A dozen former state legislators are making political comebacks with the help of voters. Some won back seats they lost just two years ago. Others have been away much longer. But they all have enough experience to help them get a quick start in January.
A major overhaul of state tax policy could be in the works when the newly elected DFL Legislature arrives at the Capitol. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected to launch the discussion in January when he unveils his plan for making the tax system fairer and simpler. But a tax increase on top earners could be a tough sell, even with Democrats in control of the House and Senate.
As Democrats prepare to take control of the Minnesota Legislature, interest groups have started lining up with funding wish lists for the 2013 session. There's a pent-up demand for spending after a series of budget deficits and two years of Republicans in charge.
Gov. Mark Dayton has told the Minnesota Vikings that he is "greatly distressed" that the team is considering a plan to charge season ticket holders a fee that would help pay the team's share of a new $975 million stadium.
Democrats in the Minnesota Senate have elected Sen.Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, to serve as majority leader when they officially take control in January.
Voters defeated the Republican-backed measure but there's a big question about whether voter ID will come up again in the Legislature, which will now be under the control of DFLers who opposed it.
Minnesota voters rejected two proposed amendments to the state constitution on Election Day, turning back measures placed on the ballot by a Republican-controlled Legislature that voters also sent packing.
The campaign to pass an amendment that once had strong support suffered a remarkable reversal in the final few weeks.
The measure was advertised as a means of protecting election integrity. Opponents said it would disenfranchise voters by the thousands.
Polls released over the weekend show that the voter ID constitutional amendment is now in an extremely tight race, and campaigns on both sides are working hard to make sure their supporters turn out Tuesday.
Minnesota voters will decide whether they want to use the state constitution to make significant changes in state election law.
The two hotly contested constitutional amendment questions on the statewide ballot in November could end up being decided by razor-thin margins, but neither result would be subject to an automatic recount.
The proposed requirement for voters to show photo identification at polls is either a common sense protection or a costly and confusing measure that's too harsh for enshrinement in the state constitution. Two of Minnesota's lawmakers publicly debated the issue Tuesday evening.
"Vote No Twice," an effort to urge voters to reject the constitutional amendments on the ballot next week, is a grass-roots campaign, and the groups that are organized to defeat the amendments say they have no plan to adopt a similar ad campaign.
Another state official is coming under fire for publicly opposing the two constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Human Rights Commissioner Kevin Lindsey has been traveling the state speaking out against the amendment.