An increase in Minnesota's cigarette tax is giving a boost to electronic cigarettes as an alternative to traditional smoking. The number of Twin Cities shops selling the "e-cigs" has been rising, and shop owners credit the $1.60-a-pack tax increase that goes into effect July 1 for expanding interest.
Now that Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has said she won't run for re-election in Minnesota's 6th District, Democrats are looking for another target. They may have found one in U.S. Rep. John Kline, a Republican who for nearly a decade has represented Minnesota's 2nd District, which includes much of the southern Twin Cities suburbs.
Business is booming at Maplewood Tobacco, as a steady stream of customers tries to stock up before Minnesota's cigarette tax jumps $1.60 a pack on July 1.
The seeds of Michele Bachmann's announcement today to not seek re-election to her congressional seat may have been planted in Iowa more than a year ago. That's where Bachmann's run for the Republican presidential nomination briefly propelled her into frontrunner status. But it also dealt a severe blow to her political career back home and led to a series of investigations that are still underway.
A key source of revenue in the Minnesota's freshly minted budget is a new higher income tax rate that the top 2 percent of earners will pay. The tax increase moves the top rate from nearly 8 percent to 9.85 percent.
A second group in Minnesota says it believes the IRS targeted it for extra scrutiny because of its conservative stand.
A Minnesota tea party organization says it was caught-up in the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups.
Minnesota Senate will vote today on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. Many lawmakers are taking positions that conflict with the way the majority of their constituents voted last fall on the amendment to define marriage in the state Constitution. That could spell re-election trouble.
For many of those in the Minnesota House of Representatives, today's vote on legalized same-sex marriage carries significant political risk. In Aitkin last year, a solid majority of people voted for the constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage. Even so, the first-term representative from the area has indicated he will vote for legalizing same-sex marriage.
A proposal in the DFL-controlled Minnesota Legislature would allow daycare providers with state-subsidized clients to hold a vote to form a union.
An Iowa Senate ethics panel has voted to appoint a special investigator to review charges that a state senator took payments from a presidential campaign.
A bill passed by the Minnesota House that would increase taxes on alcohol has the hospitality and alcoholic beverage industries in an uproar. Summit Brewing's Mark Stutrud says taxation could "eliminate our existence."
The Minnesota Senate has narrowly passed a bill that would give state representatives and senators a 35 percent pay increase. Supporters say a raise is overdue and that without better pay well-qualified candidates may not run for the Legislature.
Business executive Jim Graves says he will again for Congress next year against Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.
Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann says she's confident she will be cleared of any wrongdoing in a congressional investigation of campaign finance violations by her presidential campaign.