2019 February forecast released

Minnesota Management and Budget released their February budget forecast this week. They estimate a $1.052 budgetary balance, all of which is one-time spending; this is $492 million less than the November 2018 forecast. With federal uncertainty and slowing economic growth, legislators need to be careful to balance any tax cuts and spending in order to […] Read more

State disaster assistance contingency account needs to be shored up

The Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee heard a bill this week that would appropriate $10 million from the general fund to the state’s disaster assistance contingency account. The account was created in 2014 to assist local communities in recovering after a disaster, even when federal funds are unavailable. Counties must meet a cost threshold […] Read more

Celebration of African heritage comes to the Capitol

The United Black Legislative Caucus, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Governor Tim Walz, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, and many others gathered in the Capitol rotunda for a rally to kick-off African Heritage Day on the Hill this week. The purpose was to celebrate African-American culture and engage in the legislative process with the launch of […] Read more

Judiciary branch advances bill aimed to advance community safety

A bill heard in the Judiciary Committee this week aims to keep communities informed and allow community members to work to keep their communities safe. Local law enforcement officials are currently required to give notice when predatory offenders move into, start to work in, or frequently visit a community. Communities often respond in kind, being […] Read more

Bill banning private prisons introduced

Legislation that would ban private prisons in Minnesota was introduced this week. If enacted, the bill would prohibit the Department of Corrections and sheriffs from housing inmates in facilities that are not owned and operated by the state, a local unit of government, or a group of local units of government. It’s been proven that […] Read more

Election security funding withheld

A bill to release a fraction of federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds from the federal government passed the Senate this week. DFL members unsuccessfully attempted to amend the bill to allow the Secretary of State to use all of the $6.6 million funds already sitting in a state account. The Legislature must approve […] Read more