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Paul Torkelson

Feb 22, 2012

Legislative map: All shook up

The most anticipated political event of the year at the Capitol — the unveiling of court-drawn state legislative and congressional districts that will be used for the next decade — arrived at 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Dec 21, 2011

Renewable energy program generates rate controversy

Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration and a host of rural economic development interests are hoping to boost the amount of renewable energy produced by farmers, homeowners and assorted small businesses. But that goal is running into a controversy over the rate at which those producers are paid for the power they generate, and just how much power they can sell to utilities.

Aug 10, 2011

Battle continues over small energy producers

As more farmers, businesses and homeowners look to put up wind turbines and solar panels to generate power, utilities like rural electric cooperatives are pushing back against a state law that they say puts them at a disadvantage.

May 11, 2011

House, Senate differ on key Legacy measures

Republican lawmakers are wrangling on several fronts as they move Legacy funding bills to the floor. The Legacy amendment, which was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008, provides roughly $550 million in dedicated sales tax dollars for arts and culture, parks and trails, water cleanup and habitat acquisition.

May 6, 2011

House passes GOP caucus map, but history says courts will ultimately draw the lines

Tempers flared and debates grew heated around the Capitol over the past week as Republicans in the House put their controversial legislative redistricting map on the table. The map carves up a new political landscape that pits 26 incumbents against one another - 20 in the House and six in the Senate - and all but one of the matchups put a DFLer, or two, in peril.

May 3, 2011

House GOP releases redistricting map that pits 26 incumbents against each other

Rep. Sarah Anderson has released the first plan for redrawing legislative districts based on 2010 Census figures. The proposed map would pit 20 current House members against each other and six sitting senators, according to an analysis by Minnesota Public Radio.

Apr 1, 2011

Board plays a critical role in keeping GOP together

Former Republican Rep. Dave Bishop remembers sitting in the office of then-House Speaker Steve Sviggum, trying to calm him down. Sviggum was fuming, as Bishop recalls, because he had just been voted down on an issue by the executive board, a small group of GOP representatives that serve as caucus advisers to the speaker of the House of Representatives.

Apr 1, 2011

Legacy $$: Let the backfilling begin

Legislature will test limits on the uses of the $540 million in proceeds from the state's 2008 Legacy Amendment

Dec 29, 2010

Metro/outstate disparities loom large in face of deficit

After DFL Gov.-elect Mark Dayton and a new cast of GOP legislators are sworn in next week, the partisan lines at the Capitol will be clear enough. But in a year marked by an unprecedented general fund deficit and a large freshman class of lawmakers, some lines are already being drawn on the basis of geography rather than political affiliation.

Dec 1, 2010

House Republicans announce whip and assistant leader positions

The House GOP has filled out its leadership ranks by naming a majority whip and four assistant majority leaders.

Feb 22, 2010

Wanted: DFL cannon fodder

Via Minnesota Democrats Exposed, this Local/State Brief from the Marshall Independent searching for candidates in SD 21. Not exactly a tale of "top recruits shying away," as MDE puts it, but certainly a picture of Legislative races in districts that aren't up for grabs.

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