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Minnesota House casts historic vote to legalize marijuana

The Minnesota House voted on Thursday to legalize marijuana for adults, the furthest the proposal has ever traveled in the Legislature and a watershed moment on an issue that has long languished in St. Paul. After more than five hours of debate, the House voted 72-61 in favor of legalization, with support from nearly all...

 

Rep. Igo Sounds Alarm on DFL Provision to End Mining/Pipeline Infrastructure Projects

ST. PAUL —State Representative Spencer Igo, R-Grand Rapids, is sounding the alarm about a Democrat provision tucked into the Omnibus Commerce/Energy that would effectively end pipeline, mining, and other heavy infrastructure projects as we know it in Minnesota. “Though they don’t want to admit it, Democrats are knowingly pushing an energy plan that would make it almost...

 

Senate GOP wants to use COVID funds to slash tuition at U, Minnesota State

Minnesota lawmakers are sparring over college affordability proposals as they race to pass a two-year state budget before the legislative session adjourns Monday. Senate Republicans are pushing a 5% tuition cut in exchange for funding the Minnesota State college system and want the University of Minnesota to slash its tuition...

 

Cheney removal tests Minnesota Republicans

WASHINGTON – Amid division over the future of the Republican Party, GOP members of Minnesota's U.S. House delegation trod carefully after Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was removed from her House leadership post. Wednesday's decision came after Cheney continued to push back against former President Donald Trump's baseless claims...

 

Senate Democrats ready voting rights bill after partisan wrangling

WASHINGTON – A sprawling voting rights bill led by Senate Democrats survived a marathon session Tuesday of the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. An effort to advance the legislation that touches everything from voter registration to absentee ballots and campaign finance got a party-line...

 

Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to Hear Testimony on Covid-19 Impact on the Native Tourism Economies

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs will host an oversight hearing, “Examining the COVID-19 Response in Native Communities: Native Tourism Economies One Year Later,” on Wednesday, May 12 at 2:30 p.m. – EDT. The Committee wants to learn about infrastructure needs in Native communities and how resources in the American Rescue Plan Act and the NATIVE...

 

Legislative leaders still debating 'dollar amounts' in last days of session

Gov. Tim Walz marked the final stretch of end-of-session budget talks Monday by lamenting how far apart legislative leaders remained and how little time is left to strike an accord. Leaders have yet to agree on big-picture budget numbers, a step they had hoped to achieve last week. That makes the chances of an on-time finish...

 

Native Americans Expand Efforts to Preserve Voting Rights in Georgia

ATLANTA - Native American voter advocacy organizations and a Georgia tribe are launching a voter education campaign in Georgia in support of federal legislation that will prevent anti-democracy partisans in states from imposing voter suppression laws intended to block members of tribes, nations, and other minority communities...

 

The next political battleground: school boards

The debate over coronavirus precautions and school reopening has fueled a surge of new candidates for school boards across the country. Why it matters: What was traditionally a nonpartisan, hyper-local role is now at center of a swirling national political debate. Conservative and progressive parents have clashed over when and how to reopen classrooms — and it's pushed some...

 

Clashes over taxes, policing, emergency powers stymie budget talks at Minnesota Capitol

It was always going to be a heavy lift: Set the next state budget with a politically divided government and vastly opposing views on taxes and government spending. Throw in a global pandemic, lingering uncertainty around public health and federal aid and passionate disagreements over police reform. Oh, and conduct some of those...

 

Impact on Indian Country - Weekly D.C. Briefs

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland announced Thursday that the IA Office of Indian Economic Development (formerly the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development) is soliciting applications for its Native American Business Development Institute grant program. NABDI is looking to fund approximately 20 to 35 grants, ranging in value from...

 

Minnesota's U.S. House Republicans dodge weighing in on Cheney

WASHINGTON – Minnesota's four House Republicans avoided weighing in on the political fate of Rep. Liz Cheney amid a movement to try to oust the critic of former President Donald Trump from her leadership post. Cheney was one of only 10 House GOP members who voted to impeach Trump following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S....

 

Senate Republicans threaten to cut funding for Minnesota state parks, environmental programs over 'clean cars' rule

Minnesota's state parks could shut down in July if the Walz administration does not bow to demands by Senate Republicans to drop plans for new "clean cars" emissions standards. Along with parks, much of the environmental arm of state government would shut down over the impasse, which flared up during a conference committee...

 

Whose 'Big Lie'? Trump's proclamation a new GOP litmus test

WASHINGTON - Donald Trump and his supporters are intensifying efforts to shame - and potentially remove - members of their party who are seen as disloyal to the former president and his false claims that last year's election was stolen from him. On Capitol Hill, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 Republican in the House,...

 

Grossell calls on Walz to set clear end-date for emergency powers

ST. PAUL, MN — Ahead of an expected announcement this week by Governor Walz loosening Minnesota's COVID restrictions, House Republicans are calling for transparent and concrete dates and/or metrics for the end of the peacetime emergency. Just this week, Florida lifted all remaining COVID restrictions, and Governors of Democrat states like New York and California have...

 

Biden's police reform deadline puts pressure on Congress

President Joe Biden's call for Congress to pass police reform legislation by the anniversary of George Floyd's killing adds urgency to the task of federal lawmakers and the Minnesota delegation to find an agreement. Biden urged lawmakers to "find a consensus" by May 25. The bill passed by the House, dubbed the George Floyd...

 

'Every ounce' mattered: How Minnesota saved eighth seat in U.S. House

XP Lee hadn't thought much about the census before attending a 2018 meeting on the nationwide population count for his job with the city of Brooklyn Park. But he sat up when state officials said Minnesota came within 15,000 people of losing one of its eight seats in Congress a decade ago and things were looking even tighter...

 

Gov. Tim Walz, Democrats: Policing laws a top priority of session's final weeks

Gov. Tim Walz insisted Thursday that new police accountability measures must be part of the mix as the Legislature works to finalize a state budget and finish its session. "The accountability we saw last week for George Floyd is the floor - not the ceiling - of what we need to do in Minnesota to advance police reform," Walz...

 

Biden to the nation and world: 'America is rising anew'

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden declared Wednesday night in his first address to a joint session of Congress that "America is rising anew," and pointed optimistically to the nation's emergence from the pandemic as a vital moment to rebuild the U.S. economy and fundamentally transform government roles in American life. Biden...

 

White House Announces Virtual Guests for the First Lady's Box

Traditionally, First Ladies have invited guests to join her in her viewing box for presidential speeches to Congress and other events of national importance. This year, because of safety measures related to COVID-19, the First Lady’s guests for the President’s Address to the Joint Session of Congress will be watching the speech remotely. At 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday, April...

 

A Night of Firsts: President Biden Addresses a Joint Session of Congress

WASHINGTON - On the eve of President Joe Biden's 100th day in the presidency, he made a speech to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night. In a normal State of a Union address, the House chamber is full with1,600 people. Due to the pandemic that has plagued the nation for 14 months, the chamber was limited to only 200,...

 

Biden to propose free preschool, as speech details emerge

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden will call for free preschool for all three- and four-year-old children, a $200 billion investment to be rolled out as part of his sweeping American Families Plan being unveiled Wednesday in an address to Congress. The administration said the historic investment would benefit 5 million children...

 

Minnesota won't lose eighth congressional seat, Census Bureau rules

Minnesota just barely held on to its eight congressional seats on Monday as the U.S. Census Bureau announced new population totals for the country. Minnesota grew by slightly under 400,000 people in the last decade, the Census Bureau reported, reaching a total population of 5,709,752 people by April 2020. But with other states...

 

Lawmakers take closer look at law banning air fresheners

Minnesota law prohibits motorists from hanging objects from their car's rearview mirror, though an infraction seldom leads to a ticket. But in the wake of the police killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man who was shot by a white officer during a traffic stop April 11, the law is getting fresh attention. Two state...

 

Biden's bet on a climate shift carries big risks

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden's pledge to cut America's climate warming emissions in half by 2030 is technologically feasible and, scientists say, ecologically imperative. Economically, it could be a gamble. The speed of the president's promised transformation to an economy far less reliant on fossil fuels risks exposing...

 

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