ST. PAUL — A deputy commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Corrections on Friday, July 19, submitted her resignation six months into her tenure there, citing a desire to advance "wide-spread reform" outside the department. Sarah Walker, who served as deputy commissioner of community services, resigned effective immediately on Friday, July 19, and in her letter of resignation said she was pleased with some of the work she'd accomplished within DOC, but she wanted to do more.
ST. PAUL — Eight years to the day after Lexi Reed Holtum's fiancé Steve Rummler died of a heroin overdose, Reed Holtum watched as Gov. Tim Walz signed a copy of a new law holding drug companies responsible for the fallout of the opioid crisis in Minnesota. "I'm just really blown away at the fact that we got it done," she said, standing at a podium surrounded by others who'd lost loved ones to opioid addiction.
ST. PAUL — Within a matter of weeks, Minnesota law enforcement officers will be able to pull over drivers who hold their phones while behind the wheel in most circumstances. Under a law set to take effect Aug. 1, drivers who hold their phone behind the wheel or otherwise swipe, type, scroll or view content on their cellphones will be subject to tickets and fines.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota farm and food industry groups on Tuesday, June 18 pressed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky for answers about a possible end to ongoing trade fights between the United States and China, as well as Canada and Mexico. And while he offered possible paths out of the tumultuous trade negotiations, Censky didn't have a clear answer for the dozens of agricultural leaders.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, June 17, announced that he would undergo knee surgery this week and temporarily transfer the power of his office to Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. In a letter to Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate President Jeremy Miller, Walz said he planned to transfer his powers and duties while he is in surgery for a medial meniscus tear on Thursday. He will be placed under general anesthesia for the knee orthoscopy procedure and is expected to return to the office June 24 following a recovery period.
ST. PAUL — Schools around the state are set to see a funding boost next year (as well as the year after) under a $48 billion, two-year spending plan passed through the Legislature and was signed into law. And that could mean districts struggling to make ends meet can skip bond referendum votes and resulting property tax hikes for Minnesotans, at least for now, Gov. Tim Walz and Commissioner of the Department of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker told reporters on Monday, June 10.
ST. PAUL — After lawmakers came out of an all-night legislative special session last month without a plan to fund key infrastructure projects, some said the state should be ready to greenlight more than $1 billion in proposals in 2020. A pair of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday, June 4, put forth the pitch to increase the state's bonding bill in 2020 to offset the impact of delaying work on projects. They, along with a pair of Republican lawmakers, addressed dozens of agriculture and food systems industry officials at the AgriGrowth Council lunch gathering near the Capitol.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday, May 23, announced that he would call lawmakers back to the Capitol to approve the bulk of a $48 billion spending plan despite growing concern about rushing the bills to a vote hours after they were crafted. Walz and legislative leaders announced the special session set to start Friday at 10 a.m. But minority leaders, who had new leverage in the conversation, said passing the spending bills without giving lawmakers enough time to read them would be a mistake.
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.