ST. PAUL — Drug distributors and manufacturers will be required to help pay for some of the aftermath of the opioid epidemic in Minnesota after Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, May 22, signed into law a sweeping package of legislation. The DFL governor announced that he signed into law the package that would require opioid distributors to pay fees expected to total more than $20 million. Those funds would be used to provide education and prevention programs as well as treatment programs.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives on Monday, May 20, approved a proposal to hike the fee on drug manufacturers to pay for the impacts of the opioid epidemic. In the final hours of the legislative session, a conference committee put up a last-minute deal that would require the manufacturers and distributors to pay fees expected to total more than $20 million. Those funds would be used to provide education and prevention programs as well as treatment programs.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Sunday, May 19, announced a compromise budget deal with hours remaining in the legislative session. After days of closed-door meetings, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Gov. Tim Walz emerged with a plan to spend $48 billion over the next two years, a roughly 6% increase in spending from current funding levels.
ST. PAUL -- Leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature dug in hours before the Minnesota House of Representatives was set to debate two gun control measures Monday, April 29, as part of a larger public safety funding proposal. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, rallied with gun control supporters Monday morning and said the measure would pass in the House, despite opposition from some in her caucus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, meanwhile, said the bills would be "dead" in the Senate.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to hike Minnesota's tax on gasoline took a step forward Monday, April 29, in the state Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives on a 74-58 vote approved a plan to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years as part of the body's $7.2 billion transportation spending plan.
ST. PAUL -- Hundreds of gun control supporters rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 13, to put pressure on Minnesota senators to take up a pair of bills aimed at limiting gun violence. The measures up for consideration would require background checks at the point of purchase or transfer of firearms and allow family members, law enforcement officers and government attorneys to seek court orders taking away guns from persons determined to be an “extreme risk” if living in a home with guns.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday, March 7, advanced a proposal to add language to the state Constitution providing for gender equality under the law but not before pivoting into questions about abortion and transgender athletes. At issue was one word in the bill: gender. The proposal, House File 13, would ask Minnesota voters whether to enshrine in the Minnesota Constitution that “equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender."
ST. PAUL -- A pair of gun control bills is scheduled for another primetime hearing Wednesday night at the Capitol. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division is set to take up the proposals that would require universal background checks at the point of sale or transfer of a firearm and allow law enforcement officers to remove a person's weapons if they're believed to pose a threat.
ST. PAUL — A proposal to ban holding a cellphone while behind the wheel is a step away from a floor vote in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division advanced the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, March 6, likely the last stop before it reaches a vote on the House floor. Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, said he brought the bill to “address the growing epidemic of distracted driving in our state.”
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers need to approve emergency funding or risk losing contractors that know how to fix the state's troubled drivers licensing and vehicle registration computer system. Ahead of a Tuesday deadline, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives were preparing to pass proposals Monday, March 4, that would green light $13.3 million in one-time money for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS. The funds would keep the outside contract workers employed and continue fixes and improvements of the computer system.