ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, said it would bring legislation aimed at cracking down on the rising price of insulin. At a news conference, legislators said they'd aim to require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about their reasons for boosting insulin prices and set up a system that would allow those with diabetes to access refills if they can't afford the drug.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Walz had a frank discussion about passing gun control measures and days later the DFL governor urged lawmakers to bring them to a vote. Marijuana legalization supporters and opponents faced off at the Capitol, exchanging shouts at a news conference. And a bipartisan panel of legislators pressed forward in an effort to outlaw texting and driving, signaling their proposals could come before a committee within days.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers want drivers to put the phones down. And under the legislation they brought forward this week, drivers could face penalties if they don't. A bipartisan group of legislators on Monday, Jan. 14, brought forth two proposals aimed at curbing the use of electronic devices behind the wheel. The first would bar holding a cellphone while behind the wheel and the second would bump up the penalties for causing a crash spurred by texting and driving.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House Democrats on Wednesday, Jan. 9, shared their first 10 bills, a mix of health care, education, infrastructure and gun control policies that they said would offer a snapshot into their goals for the legislative session.
ST. PAUL -- In his first official act as governor, Tim Walz on Wednesday, Jan. 9, signed an executive order setting up a government council aimed at increasing diversity and inclusion in state hiring and other decision-making. The DFL governor said the new body comprised of commissioners and members of the public is aimed at reducing disparities and inequities based on gender, race, geography and economic status. And it stems from a similar council established by former Gov. Mark Dayton.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are set to travel to the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 8, for the kickoff to the 2019 legislative session. They'll welcome dozens of new legislators to their ranks and see Democrats take control of the House of Representatives while Republicans hold a two-seat advantage in the Senate. The new composition sets up the only split statehouse in the country. And it raises a number of questions about how things are going to work over the five-month legislative session. So here are some things to watch:
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Attorney General's Office on Wednesday, Jan 2, brought charges against a man alleged to have defrauded the state medical assistance program out of more than $260,000. In a statement, Attorney General Lori Swanson said Abdi Ali Gure, of Bloomington, submitted false claims for care he hadn't received or from a provider not approved by the state.
ST. PAUL -- A doctor, a first-grade teacher, a farmer, an electrical engineer and a small business owner walk into the Minnesota Capitol. It's not the set-up for a joke, but it will be pretty commonplace come January when a new group of lawmakers makes its way to St. Paul for the 2019 legislative session. The incoming group of lawmakers brings a hodgepodge of professional experience that could influence how they write bills and make decisions about what becomes law.
ST. PAUL -- President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Saturday, Dec. 1, pumped the brakes on the next round of tariffs, delaying what farmers fear will be another blow. The news helped Minnesota farmers breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend. But advocates worry the calm won’t last. The pause in the tit-for-tat tariff fights comes after a fifth in-a-row year of low commodity prices. The 2018 harvest also brought low yields and inclement weather, a mix that forced some to sell the farm or weigh filing for bankruptcy.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Senate Republicans on Thursday. Nov. 8, unanimously re-elected their leader and selected a new president of that chamber. In a closed meeting, Republican lawmakers elected Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, to serve as Senate Majority Leader and Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, to serve as Senate President.