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Mike Beard

Jun 18, 2014

Mike Beard: The peace-in-the-valley guy

Collegial conservative Mike Beard is retiring from the Legislature to pursue a Scott County board seat.

Apr 24, 2014

The Capitol Note: Senate passes WESA, now negotiations begin

Mike Beard remembers the day 11 years ago when he got a crash course in legislative reality. Beard, the GOP’s retiring District 55A representative, was then a 49-year-old freshman legislator and member of the House Transportation Finance Committee. He had campaigned for office in 2002 pitching a 6-cents-a-gallon gasoline tax increase to shore up Minnesota’s ...

Mar 26, 2014

The Capitol Note: Senate Democrats to caucus on House’s latest minimum wage deal

The "implicit price deflator" would be capped at a 3 percent annual increase.

Mar 20, 2014

Transportation plan clears House committee despite doubt, opposition

The House Transportation Finance Committee passed a comprehensive funding package during a Thursday hearing, but the fate of that proposal remains very much in doubt.

Mar 20, 2014

The Capitol Note: Senate’s tax bill would cut $434 million

House leaders refused to speculate on whether the House would accept the Senate bill or take it to conference committee.

Mar 5, 2014

The push for judicial retention elections

A bipartisan effort led by the Coalition for Impartial Justice is proposing a system of judicial review and retention elections to avoid the highly charged, politically explosive contests common in Wisconsin, Texas and other states.

Jan 14, 2014

Dozens of House Republicans endorse Nguyen for Secretary of State

Though the total number of Nguyen's House endorsements is impressive on its face, he failed to win the support of House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.

Nov 8, 2013

Judicial retention bill faces uncertain future

The 2014 legislative session could set the stage for a high-profile battle over how Minnesota picks its judges. A broad coalition is renewing a push to pass a ballot initiative that would move the state to a judicial retention election system.

Aug 30, 2013

Energy politics: the nuclear option

The growing pressure to reduce carbon emissions is refiguring energy politics from the global down to the local level — a development partially reflected in the energy bill that passed the Minnesota Legislature this year.

Aug 7, 2013

Politicos, as ever, flock to Farmfest

In the flurry of activity that closed out the 2013 legislative session, a sales tax on farm machinery repairs became part of the omnibus tax bill ultimately signed into law. Now that the tax is on the books and farmers are facing levies on the labor costs of having their tractors and milking parlors fixed, it’s no surprise that the 11th-hour development at the Capitol is one of the hot topics at[...]

Jul 12, 2013

Transportation funding headed for ‘cliff’

State lawmakers and transportation advocates have their summer homework cut out for them in crafting a politically feasible way to begin addressing a projected $20 billion shortfall in the state’s transportation funding over the next two decades.

May 8, 2013

House passes new solar standard for utilities

The centerpiece of the bill is a new standard for investor-owned utilities like Xcel Energy to generate 4 percent of their electricity from solar sources by 2025.

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