Organizations and interests have several ways they can spend money if they wish to leverage influence.
Seemingly perennial discussions on teacher assessments, student testing, charter schools and tenure are expected to dominate the talk in 2015, though legislators also acknowledge that policy debates during the session would be curtailed by the concurrent need to pass an education omnibus budget.
The passage of a financing plan out of the House Transportation Finance Committee could serve as a lead-in to revisit the topic in 2015.
Gov. Mark Dayton struck a cordial tone at the Minnesota Business Partnership annual dinner Monday night, focusing the conversation on job creation, eduction reform and other issues where the liberal governor has found common ground with the state's business leaders.
The successful effort to legalize gay marriage in Minnesota this session also turned out to be one of the most expensive lobbying efforts in 2013, with advocates and opponents spending nearly $2 million to try an influence legislators votes on the issue.
The new group running the ads, United for Jobs, was formed by the Minnesota Business Partnership, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and dozens of individual chambers from around the state. The campaign will feature two television ads, two radio spots and newspaper and online ads.
Two years ago, the contest for an open St. Cloud-area House seat was the closest in the state. On Election Day the results showed that Republican King Banaian eked out a 10-vote victory over DFLer Carol Lewis. Following an automatic recount, that margin stretched to 13 votes out of nearly 11,000 cast.
On Tuesday hundreds of labor unions, business groups, lobbying shops and other independent political organizations submitted reports detailing how much money they’ve raised so far this year, what they’ve already spent and how much they have in the bank.
The change in Minnesota politics wrought by the 2010 election created equal measures of optimism and concern among the business groups that lobby state lawmakers.
Business interests still hoping some of their legislative priorities will be addressed in waning days of session.
At a Politics in Minnesota/Capitol Report panel discussion on Tuesday morning, GOP and DFL legislative leaders expressed optimism that the looming legislative session will be less combative than in 2011.
All three elementary schools in the Moorhead Area Public Schools system are failing. That’s the diagnosis from state records released last week by the Department of Education in compliance with the federal No Child Left Behind law.
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