democrats are attempting to strike a delicate balance between erasing a projected budget deficit and handling pent-up demand to tackle liberal social issues after two decades of divided control in St. Paul.
A glance through the Legislature’s official 2012 Election Directory offers few details on what, exactly, a large number of lawmakers do for a living. Of the legislators who will take a seat in the upcoming session, a dozen list their occupation as “consulting,” and 19 more describe their profession as a “small-business owner,” or, in some cases, simply, “business.”
The path through any budget session leads to a negotiating table at which the governor and legislative leaders work out the most politically palatable taxing and spending deal they can muster. But the budget is never the only game in town. Before the session endgame gets played out, a network of committees will play host to various and sundry dramas involving policy issues before state government.[...]
Even though state lawmakers won’t arrive at the endgame to the 2013 legislative session for another six months, they’re beginning to stake out their opening agendas as they convene in frequent pre-session panel discussions and media broadcasts.
The Senate DFL has formalized its committee structure and appointed the chairs who will direct the flow of legislation in 2013.
The new DFL legislative majorities that will take power in January owe a lot to the rejiggering of the geographic balance within their caucuses.
Close on the heels of Tuesday’s election, members of the new DFL House and Senate majorities gathered behind closed doors on Thursday to elect their leaders. As expected, the minority leaders who helped steer Democrats back into control — Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, and Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook — were elevated to House speaker and Senate majority leader.
Bobby King isn’t as likely as other lobbyists to be seen trolling the halls of the Capitol in a three-piece suit. That’s because state policy organizer for the Land Stewardship Project considers himself more of a community organizer who advocates for family farms and rural communities in Minnesota.
An unusually large number of legislators and prominent Minnesota politicos are opting to run in county commissioner races across the state.
Lobbyist spending reports from this year’s legislative session have been unveiled by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (CFPD). But a word of caution is warranted in assessing the numbers: They don’t include lobbyists’ salaries.
After a pair of marathon floor debates, the House and Senate passed legislation this week authorizing construction of a $975 million stadium for the Minnesota Vikings.
Redistricting pitted a disproportionate number of female legislators against their male counterparts
It was one of those votes no one wanted to take. The state’s new maps dropped DFL senators and allies John Marty and Mary Jo McGuire into Senate District 66, forcing activists in the area to pick between them at a recent endorsing convention.
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