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Melisa Franzen

Apr 23, 2014

Senate panel to examine minority pay gap

The Select Committee on Disparities and Opportunities will be co-chaired by Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, and Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis.

Mar 18, 2014

The Capitol Note: DFL Rep. Peterson confirms re-election run

Peterson's announcement was hailed by DFL Party chair Ken Martin, who called Peterson a "true champion for farmers."

Feb 19, 2014

Early childhood scholarships to get a push

A newly formed Senate panel will convene later this month to scrutinize an aspect of Minnesota exceptionalism that no one brags about: an income gap between the state’s white and minority citizens that is among the highest in the nation. The Select Committee on Disparities and Opportunities will be co-chaired by Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, ...

Jul 10, 2013

Last of the GOP moderates

Now a DFLer, will Ron Erhardt also annoy his new party?

Jun 21, 2013

Will the eight DFLers who voted against raising taxes by $2.1 billion still pay a political price?

Sen. Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna, didn’t get much of a chance to speak her piece on the final version of the tax bill. There literally wasn’t any time. The DFL majority’s omnibus tax bill passed the Senate with minutes to spare before the session’s predetermined end date of midnight on Monday, May 20.

May 15, 2013

Unionization bill clears Senate after epic 17-hour debate

DFL Sen. Sandy Pappas (Staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher) Following an extraordinary overnight debate, the Senate passed legislation Wednesday morning allowing child care providers and personal care assistant to join labor union . The controversial proposal carried by a 35-32 vote after 17 hours on the floor, and four DFL senators ultimately joined all Republicans in voting against it.

May 10, 2013

Senate revives gas tax during floor session

In the latest in a number of about-faces on transportation this session, the Senate cracked open the omnibus transportation bill on the floor and inserted a gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge projects and a sales tax increase in the seven-county metro area for transit projects.

May 1, 2013

‘Prosperity Act’ clears Senate chamber

The Minnesota Senate has passed the “Prosperity Act” -- better known as the “Dream Act” -- which would allow undocumented immigrants to receive instate tuition rates. The bill would also allow undocumented students to receive financial aid and scholarships if the students go to a Minnesota high school for at least three years and graduate.

Apr 29, 2013

Conference committees on key finance bills take shape

With most major finance bills clearing the House and Senate floors, attention will now turn towards conference committees this week. Conferees on several bills have already been appointed by legislative leaders.

Mar 22, 2013

Majority midterms: 10 frosh who shine

There’s an old adage at the Capitol that first-term legislators should be seen and not heard. St. Paul can take some getting used to, the thinking goes, and most issues debated at the Legislature are so complex that newcomers would do well to sit back quietly and learn.

Mar 18, 2013

Health exchange legislation clears Senate on party-line vote

Legislation establishing a state-run marketplace where individuals and small businesses can purchase health insurance is on its way to Gov. Mark Dayton's desk. The Senate passed the bill on a 39-28 party-line vote on Monday.

Feb 14, 2013

Gay marriage supporters rally at Capitol ahead of legalization push

Carrying rainbow flags and signs saying "Love is Love," the supporters sang and chanted "marriage equality now" on Thursday afternoon as House members entered into their scheduled floor session for the day. The headliners of the event, organized by campaign-turned-lobbying group Minnesotans United for All Families, were clergy members representing denominations and faith groups from around the sta[...]

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