Minnesota Public Radio features by Michael Khoo http://minnesota.publicradio.org/about/people/mpr_people_display.php?aut_id=41 en-us Copyright 2014 Minnesota Public Radio Wed, 16 Apr 2014 19:21:36 -0500 Minnesota Public Radio features by Michael Khoo http://minnesota.publicradio.org/standard/images/mpr003/logo_mpr.gif http://minnesota.publicradio.org/?refid=0 Behind the scenes of state budget talks It's been a week since Minnesota lawmakers left the Capitol, after finishing work on a state budget that wasn't completed until a special session and a partial government shutdown. We take a look behind the scenes at how the budget stalemate came, and was resolved, by the state's three top political leaders. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/07/21_mccalluml_behindthescenes/?refid=0 Thu, 21 Jul 2005 17:00:00 -0500 DFL takes income-tax hike off table; seeks to kill gambling expansion Senate Democrats say they're willing to back off their proposal for an income tax increase on the state's wealthiest households, and House Republicans say they're ready to preserve health care for thousands who would have lost coverage under earlier budget offers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/28_mccalluml_specialsession/?refid=0 Wed, 29 Jun 2005 08:00:00 -0500 Court loss to cost state up to $300 million A recent state Supreme Court ruling will cost Minnesota government $250 million to $300 million in the next two-year budget cycle, deepening a deficit that lawmakers were already struggling to overcome. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/21_khoom_budgetwoes/?refid=0 Tue, 21 Jun 2005 15:02:00 -0500 Shutdown preparations in full swing Minnesota could stop issuing new drivers licenses, lock up state parks and highway rest stops, and possibly lay off thousands of state workers if a new budget isn't complete by the end of June. Gov. Tim Pawlenty Wednesday outlined preparations for a partial government shutdown. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/15_khoom_stateshutdown/?refid=0 Wed, 15 Jun 2005 12:48:00 -0500 State, worker groups prep for possible state shutdown State officials are preparing to mothball entire sections of state government if a new budget isn't approved by the end of the month. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/06_khoom_shutdown/?refid=0 Mon, 06 Jun 2005 16:48:00 -0500 Pawlenty, Hatch feud as state shutdown nears Gov. Tim Pawlenty is asking Attorney General Mike Hatch to consider stepping aside in the event a budget impasse requires a court order to keep critical state services running. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/03_khoom_shutdownfeud/?refid=0 Fri, 03 Jun 2005 07:50:00 -0500 No signs of an end to budget stalemate Senate Democrats say they won't discuss Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal for a 75-cents per pack cigarette tax until Republicans show they can pass the measure in the GOP-controlled House. The back-and-forth charges continue, as Pawlenty and lawmakers struggle to craft a new state budget. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/06/01_khoom_stalemate/?refid=0 Wed, 01 Jun 2005 14:06:00 -0500 Special session gets off to showy start Gov. Pawlenty and legislative leaders on Tuesday threw open the doors to their usually private negotiating sessions. But the budget talks showed little momentum. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/24_khoom_negotiations/?refid=0 Tue, 24 May 2005 16:52:00 -0500 Gas-tax veto unleashes rhetoric at Capitol A proposed constitutional amendment, overshadowed by the gas-tax debate and shielded from Gov. Tim Pawlenty's transportation bill veto, will let Minnesota voters decide next year whether to earmark vehicle taxes for roads, bridges and transit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/19_khoom_gastax/?refid=0 Thu, 19 May 2005 17:30:00 -0500 Ignoring veto threat, Senate approves dime gas-tax hike Senators dared Gov. Tim Pawlenty to make good on his no-new-tax pledge by approving a road-funding bill Wednesday with a dime-a-gallon gas tax increase. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/18_khoom_gastax/?refid=0 Wed, 18 May 2005 16:07:00 -0500 Casino issue is dying, if not dead, at Capitol Gov. Tim Pawlenty's drive to open a state-operated casino appears to have finally run out of steam. After weeks of delayed votes, parliamentary shortcuts, and behind-the-scenes maneuvering, casino supporters on Tuesday pulled their bill from committee just hours before a scheduled hearing. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/17_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Tue, 17 May 2005 16:49:00 -0500 GOP moderates defy Pawlenty on gas tax In open defiance of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's no-new-tax pledge, a group of moderate House Republicans has joined with Democrats to endorse a dime-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax over the next three years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/12_khoom_gastaxprelim/?refid=0 Thu, 12 May 2005 09:43:00 -0500 Committee gives life to Twins stadium deal at Minnesota Capitol A plan to increase the Hennepin County sales tax to pay for the bulk of a new downtown Minneapolis ballpark cleared its first legislative hurdle on a lopsided 17-to-5 bipartisan vote. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/10_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Wed, 11 May 2005 07:05:00 -0500 Senate approves income-tax increase The Minnesota Senate on Friday approved a DFL plan to raise income taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans. The tax increase was approved on a 35-to-28 vote. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/05_khoom_taxbill/?refid=0 Fri, 06 May 2005 17:01:00 -0500 Income tax hike advances in Senate The Senate Taxes Committee voted Wednesday night to hike income taxes, perhaps temporarily, on some six-figure earners to raise nearly $1 billion for state coffers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/05/03_khoom_taxbill/?refid=0 Thu, 05 May 2005 07:37:00 -0500 Gov's casino plan takes another blow at Legislature The House dealt a major setback Tuesday to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to pad the state budget with gambling money, sending a bill that would establish two casinos at Canterbury Park back to a committee seen as hostile. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/26_khoom_casino/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Apr 2005 16:47:00 -0500 In session's final days, stadium issue attracts more interest In what's just about become an annual tradition, the Twins ballpark debate is poised to return to the state Capitol. The deal announced on Monday between the team and Hennepin County doesn't require any state dollars. But it does require legislative permission for the county to levy a proposed new sales tax to help finance the package. The proposal won praise from many key lawmakers, but significant hurdles remain. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/26_khoom_twinsreax/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Apr 2005 11:11:00 -0500 Casino plan back from brink of defeat Minnesota House Republicans have merged two casino proposals in an effort to keep gambling revenues on the table for end-of-session budget negotiations. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/22_khoom_casino/?refid=0 Sat, 23 Apr 2005 07:20:00 -0500 House meth bill includes dramatic restrictions on cold medicine sales A debate in the Minnesota House started as an attempt to place certain cold remedies behind pharmacy counters, to make it harder for meth manufacturers to obtain the pseudoephedrine crucial to making their drugs. It ended with a sweeping ban on many everyday medications. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/22_khoom_coldban/?refid=0 Fri, 22 Apr 2005 11:06:00 -0500 At Capitol, opponents of gay marriage take their rally turn Several thousand supporters of a constitutional ban on gay marriage rallied Wednesday at the Capitol, saying all they want is a chance to vote on the issue. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/20_khoom_marriage/?refid=0 Wed, 20 Apr 2005 16:54:00 -0500 Leech Lake opposes merging casino and racino plans The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe says it will reject any attempt to merge a proposed state-tribal casino with a separate plan to put slot machines at the Canterbury Park race track. A merger is being floated since both gambling initiatives are stalled at the State Capitol. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/19_khoom_gamblingupdate/?refid=0 Tue, 19 Apr 2005 19:58:00 -0500 Gay rights debate hits home for GOP senator Amid a contentious fight over gay marriage, a Republican state senator said Thursday that he was no longer able to keep his own sexuality a secret. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/14_khoom_gaymarriage/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Apr 2005 16:36:00 -0500 Republicans in House prepare no-gambling &quot;Plan B&quot; A House committee has adopted spending targets for the next budget that underscore the shaky state of gambling proposals at the state Capitol. The Ways and Means Committee spending resolution outlines two sets of spending levels -- one with casino revenues and one without. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/12_khoom_healthcare/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Apr 2005 07:24:00 -0500 Gay marriage ban stirs emotions inside, outside Capitol The Minnesota Senate has beaten back an attempt to force a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. The failed tactic came as thousands of gays, lesbians, and their supporters rallied on the Capitol grounds in opposition to the gay marriage ban. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/07_mccalluml_samesex/?refid=0 Thu, 07 Apr 2005 16:29:00 -0500 Pawlenty to sign $886 million construction projects bill soon The House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to approve almost $1 billion worth of building and maintenance projects. The capital improvements bill is the most significant piece of legislation to pass both bodies in the 2005 session. It comes almost a year after lawmakers hit an impasse during a similar debate in the last legislative session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/06_mccalluml_bonding/?refid=0 Thu, 07 Apr 2005 07:24:00 -0500 Gambling's demise at Capitol may foreshadow tax increase showdown Gov. Tim Pawlenty says prospects don't look good for his plans to use casino revenue to fill out the state budget, and he says legislative attempts to bury the proposal are a backdoor push for new state tax increases by Senate Democrats. DFLers haven't released their own budget blueprint, but there's a growing consensus at the Capitol that the Democrats' plan will ultimately rely on new tax revenue. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/07_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Wed, 06 Apr 2005 21:53:00 -0500 Senate deals blow to gambling plans Plans to expand gambling options in Minnesota have hit a snag in the Senate. Last night, a Senate committee voted down a proposal to open a state-run casino in partnership with three northern Ojibwe tribes. The same committee also rejected a separate plan to authorize slot machines at the Canterbury Park Racetrack in Shakopee. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/04/04_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Tue, 05 Apr 2005 07:27:00 -0500 House approves marriage definition bill The Minnesota House has agreed to put a ban on same-sex marriages to voters next year. If the Senate concurs, Minnesotans would face a ballot question to restrict marriage to relationships between one man and one woman. Supporters of the measure argue such a constitutional change would preserve the traditional notion of marriage. Opponents say it's discriminatory and unnecessary. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/31_khoom_marriage/?refid=0 Fri, 01 Apr 2005 00:45:00 -0600 AG's office says casino plan is unconstitutional Attorney General Mike Hatch says that Gov. Pawlenty's plan to open a new Twin Cities casino with three northern Minnesota Indian tribes is probably unconstitutional the way it's written, because it calls for the state lottery to run the casino. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/30_khoom_hatchongambling/?refid=0 Wed, 30 Mar 2005 17:30:00 -0600 Media presence exacerbates culture clash on Red Lake The Red Lake shooting has led to a culture clash between the close-knit tribal community and outside media. Some reporters complained about limited access they had to tribal members. But tribal members say they've been overwhelmed by the arrival of pushy and demanding outsiders. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/25_khoom_redlakemedia/?refid=0 Fri, 25 Mar 2005 17:37:00 -0600 Shooting victim: &quot;I never thought he would do this&quot; A victim of Monday's shooting on the Red Lake Indian Reservation gave a first-hand account of the ordeal Thursday. Sophomore Cody Thunder says he had no idea Jeff Weise posed a threat until the 16-year-old opened fire at Red Lake High School. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/24_khoom_victimsspeak/?refid=0 Thu, 24 Mar 2005 10:22:00 -0600 Gambling bills pass committee test Two proposals for new gambling venues have passed their first legislative hurdle. On Friday night, the House Gaming Division gave the nod to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan for a state-tribal partnership that would operate a Twin Cities casino. It also advanced a plan to open put slot machines at the Canterbury Park racetrack in Shakopee. Opponents say either proposal could lead to an unchecked explosion of gambling in the state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/19_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Sat, 19 Mar 2005 07:12:00 -0600 Amendment supporters targeting politicians opposed to same-sex ban Opponents of a constitutional amendment on marriage say the location and the timing of a hearing smack more of politics than public policy. They say the hearing appears to be targeting two DFL opponents of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/18_khoom_gaymarriagesetup/?refid=0 Thu, 17 Mar 2005 18:30:00 -0600 Casino bills get first hearing After weeks of news conferences, speculation and chatter, the House Gaming Division held the first legislative hearing Wednesday on what could turn out to be the three most substantive proposals this session to expand gambling as a source of state revenue. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/16_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Wed, 16 Mar 2005 18:13:00 -0600 When the people speak, it's money that talks A Minnesota Public Radio analysis of campaign finance records shows that state political party units last year spent close to $3 million to influence the outcome of a handful of targeted legislative races. In almost two dozen cases, the party spending outstripped what the candidates themselves were allowed to spend under voluntary spending restraints. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/04_khoom_campaign/?refid=0 Mon, 14 Mar 2005 10:50:00 -0600 Pawlenty, tribal leaders unveil casino proposal Gov. Tim Pawlenty toured the state Friday with officials from three Minnesota Indian tribes to pitch a state-tribal partnership for a new casino in the Twin Cities metro area. But the plan immediately came in for harsh criticism from the state's other eight Indian tribes and some lawmakers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/04_khoom_casinodeal/?refid=0 Fri, 04 Mar 2005 11:14:00 -0600 Pawlenty reaches casino deal with three northern tribes Gov. Tim Pawlenty and three tribes have reportedly reached a deal on a Twin Cities casino venture between the tribes and the state. The governor and tribal leaders are set to unveil the details of the plan Friday. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/03/03_ap_casinoplan/?refid=0 Thu, 03 Mar 2005 10:06:00 -0600 Little appetite for stadium talk at Capitol, despite sale of Vikings Reggie Fowler may have struck a tentative deal to buy the Minnesota Vikings, but that doesn't mean he'll be so lucky at the state Capitol. The Vikings have been seeking state support to build a $600 million football stadium for the past several years. So far those efforts have all failed, and lawmakers say a change in ownership is not likely to shift the dynamics. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/14_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 15 Feb 2005 08:23:00 -0600 Mark Kennedy jumps into Senate race U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy is the first candidate to officially jump into the U.S. Senate race. Kennedy, a Republican, announced Friday that he will run for the seat being vacated by DFLer Mark Dayton. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/11_khoom_kennedysenate/?refid=0 Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:11:00 -0600 Pawlenty seeks ban on candy-flavored cigarettes Cigarettes infused with lime, vanilla, berry and other candy flavors would be pulled off Minnesota store shelves under a proposed ban by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who accused the tobacco industry Thursday of marketing the specialty products to teens. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/10_ap_candycigarettes/?refid=0 Thu, 10 Feb 2005 12:18:00 -0600 Dayton won't seek re-election as Minnesota U.S. senator Sen. Mark Dayton said Wednesday he won't seek a second term next year, saying he doesn't believe he's the best candidate for Democrats. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/02/09_khoom_dayton/?refid=0 Wed, 09 Feb 2005 14:07:00 -0600 Partisan squabbling threatens Minnesota's reputation for good management A new report gives Minnesota a B+ for government performance -- putting the state in the upper cluster of top performers. But the non-partisan study also warned that recent gridlock at the Legislature could jeopardize that ranking and undo years of solid progress. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/30_khoom_minnmanage/?refid=0 Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:00:00 -0600 Rolling the dice on gambling revenue Gov. Tim Pawlenty is banking on some sort of casino revenue to help balance the state's budget over the next two years. But the gambling debate straddles many political fault lines and cuts across party loyalties, making it a tricky issue to negotiate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/26_khoom_gamblingfolo/?refid=0 Wed, 26 Jan 2005 21:35:00 -0600 Deconstructing Pawlenty's budget plan Gov. Tim Pawlenty's $30 billion budget proposal promises to wipe out an expected $700 million deficit without raising state taxes. But critics say the governor is merely pushing costs down to cities, counties and school boards. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/25_khoom_budgetreax/?refid=0 Tue, 25 Jan 2005 23:54:00 -0600 Nearly billion-dollar borrowing bill clears Senate The Senate approved a state borrowing bill Monday that would increase the state's long-term debt by nearly $1 billion. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/24_khoom_bonding/?refid=0 Mon, 24 Jan 2005 17:02:00 -0600 Pawlenty's Rochester plans: Part policy, part politics If Gov. Tim Pawlenty has his way, the city of Rochester could be in for a building boom. In Pawlenty's State of the State address from Rochester Tuesday, he outlined a list of projects for the city and the region. Political observers say the attention on Rochester could be an attempt to shore up Republican support in what's long been considered GOP territory. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/19_khoom_rochpolitics/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Jan 2005 11:30:00 -0600 Backers of Minnesota-wide smoking ban say this is their year Lawmakers of both major parties joined bartenders and restaurant patrons at a German eatery Friday to back a statewide smoking ban that would snuff out cigarettes in restaurants, bars and private clubs. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/14_khoom_smoking/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Jan 2005 15:25:00 -0600 Court fight resumes over handgun law The fate of Minnesota's handgun permit law is now before a state Court of Appeals panel. The appellate court heard arguments about whether to reinstate the law, which was struck down last summer, or let the lower court ruling stand. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/13_khoom_cc/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Jan 2005 16:29:00 -0600 Tribal head says casinos must share wealth with other tribes; more gambling opposition surfaces at Capitol American Indian tribes that own casinos should join together and provide grants to less-prosperous tribes, the head of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe said Tuesday. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/11_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Tue, 11 Jan 2005 17:01:00 -0600 Lawmakers honor the &quot;real&quot; speaker of the House The Minnesota House of Representatives said goodbye to a longtime public servant on Monday. Chief Clerk Ed Burdick retired this year after serving 38 years as the body's top administrator and unofficial referee. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/10_khoom_burdick/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Jan 2005 15:00:00 -0600 Legislators work to get past bickering With the new year and the new legislative session, there've been an awful lot of resolutions among lawmakers to find common ground and cross-party compromise. But what does it take to build that sort of consensus? http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/06_khoom_beyondbickering/?refid=0 Thu, 06 Jan 2005 19:48:00 -0600 On eve of session, Pawlenty puts out bonding plan Gov. Tim Pawlenty put forward a beefed-up, $816 million proposal for state-backed construction projects Monday along with an invitation to hear out legislators who want to borrow even more. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/03_khoom_bonding/?refid=0 Mon, 03 Jan 2005 17:25:00 -0600 Budget shortfall focus of new legislative session Lawmakers are returning to St. Paul to convene the 84th Minnesota Legislature on Tuesday. The principal order of business will be crafting a two-year state budget that's currently projected to run at least $700 million short. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2005/01/03_khoom_budgetpreview/?refid=0 Mon, 03 Jan 2005 00:01:00 -0600 Vets, families urge Bush administration to do more to protect troops A group of Minnesota veterans is calling for a congressional inquiry into whether troops in Iraq have adequate supplies and protective equipment. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/12/14_mulcahym_vetsrally/?refid=0 Tue, 14 Dec 2004 13:55:00 -0600 Counties push increase in gas tax A new proposal by the Association of Minnesota Counties outlines includes a 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase, a move Gov. Tim Pawlenty has repeatedly ruled out. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/12/13_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Tue, 14 Dec 2004 12:13:00 -0600 Does Minnesota spend too much? A looming $700 million deficit anticipated in Minnesota's next budget cycle has reframed the debate on how much government the state can afford. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/12/09_khoom_budgetcomp/?refid=0 Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:33:00 -0600 Flu nurse: &quot;I didn't do anything wrong&quot; The woman who gave what she says are flu shots at Augsburg College in Minneapolis says the shots were genuine and safe. Michelle Torgerson appeared at brief news conference with her Minneapolis attorney Monday, to reassure those who received shots from her. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/12/06_khoom_flushots/?refid=0 Mon, 06 Dec 2004 16:37:00 -0600 Governor urged to drop no-tax-increase pledge Minnesota is headed into a fourth straight year of budget deficits. State officials Wednesday projected a $700 million shortfall during the upcoming two-year budget cycle. The budget news has led to a chorus of interest groups calling for tax increases of some sort to plug the leak. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/12/02_khoom_deficitreax/?refid=0 Thu, 02 Dec 2004 09:56:00 -0600 Sjodin family to sue Minnesota The family of kidnapping victim Dru Sjodin has notified the state of Minnesota that it intends to seek wrongful death damages as a result of Sjodin's abduction and murder. Convicted Minnesota sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez, Jr., faces charges in Sjodin's death, and the family argues that the state's handling of Rodriguez contributed to the college student's death. The family is expected to seek damages in excess of $1 million. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/11/24_khoom_sjodin/?refid=0 Wed, 24 Nov 2004 17:00:00 -0600 DFL gives cool reception to governor's special session proposal Gov. Tim Pawlenty's call for a special legislative session to authorize state construction projects is encountering considerable DFL skepticism. Last week, Pawlenty called for a short session next month to approve borrowing for a short list of public infrastructure projects that he says are largely uncontroversial. But Democrats are wary that the governor's list excludes the investments they happen to favor. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/11/22_khoom_bonding/?refid=0 Mon, 22 Nov 2004 16:41:00 -0600 New Legislature may block gambling proposals Last week's strong DFL gains in the Minnesota House could imperil GOP plans to boost state revenues with gambling dollars. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and top Republican legislators have been pushing for a state share of Native American casino funds -- and they turned the matter into a last-minute campaign issue this year. But the post-election landscape now makes it seem less likely that gambling proposals will advance. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/11/11_khoom_gamblingnext/?refid=0 Thu, 11 Nov 2004 06:00:00 -0600 Democrats win big, but GOP clings to power in Minnesota House Republicans clung to the barest of Minnesota House majorities after a Democratic rout in Tuesday's election, with a recount in one race threatening to split the chamber down the middle. After a lengthy vote count that didn't end until nearly 10 a.m. Wednesday, GOP Rep. Judy Soderstrom had 50 percent, or 9,998 votes, to DFLer Tim Faust's 49 percent, or 9,904 votes, in the race for her seat north of the Twin Cities. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/11/03_khoom_legis/?refid=0 Wed, 03 Nov 2004 10:16:00 -0600 With presidential candidates elsewhere, surrogates take up Minnesota campaign It was a rare day with no candidates from the presidential tickets in the state on Friday. Still, surrogates for President Bush and John Kerry showed up to rally supporters. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani campaigned in Minnesota for Bush, while former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark stumped for Kerry. The two focused on national security at competing partisan rallies. Meanwhile, Bush and Kerry began wrapping up their campaigns on the last weekend of the campaign season. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/29_ap_roundup4/?refid=0 Fri, 29 Oct 2004 17:09:00 -0500 Two Indian tribes encouraged by gambling discussion with Gov. Pawlenty Representatives from two of the state's largest Indian tribes say they're encouraged by preliminary discussions with Governor Tim Pawlenty over the future of gambling in Minnesota. Pawlenty has been eager to capture a portion of Native American casino revenues, and has recently suggested a 25 percent take of net gambling revenues for state government. That idea has received a chilly reception from most of the state's tribes, but White Earth and Leech Lake official say there's room for cooperation. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/28_khoom_sharegamble/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Oct 2004 06:00:00 -0500 Parties step up their poll monitoring efforts Thousands of new voters are expected at their local precincts next Tuesday -- but they won't be the only newcomers at the polls. Hundreds of lawyers, poll watchers, and activists will be on hand, alert for any irregularities or signs of mischief. Minnesota has a reputation for clean elections, but the legacy of the 2000 presidential election has put unprecedented scrutiny on this year's balloting. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/25_khoom_pollwatchers/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Oct 2004 05:00:00 -0500 Local House races in statewide spotlight All 134 seats in the House of Representatives are up for re-election this fall. Two years ago, virtually all of the close races broke in the GOP's favor, delivering a bonanza for Republican lawmakers: a commanding 28-seat majority. Republicans are confident they'll maintain their edge, but Democrats say they need only change a handful of voters in a few close districts to redefine the political landscape. And that's brought plenty of outside pressure on otherwise local races. A race in the Northfield area is one such contest. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/20_khoom_25bprofile/?refid=0 Fri, 22 Oct 2004 14:56:00 -0500 Bush, Kerry offer competing environmental visions When President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry visit Minnesota, they're likely to discuss the war in Iraq, jobs, the economy, and health care. But the two campaigns have given comparatively little time to environmental issues. That's despite what advocates on both sides say are clear and distinct differences between the two candidates. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/10/13_khoom_environment/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Oct 2004 09:00:00 -0500 Elections officials press worries about new registration system Thirty-two days before Election Day, local voting supervisors on Thursday detailed programming glitches in a new state computer system that they say are slowing data entry, eating up overtime budgets and stressing workers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/30_ap_elx/?refid=0 Thu, 30 Sep 2004 13:40:00 -0500 Supreme Court allows Independence Party candidates to stay on ballot Two dozen Independence Party candidates for the U.S. Congress and the state House of Representatives have been cleared to appear on the ballot this November. The state Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a little-known election law could not be used to block the candidates from appearing in the general election even though they failed to meet a minimum threshold of voter support outlined in the law. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/27_khoom_ip/?refid=0 Mon, 27 Sep 2004 17:07:00 -0500 Pawlenty taps South Dakota lottery chief for Minnesota job Clint Harris, who steered the South Dakota lottery to rising profits in four years at the helm, was named Thursday to take over Minnesota's lottery. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/23_khoom_lottery/?refid=0 Thu, 23 Sep 2004 15:44:00 -0500 MPR poll: Minnesotans think war will worsen U.S. standing in the world A new poll sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that most Minnesotans have misgivings about certain aspects of the war or its aftermath, but a majority still says the president is better prepared to manage the situation. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/22_khoom_iraqpoll/?refid=0 Wed, 22 Sep 2004 00:01:00 -0500 Sagging in some polls, Nader hunts for votes in Minnesota The gloves were off for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader Thursday night during two Twin Cities appearances. Nader spoke to hundreds of supporters, first at Macalester College in St. Paul and then at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus. He took direct aim at Democrats, Republicans, and corporate interests. Recent polls show Nader struggling to find support in Minnesota -- but he and his supporters say the campaign is about more than winning the race. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/16_khoom_nadervisit/?refid=0 Thu, 16 Sep 2004 16:53:00 -0500 Governor moves to link driver's license to school attendance Gov. Tim Pawlenty Tuesday warned high school students to show up for class or risk being denied a driver's license. Pawlenty has asked the departments of Education and Public Safety to draft new rules linking school attendance with driving privileges. The move has received mostly positive reviews from educators and law enforcement officials. But some critics say it obscures the root causes of poor attendance and dropouts. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/07_khoom_truancy/?refid=0 Tue, 07 Sep 2004 15:50:00 -0500 Presidential campaigning ramps up again in Minnesota One day after President Bush formally accepted his party's nomination for re-election, the president and his surrogates have fanned across the country to launch the general campaign season. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was part of the team, landing in Minnesota to rally Republicans at the State Fair. Of course, Democratic candidate John Kerry was at the fair on opening day. And Vice-President Dick Cheney is expected there on Labor Day, while Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards will be across town at a Labor Day picnic on Harriet Island. MPR's Michael Khoo reports on the uptick in campaigning. http://minnesota.publicradio.orghttp://www.mprnews.org/story/2004/09/03_fairpolitics?refid=0 Fri, 03 Sep 2004 17:15:00 -0500 House leaders face off in first debate Republican and DFL legislative leaders held the first in a series of statewide debates Wednesday in an effort to influence the make-up of the state House next year. Currently, the GOP holds a comfortable 81-53 seat majority in the House. But Democrats say they're eager to trim that lead or even recapture the majority. The election outcome will be a key factor in how the state addresses a potential budget shortfall of up to $1 billion. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/09/01_khoom_legdebate/?refid=0 Wed, 01 Sep 2004 17:11:00 -0500 Practicing retail politics at the State Fair The Republican National Convention in New York is in the spotlight this week -- but it's certainly not the only political game in town. The Minnesota State Fair is a traditional hotbed for retail politics, and it's an important venue for smaller parties that can't afford the high production values of the Democrats' and Republicans' campaigns. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/31_khoom_thirdparties/?refid=0 Tue, 31 Aug 2004 17:21:00 -0500 Pawlenty appoints Anderson to Supreme Court Gov. Tim Pawlenty Friday announced the appointment of G. Barry Anderson to fill a vacancy on the Minnesota Supreme Court. Anderson currently serves on the state Court of Appeals and will replace outgoing Supreme Court Associate Justice James Gilbert. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/27_khoom_newjustice2/?refid=0 Fri, 27 Aug 2004 17:20:00 -0500 Bush campaign targets Wisconsin, Minnesota in latest swing President George W. Bush is in Crawford, Texas, resting after a bus tour that took him through Wisconsin and Minnesota. The president made a campaign stop on Wednesday just across the St. Croix River in Hudson, Wis., followed by a rally at the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul. He repeated many of the campaign's familiar themes on the economy and the war in Iraq. But he also opened the dialogue slightly by inviting audience members to pepper him with questions. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/18_zdechlikm_bushinmn/?refid=0 Thu, 19 Aug 2004 07:51:00 -0500 Below the political radar, plenty of contested races develop All eyes may be on the race for the White House, but Minnesota has a full slate of other races to watch this year. The state's eight congressional seats are up, as are all 134 spots in the state House of Representatives. Republicans currently enjoy a substantial 28 seat majority in that body. That's the biggest edge the GOP has ever held in the House, since partisan elections were introduced in 1972. But Democrats say that's no reason the advantage can't be flipped in November. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/14_khoom_legraces/?refid=0 Sun, 15 Aug 2004 15:00:00 -0500 Minnesota delegates bring convention enthusiasm back home Minnesota Democrats are returning home after wrapping up the four-day Democratic National Convention in Boston. The convention ended Thursday evening, after Sen. John Kerry accepted the party's nomination for president. Minnesota delegates uniformly cheered Kerry's remarks -- but the event is only the first step in what's sure to be a tough three months. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/30_khoom_demsminnwrap/?refid=0 Fri, 30 Jul 2004 11:01:00 -0500 At party conventions, the party is where it's at Wednesday night's nomination for president of Sen. John Kerry at the Democratic National Convention comes as no surprise. But Kerry's chances in November may depend as much on what goes on outside the Fleet Center as what happens inside. Throughout the day and into the night, elected officials, interest groups, and activists are engaged in the time-honored arts of political life: networking, lobbying, and raising money. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/29_khoom_party/?refid=0 Thu, 29 Jul 2004 08:55:00 -0500 Minnesota DFLers united despite differences Democrats in Boston have approved a new platform that more than doubles the space given to defense and foreign policy issues. It also touches on the controversial issues of abortion rights and gay and lesbian unions. But despite the tangle of thorny issues, Minnesota delegates say they are unified behind Sens. John Kerry and John Edwards in a way that they haven't been in recent years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/27_khoom_unity/?refid=0 Wed, 28 Jul 2004 08:15:00 -0500 Delegates from elsewhere have advice for Minnesota Democrats In 2000, the Minnesota delegation was seated in the risers as Democrats nominated Vice President Al Gore for the presidency in Los Angeles' Staples Center. This year, Minnesota Democrats have a front-row seat at Boston's Fleet Center. Many factors affect a delegation's seating, but one of them is likely the state's status as a newly-minted battleground state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/26_khoom_othersseemn/?refid=0 Tue, 27 Jul 2004 23:25:00 -0500 It's a fresh-faced delegation for Minnesota at national Dem fest More than 5,000 Democrats are assembling in Boston for the Democratic National Convention. Among their number are 98 Minnesota delegates and alternates, who are counting down to the nomination of Sen. John Kerry for president. The road to Boston began, for Minnesotans, during the March precinct caucuses that drew a record number of attendees. Out of that surprise turnout has comes a new crop of activists. They're younger and perhaps less seasoned, but, as they tell it, every bit as determined as the old guard to take the White House in November. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/24_khoom_dempreview/?refid=0 Sun, 25 Jul 2004 15:47:00 -0500 MPR Poll: Presidential race a dead heat A new poll suggests Minnesota voters are evenly divided between re-electing President George Bush or replacing him with Democratic rival John Kerry. The survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, shows 45 percent of likely voters favor Sen. Kerry and 44 percent support Bush. Ralph Nader attracted 2 percent support. Those results haven't changed much in the last few months. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/19_khoom_prespoll/?refid=0 Mon, 19 Jul 2004 03:00:00 -0500 Cities plead for fix in local government aid Mayors from across Minnesota say time is running out for Gov. Tim Pawlenty and lawmakers to correct an error that's left most cities guessing about how much state aid they'll receive next year. A technical glitch has created confusion over how to interpret the aid law -- and city officials say that could lead to budget headaches and unnecessary property tax hikes. Lawmakers and the governor all agreed the law is defective -- but disagree over how and when to call a special session to fix the problem. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/14_khoom_lgacomplaints/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Jul 2004 13:11:00 -0500 Nader supporters ponder their options Consumer advocate and presidential candidate Ralph Nader debates former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean Friday afternoon, over the role and influence of third parties in politics. In 2000, Minnesota voters gave Nader one of his strongest showings, enough to propel the Greens to major party status here. His supporters say they'll continue that fight this year -- but other progressive voters say Nader's candidacy could undermine Democrat John Kerry, and ultimately benefit the Republican ticket. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/07/09_khoom_naderminn/?refid=0 Fri, 09 Jul 2004 10:50:00 -0500 Local election officials concerned about new voter registration system Minnesota's new voter registration system has its first test Tuesday in a special primary election in Dakota County. The switchover is part of a nationwide overhaul inspired by the Florida debacle of 2000. But some local election officials say a broad rollout of the new system during a tight presidential election could lead to big headaches in Minnesota. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/06/29_khoom_kifflocals/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Jun 2004 09:58:00 -0500 Attorney: Forciea to plead guilty to federal charges An attorney for sports entrepreneur and political consultant Pat Forciea says his client has acknowledged defrauding several banks and business partners of millions of dollars. Forciea served as a consultant on DFLer Paul Wellstone's 1990 campaign that launched the senator's political career. Forciea went on to develop numerous connections to professional and collegiate sports organizations in the following years. But now he seems likely to face time behind bars. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/06/10_khoom_forciea/?refid=0 Thu, 10 Jun 2004 15:30:00 -0500 No sign of compromise at the Capitol Signs of a possible compromise at the Capitol are quickly evaporating as Gov. Tim Pawlenty, House Republicans, and Senate Democrats returned to finger-pointing over the lack of accomplishment this year. The Legislature adjourned last month without resolving any of this year's major budget or policy questions. And the governor and House Republicans say Tuesday's Senate DFL proposal to reconvene is nothing more than a repackaged version of earlier, rejected options. Democrats in turn blame GOP leaders for holding the state's business hostage to the single issue of same-sex marriage. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/06/09_khoom_specialsession/?refid=0 Wed, 09 Jun 2004 10:31:00 -0500 State unsure how many sex offenders in nursing homes The Department of Corrections doesn't know how many convicted sex offenders are being held in nursing homes around the state, Commissioner Joan Fabian told lawmakers Wednesday. House members questioned Fabian as part of their investigation into why at least five sex offenders were housed in a private Minneapolis facility along with vulnerable adults between 2002 and 2004. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/06/02_khoom_nursinghomes/?refid=0 Wed, 02 Jun 2004 16:38:00 -0500 MPR Poll: Legislature gets poor grades for 2004 session State lawmakers are receiving overwhelmingly poor marks in a new poll that looks back to this year's do-little legislative session. Lawmakers adjourned last month after failing to reach consensus on most of the year's main issues. The survey was conducted for Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. It shows wide dissatisfaction with lawmakers and a willingness to spread the blame widely. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, however, seems to have escaped much of the rancor. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/06/02_khoom_pawlentypoll/?refid=0 Wed, 02 Jun 2004 00:01:00 -0500 Same-sex marriage debate stalls special session Controversy over same-sex marriage threatens to scuttle chances for a special legislative session to address this year's many unresolved budget and policy issues. Lawmakers adjourned their regular session earlier this month without taking action on reducing the state's projected deficit, making infrastructure improvements, or enhancing public safety. While many lawmakers say they'd like a second chance to address those matters, Gov. Tim Pawlenty says they could all be lost in the argument over gay marriage. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/25_khoom_stalled/?refid=0 Tue, 25 May 2004 16:45:00 -0500 Pawlenty moves to wipe out budget deficit, assign blame Gov. Tim Pawlenty is taking unilateral action to erase a projected $160 million deficit. Lawmakers adjourned over the weekend without breaking an impasse over how to balance the budget. Pawlenty says that left him no choice but to cover the shortfall through executive action. But he says his options as governor are more limited than the choices that were open to legislators. The governor squarely blamed Senate DFLers for this year's gridlock, only to find the finger pointing back at him. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/17_mccalluml_pawlenty/?refid=0 Mon, 17 May 2004 17:40:00 -0500 Minnesota lawmakers have little to show for months of work If you're a hunter, you got a new season for mourning doves. If you're a state trooper, you got a tougher drunken driving standard, starting in summer '05. If you're a student in kindergarten through high school, you got new science and social studies standards. If you're Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke, you got a pink slip. Otherwise, if you slept through the last four months, you didn't miss much. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/17_khoom_sessionwrap/?refid=0 Mon, 17 May 2004 07:34:00 -0500 Gambling bills appear dead for session The push to generate new state gambling revenues appears over for the year after a Senate committee Thursday night rejected or passed over the major casino initiatives. The Senate Taxes committee, however, did approve a plan calling for the governor to discuss an off-reservation casino with any of the state's 11 Indian communities that express an interest. But with only days left in the legislative session, that proposal seems certain to stall. And some tribal representatives are already suggesting it may be unworkable and unwelcome. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/14_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Fri, 14 May 2004 10:16:00 -0500 Caesar's plan gets cool reception Las Vegas-based Caesar's Entertainment has finally shown its Minnesota hand. After months of quiet lobbying, the company Tuesday made a public pitch to lawmakers for a new, private casino. Caesar's officials have their eyes on a site next to the Mall of America in Bloomington -- but legislators from that area are bristling at the idea of a major gambling venue in their backyard. The package is one of several gambling options that are making the rounds at the Capitol in the final week of the regular session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/11_khoom_gamblingupdate/?refid=0 Wed, 12 May 2004 11:00:00 -0500 Stadium bill stalls in House Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal to fund new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings may have suffered a fatal blow on Friday when the $1 billion stadium construction bill was held back in the House Ways and Means committee after members deadlocked over whether to approve it. The setback came moments after a major funding change was added to the bill. The change, the vote, and the approaching legislative deadline make the bill's fate highly uncertain. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/07_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Fri, 07 May 2004 15:35:00 -0500 Stadium bill survives narrow vote - A bill devoting public money toward new Twins and Vikings stadiums got through the House Taxes Committee on a 15-13 vote Tuesday. The vote came after five hours of committee deliberation and amendments that capped the public contribution at just below $1.1 billion. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/05/04_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 04 May 2004 14:58:00 -0500 Pork plan derails Northstar commuter rail The Northstar commuter rail line linking Minneapolis with its northwestern suburbs has taken a step backward. On Tuesday night, a House committee voted to strip funding for the project from a bill that finances long-term state construction projects. The Northstar line has the support of Gov. Tim Pawlenty and key legislative leaders from both parties. But a group of mainly Republican opponents engineered a miniature revolt by making the opposition an offer it couldn't refuse. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/04/28_khoom_northstar/?refid=0 Wed, 28 Apr 2004 07:01:00 -0500 Tax loopholes under the microscope State tax officials have recently noticed a curious trend: corporate profits are up, but corporate tax payments are down. Democrats in the Minnesota Senate say there's a simple reason. Minnesota businesses, they argue, are exploiting loopholes to duck paying their fair share of taxes. But Republicans and the business community say one person's loophole is another's legitimate tax deduction. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/04/22_khoom_loopholes/?refid=0 Thu, 22 Apr 2004 15:27:00 -0500 Politicians talk taxes on eve of filing deadline On the eve of the April 15 income tax deadline, state Democratic lawmakers tried to cast rising property tax bills as a more accurate indication of how Minnesotans' obligations to government have changed. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/04/14_khoom_taxes/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Apr 2004 17:30:00 -0500 Legislative session hinges on resolution of budget differences The Minnesota Senate completed work on a budget package in a marathon floor session that began Wednesday morning and ended early Thursday. The plan arrived in two pieces: one that erases a $160 million projected deficit and a second that provides more than $40 million for a wide spectrum of new or restored initiatives. The Republican minority criticized DFLers for loading their new spending and policy changes into one comprehensive plan, arguing the process overwhelmed any chance for careful consideration or debate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/04/07_mccalluml_senatebudget/?refid=0 Thu, 08 Apr 2004 16:24:00 -0500 House passes bill to lower drunken driving limit The House passed a bill 113-15 Wednesday to lower the state's drunken driving threshold from 0.10 percent blood alcohol content to 0.08 percent, but not until 2007. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/31_khoom_08/?refid=0 Wed, 31 Mar 2004 15:20:00 -0600 Stadium bill on fast track, critics contend A plan to build two new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings has taken another step forward. The bill advanced fairly easily out of the House Government Operations Committee on Monday night without the lengthy debate that has often accompanied stadium discussions. The plan remains a work-in-progress, but critics contend it's not receiving the full scrutiny it deserves. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/30_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 30 Mar 2004 12:04:00 -0600 Senate panel defeats death penalty bill A plan to reintroduce the death penalty in Minnesota was derailed on Wednesday when a Senate committee overwhelmingly voted to reject the proposal. The bill was modeled on an capital punishment proposal outlined by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The governor broached the subject last fall, in response to reports that a convicted Minnesota sex offender was suspected in the apparent abduction of college student Dru Sjodin. But now, Pawlenty says the proposal appears defeated for the year. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/24_khoom_deathpenalty/?refid=0 Wed, 24 Mar 2004 16:57:00 -0600 Stadium bill clears House committee despite tough questions Gov. Tim Pawlenty's stadium proposal has begun its journey through an uncertain legislative process, clearing its first committee hearing late Tuesday night. The House Local Government and Metropolitan Affairs Committee voted to advance the package to its next stop, but declined to give its full endorsement. And pointed questions by committee members indicate the plan will face many obstacles along its path. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/24_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Wed, 24 Mar 2004 07:56:00 -0600 Stadium opponents gird for one more battle Gov. Pawlenty's proposal to build two new stadiums for the Twins and the Vikings will have its first legislative hearing before a House committee on Tuesday afternoon. The teams, their lobbyists, and their assorted allies will be there to present their case. But so will the opponents. And while their numbers may have dwindled, those opponents have essentially won each of the previous rounds. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/23_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 23 Mar 2004 07:00:00 -0600 Pawlenty stadiums plan would have teams pay one-third the cost Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Monday presented a plan for new Twins and Vikings stadiums that would require team owners to pay about one-third of the project cost. Pawlenty's plan would authorize local governments to raise restaurant and lodging taxes. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/15_khoom_stadiumplan/?refid=0 Mon, 15 Mar 2004 17:49:00 -0600 Republicans, DFLers reluctant to give Pawlenty his cuts in human services Lawmakers have had a week to digest Gov. Tim Pawlenty's $160 million deficit-reduction plan, but few seem inclined to endorse it. Republican and Democratic lawmakers are finding it difficult to accept the governor's reductions in health care spending, and both sides of the aisle are floating alternative concepts. But Pawlenty, in turn, is unlikely to approve of what's percolating at the Legislature. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/12_khoom_budgettalk/?refid=0 Fri, 12 Mar 2004 10:24:00 -0600 Lawmakers forcing showdown with tribes over gambling Two Republican lawmakers say the state should outlaw video slot machines statewide unless the state's Native American tribes agree to share a portion of their casino revenues. Indian tribes are reacting negatively, calling the plan a form of legislative blackmail. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/03/03_khoom_slotmachines/?refid=0 Wed, 03 Mar 2004 14:38:00 -0600 Kerry rallies Democratic faithful in St. Paul Buoyed by the wind of 18 wins in 20 contests, John Kerry sailed into Minnesota on Wednesday even as his opponents focused on sinking his ship. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/24_khoom_kerry/?refid=0 Thu, 26 Feb 2004 08:09:00 -0600 Lottery audit reveals excessive spending A report from the Legislative Auditor's office criticizes the Minnesota Lottery for mismanagement and inefficiency. It recommends tighter controls over the agency's management. The evaluation also questions the lottery's relationship with the St. Paul-based public relations firm Media Rare. The findings come three weeks after Lottery Director George Andersen committed suicide. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/19_khoom_lotteryaudit/?refid=0 Thu, 19 Feb 2004 11:09:00 -0600 Lower DWI limit hits a snag The push for tougher drunk-driving laws at the Capitol may have hit a snag. The Senate last week overwhelmingly passed a bill that would lower the blood-alcohol threshold from the current .10 to .08. But leaders in the House say the lower standard could present a hardship to the cities and counties that would be charged with enforcing it. They say they'd prefer to delay the tighter standard for another three years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/16_khoom_dwiflap/?refid=0 Mon, 16 Feb 2004 17:02:00 -0600 Pawlenty's speech puts focus on gambling Gov. Pawlenty in his speech Thursday called for a re-examination of the 15-year-old gaming compacts that authorize the state's 11 American Indian tribes to operate casinos. The governor has long been an opponent of sanctioning new gambling facilities, but he's suggesting that a &quot;better deal&quot; could be negotiated with the tribes based on their current operations, perhaps one that requires them to share a portion of their gaming revenues with the state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/05_khoom_sosgambling/?refid=0 Thu, 05 Feb 2004 16:18:00 -0600 MPR poll: State split over use of death penalty A new poll shows Minnesotans evenly divided over Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to re-introduce the state death penalty. But the same poll also shows Minnesotans are fairly unified in their desire to crack down on the state's sexual offenders. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/02/04_khoom_crimepoll/?refid=0 Wed, 04 Feb 2004 00:01:00 -0600 Governor to push for return of death penalty to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is asking legislators to let Minnesota voters decide whether the state should re-introduce capital punishment in certain murder cases. Pawlenty first floated the idea after a repeat Minnesota sex offender was connected to the disappearance of college student Dru Sjodin. Pawlenty says, with proper safeguards, the death penalty would provide an ultimate punishment for the state's worst offenders. Opponents say the governor is moving the state in the wrong direction. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/27_khoom_deathpenalty/?refid=0 Tue, 27 Jan 2004 23:59:00 -0600 Commission narrows list of stadium proposals to four Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee has pared a list of competing proposals down to four contenders: two each for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. As expected, committee members selected locations in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul as possible sites for a Twins ballpark. Blaine and Eden Prairie are the two possibilities for the Vikings. But other crucial parameters, such as how the state might assist ballpark financing, remain controversial. And state officials and the two teams clearly disagree about how to proceed on that front. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/22_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 22 Jan 2004 09:01:00 -0600 Stadium financing: More of the same As policymakers and state officials pore over the details of 26 stadium ideas submitted Thursday, one thread emerges bright and clear -- aside from the plans that call for new gambling revenues, all the major proposals rely heavily on increased tax dollars to build new homes for the Twins and Vikings. And, as in past years, convincing lawmakers, citizens, and businesses to accept new taxes won't be an easy sell. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/16_khoom_stadiumfolo/?refid=0 Fri, 16 Jan 2004 16:52:00 -0600 Stadium committee awash in ballpark proposals More than two dozen cities, counties, and private citizens have pitched their ballpark solutions to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's Stadium Screening Committee. The governor solicited outside input to help him decide what role -- if any -- the state might play in financing new facilities for the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. The plans cover a range of sites across the metropolitan area, and offer funding options from local taxes to state dollars to casino revenues. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/16_khoom_stadiumplans/?refid=0 Fri, 16 Jan 2004 06:15:00 -0600 Johnson's post tips balance toward abortion opponents For the first time in at least a generation, the governor, the House leadership, and now the Senate leadership all publicly favor restrictions on abortion access. The selection Tuesday of Willmar DFLer Dean Johnson as Senate majority leader is being greeted enthusiastically by abortion opponents. But supporters of legal abortion say they're confident Johnson will remain fair and impartial during upcoming debates. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/14_khoom_johnsonfolo/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Jan 2004 17:17:00 -0600 Hottinger out as Senate DFL leader Senate DFLers have made a critical change in their leadership team only weeks before the start of the 2004 legislative session. Just one year after assuming the mantle of majority leader, John Hottinger of St. Peter has been voted out of that position and replaced by Dean Johnson of Willmar. DFLers say the move reflects a new unified front as they face a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled House. Observers say the switch highlights the difficult position Democrats face. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/14_khoom_hottingerout/?refid=0 Tue, 13 Jan 2004 17:20:00 -0600 Pawlenty proposes ag, environment, and zoo bonding Gov. Tim Pawlenty released another round of bonding proposals Monday, including $147 million to fund environmental initiatives and $18 million to boost agricultural loan programs. Pawlenty is also proposing $25 million for the Minnesota Zoo, for maintenance, construction and debt relief. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/12_khoom_morebonding/?refid=0 Mon, 12 Jan 2004 11:19:00 -0600 Pawlenty names Dan McElroy new chief of staff Gov. Tim Pawlenty has found a new chief of staff. Pawlenty announced Friday that state Finance Commissioner Dan McElroy will soon leave his current post and take the top spot on the governor's staff. The move was greeted with enthusiasm by those who say McElroy brings a reasoned, balanced approach to public policy. His detractors, however, say he's become increasingly partisan. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/09_khoom_chiefofstaff/?refid=0 Fri, 09 Jan 2004 16:29:00 -0600 Plan to cut homelessness released by governor Gov. Tim Pawlenty is offering a $20 million downpayment on what he says is an effort to eliminate chronic homelessness in Minnesota by 2010. Pawlenty says he'll ask lawmakers to borrow the funding during the upcoming legislative session, but critics of the administration say the governor's plan won't make up for spending cuts made last year as part of a multi-billion dollar deficit reduction plan. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/01/07_khoom_homeless/?refid=0 Wed, 07 Jan 2004 17:51:00 -0600 National Guard service: worth the sacrifice? Gov. Tim Pawlenty is back in Minnesota Wednesday after a two-day visit with National Guard troops keeping the peace in Bosnia. The 1,100 Minnesotans stationed there are the largest Minnesota deployment since World War II -- and are part of a new emphasis on using Guard members to shoulder the country's growing military obligations. That new reality has left some wondering if they can afford to make the sacrifice. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/17_khoom_bosnia4/?refid=0 Wed, 17 Dec 2003 10:56:00 -0600 Guard ensures peace in Bosnia by collecting weapons Gov. Tim Pawlenty returns to Minnesota Tuesday night after a brief trip to Bosnia. More than 1,000 Minnesota National Guard soldiers aren't quite as lucky. The Guard members are part of a multinational deployment assigned to enforce the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended Bosnia's bloody civil war. As part of their regular routine, Minnesota troops patrol the mountains along the former front lines, looking for illegal weapons and reassuring a doubtful population. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/16_khoom_bosnia3/?refid=0 Tue, 16 Dec 2003 11:34:00 -0600 Pawlenty visits massacre site Gov. Pawlenty on Monday visited the site of the worst European mass killing since the Nazi Holocaust. The governor is in Bosnia to visit Minnesota National Guard members stationed there on a peacekeeping mission. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/16_khoom_bosnia2/?refid=0 Mon, 15 Dec 2003 17:27:00 -0600 Pawlenty cheers Minnesota Guard troops in Bosnia Gov. Tim Pawlenty's trip to Bosnia continues Monday with a stop in Srebrenica, site of a 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims by Serbian nationalists. Pawlenty is visiting the country to meet with Minnesota National Guard troops stationed there to enforce the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that brought an end to the Bosnian civil war. Pawlenty's first day in Bosnia coincided with news of Saddam Hussein's capture in Iraq. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/15_khoom_bosnia/?refid=0 Mon, 15 Dec 2003 10:48:00 -0600 Pawlenty death penalty plan runs into early opposition Gov. Pawlenty's call for returning the death penalty to Minnesota is encountering stiff criticism from some who say the governor is trading on the publicity surrounding the disappearance last month of 22-year-old Dru Sjodin. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/04_khoom_deathpenalty2/?refid=0 Thu, 04 Dec 2003 12:13:00 -0600 Sjodin case spurs Pawlenty to push for death penalty The arrest of a Minnesota sex offender in the abduction of a North Dakota college student led Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call Tuesday for the death penalty in his state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/02_khoom_deathpenalty/?refid=0 Tue, 02 Dec 2003 15:30:00 -0600 Pawlenty raising national profile Minnesotans had grown used to seeing former Gov. Jesse Ventura in the national limelight. But they might not have expected Gov. Tim Pawlenty to draw much attention from the national press or Washington opinion leaders. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/12/01_khoom_pawlenty/?refid=0 Wed, 26 Nov 2003 11:14:00 -0600 Ventura's official portrait unveiled at state Capitol Former Gov. Jesse Ventura appears somber and reflective in his official gubernatorial portrait, unveiled Thursday. The painting will take its place on the ground floor of the Capitol building, joining the likenesses of Ventura's 37 predecessors in the governor's office. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/11/13_khoom_portrait/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Nov 2003 12:02:00 -0600 Grand jury indicts firm in campaign contribution probe A Florida-based insurance company and two of its principal officers have been indicted by a Minnesota grand jury for allegedly making illegal corporate campaign contributions in last year's gubernatorial contest. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/11/10_khoom_bankers/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Nov 2003 17:15:00 -0600 Cancer patient snared by state's budget-cutting Thousands of Minnesotans who depend on state-sponsored health insurance now face a significant gap in their coverage. As part of a $4.2 billion deficit-reduction package, lawmakers last spring capped outpatient benefits in the MinnesotaCare program at $5,000 for some families without children. House Democrats say the cap could devastate patients who require extensive treatments for chronic diseases. But Gov. Tim Pawlenty says other state programs can rise to fill the gaps. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/11/06_khoom_mncare/?refid=0 Thu, 06 Nov 2003 16:26:00 -0600 The rise and fall of third parties It's been 15 years since an American president was elected with more than 50 percent of the popular vote. Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, and an ensemble cast of lesser-known candidates have managed to deny majorities to both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Minnesota has provided arguably the most fertile ground for third-party candidates in recent years. Jesse Ventura of the Independence Party held the governor's office for four years, and the Green Party has won some local races in that state. But despite that slim fingerhold, third-party and independent candidates struggle for their infrequent victories. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/11/09_khoom_democracy/?refid=0 Mon, 03 Nov 2003 00:01:00 -0600 One year later, Wellstone's political effect difficult to calculate Sen. Paul Wellstone's supporters, admirers, and those who came to rely on his voice in the Senate say they're still grappling with the loss, and fighting to advance his agenda. But Wellstone was also a polarizing figure during his political career. He never won election to the Senate with more than 50-percent of the vote. And many of his critics said he was better at giving speeches than at passing bills. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/24_khoom_wellstone/?refid=0 Fri, 24 Oct 2003 11:22:00 -0500 Relief and regret over state workers' contract agreement State workers are expressing a mixture of relief and regret at a tentative two-year contract offer reached over the weekend. The agreement averts a strike, which seems welcomed by all sides. And although state officials say the deal provides fair and balanced compensation, state workers say they would like to have seen more. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/13_khoom_settlementfolo/?refid=0 Mon, 13 Oct 2003 16:49:00 -0500 State reaches tentative contract settlement with its workers State workers will have an opportunity this week to examine details of tentative two-year contract offers hammered out over the weekend between union officials and state negotiators. Union officials say they'll recommend that their members accept the offers, despite concerns that the proposals will increase the out-of-pocket health care costs of employees. Pawlenty administration officials, however, say the plans are fair and balanced -- and they say the agreements avoid the possibility of a state workers strike. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/12_khoom_settlement/?refid=0 Sun, 12 Oct 2003 12:29:00 -0500 Churches seek to overturn concealed-carry law More than two dozen religious organizations have asked a Ramsey County judge to overturn the state's new handgun-permitting law. The law requires local law enforcement officials to grant permits to carry weapons in public to anyone who meets certain qualifying criteria. The religious groups argue the law is unconstitutional and was passed by the Legislature inappropriately. Supporters of the new permitting process say the legal challenge is without merit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/07_khoom_gunlawsuit/?refid=0 Tue, 07 Oct 2003 16:13:00 -0500 State GOP boss indicted on alleged campaign violations; others wait for next shoe to drop State Republican officials have acknowledged that party chair Ron Eibensteiner has been indicted on charges he violated campaign finance rules. The Mower County attorney has been investigating campaign donations made by a Florida-based insurance company during last year's gubernatorial contest. Eibensteiner has denied any wrongdoing. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/10/03_khoom_eibensteiner/?refid=0 Fri, 03 Oct 2003 16:29:00 -0500 Minnesota may look north for cheaper prescription drugs Minnesota state government may soon join a growing line of seniors and others crossing into Canada for cheaper prescription drugs. Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he'll examine ways to reduce state health care expenses by taking advantage lower-priced medications available in other countries. The move puts him at odds with the Bush administration, which has steadfastly oppposed the importation of drugs, arguing it could expose consumer to unsafe products. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/25_khoom_drugs/?refid=0 Wed, 24 Sep 2003 17:12:00 -0500 Debate over possible state worker strike spills onto airwaves The debate over state employee wages and benefits has moved from the bargaining table to the airwaves. State workers are in the midst of voting on contract offers tendered by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration. Union leaders have urged members to reject the offers, arguing that they shift too many health care costs onto employees. A union-sponsored radio ad has been drawing the public's attention to the dispute. And now, a new spot has hit the air; this one questioning the patriotism of state workers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/18_khoom_workerad/?refid=0 Thu, 18 Sep 2003 17:35:00 -0500 Donor's gift to U stadium drive rekindles debate A potential multimillion-dollar pledge from a South Dakota banker has energized University of Minnesota boosters eager to bring Big Ten football back to campus. The contribution from T. Denny Sanford, 67, would be the largest single gift in the university's 152-year history. The news has revived talk of a Gophers-only stadium after a plan to build a joint facility for the university and the Minnesota Vikings unravelled last year. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/09/04_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 04 Sep 2003 17:00:00 -0500 Contract talks with state, unions break down The two largest state employees unions are recommending that their members reject a new contract proposal that state officials say is their best offer. Talks broke off early Thursday morning when the state and union negotiators failed to find agreement on how to structure health benefits. Union leaders say the plan will drive up out-of-pocket health care expenses. State officials say the increases will be modest given rising costs and the state's budget pinch. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/08/14_ap_statecontract/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Aug 2003 11:01:00 -0500 Hatch refuses to cooperate with GOP probe A behind-the-scenes feud between Gov. Tim Pawlenty and DFL Attorney General Mike Hatch spilled into the open on Wednesday when House Republicans called for an investigation of Hatch. In response Hatch released letters detailing sharp disagreements between his office and the Pawlenty administration over how to appoint an independent counsel to investigate possible campaign finance abuses. The spat is the latest round in an ongoing series of recriminations between DFL and GOP officials at the state Capitol. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/08/13_khoom_hatchgop/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Aug 2003 15:01:00 -0500 Pawlenty: Moderate or right-wing conservative? Two of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's most important assets are his winning smile and his easy disposition. Even his biggest critics say it's hard not to like him. But political opponents are quick to charge that behind the friendly demeanor lurks a radical agenda that is steering Minnesota off course. Pawlenty and his allies, however, point to crushing victories at the ballot box last year as evidence that their roadmap is exactly what Minnesotans want. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/08/11_khoom_rturnpawlenty/?refid=0 Sun, 10 Aug 2003 15:00:00 -0500 A conservative sweep There is change afoot in Minnesota. Long considered a safe state for Democrats, the state seemed to embrace a new politics last November when Republicans swept all but one of the statewide races, picked up a seat in Congress, and padded their majority in the state House. Just one legislative session later, the new GOP ascendancy is beginning to bear fruit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/08/11_khoom_rightturnagenda/?refid=0 Sun, 10 Aug 2003 15:00:00 -0500 Minnesota's Right Turn The election of November 2002 turned the bulk of government over to the Republican Party in Minnesota. Although most of the campaign focused on economic issues, GOP legislators were able to successfully pass a conservative social agenda, confident that their plans were consistent with what the state's voters were demanding. What is the impact of a liberal state becoming a conservative stronghold? http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/projects/2003/08/rightturn/?refid=0 Sun, 10 Aug 2003 12:01:00 -0500 Protesters and supporters greet Bush economic team Three of President George Bush's top economic advisors stopped in Minnesota Wednesday to promote the president's economic recovery package. They made appearances in Rochester, St. Paul, and Richfield. The trio highlighted tax cuts signed into law earlier this year -- and said the cuts will jumpstart a sluggish economy. But DFLers say after two and a half years with Bush in the White House, the country continues to lose jobs. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/30_khoom_cabinettour/?refid=0 Wed, 30 Jul 2003 16:40:00 -0500 DFLers pressure Pawlenty to release tax records Gov. Pawlenty has filed a new statement of economic interest with the state Campaign Finance board. He's also registered a now-defunct consulting business with the state's legal practices board. The new filings are an attempt to dispel controversies surrounding his use of a one-man consulting business to accept payments from a pay-phone company. But Democrats say the forms aren't enough. They're asking the governor to release his personal income tax statements. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/22_khoom_bamco/?refid=0 Mon, 21 Jul 2003 20:35:00 -0500 Pawlenty tries to diffuse Bamco controversy Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Friday sought to defuse some of the criticisms directed at his business history. On his weekly radio program and during a Minneapolis speech, the governor deflected questions about his ties to a telecommunications firm that's been penalized in three states. But Pawlenty's political opponents says the governor's answers outline a pattern of playing loose with the rules. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/18_khoom_ethics/?refid=0 Fri, 18 Jul 2003 13:20:00 -0500 As Democrats criticize, Pawlenty reveals additional telecom work Gov. Tim Pawlenty has acknowledged deeper ties to a Republican businessman who oversaw several telecommunications firms, one of which has been charged with defrauding customers in at least seven states. Pawlenty made his comments during a two-hour press conference on Tuesday that was meant to clarify Pawlenty's role in the controversy, which he maintains was minimal. At the same time, House Democrats say the governor's voting record as a state representative favored phone companies over consumers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/15_khoom_ethics/?refid=0 Wed, 16 Jul 2003 05:31:00 -0500 DFLers call for hearings into Pawlenty's ties to phone company A DFL state senator says she'll hold hearings on the role of Gov. Pawlenty and other prominent Minnesota Republicans in a Minneapolis based-telephone company that's been accused of cheating customers in seven states. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/07/14_khoom_newtel/?refid=0 Mon, 14 Jul 2003 14:25:00 -0500 Minnesota: Land of the fee The state's new fiscal year begins on July 1, free of any statewide tax increases. The no-new-tax budget was a key priority for Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration. But that doesn't mean state government will be starved for new revenues. New fees -- and increases in old ones -- will add hundreds of millions of dollars to state coffers over the next two years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/06/30_khoom_fees/?refid=0 Sun, 29 Jun 2003 14:43:00 -0500 Anti-gang unit spared for at least one more year The state Gang Strike Force will continue to operate for at least another year. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has announced that public safety officials have found funds for the program after its budget was virtually eliminated last month in a $4.2 billion deficit-reduction plan. Senate Democrats, however, say funding for the strike force was jeopardized only because Pawlenty himself refused to consider new taxes while resolving the state's financial shortfall. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/06/26_khoom_gangs/?refid=0 Thu, 26 Jun 2003 15:53:00 -0500 Democratic hopefuls make their cases Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean led off the parade of presidential hopefuls at a gathering of Democratic Party officials in St. Paul Friday. Six of the nine prominent candidates appeared, some in person and some via videoconference. All the candidates criticized Bush's handling of the economy, but the differences between them were also evident. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/06/20_khoom_dflers/?refid=0 Fri, 20 Jun 2003 18:00:00 -0500 With contracts set to expire, negotiators and state workers square off The state's current employee contracts expire at the end of this month, and negotiations between Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration and state workers are just heating up. The discussions are taking place under a tight budget, ratified as part of a $4.3 billion deficit reduction package in May. State officials say it's no secret they have limited resources to put on the bargaining table, but public employees say that doesn't mean they'll back down at the table. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/06/13_khoom_stateworkers/?refid=0 Fri, 13 Jun 2003 05:00:00 -0500 In wake of local aid cuts, some DFLers said to be ready to defect The 2003 special legislative session has gavelled to a close after the House and Senate completed work on $4.2 billion deficit reduction package. The last major budget item to pass was a tax bill that funds aids to local governments. The aid cuts proposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans, however, shook Senate DFLers and may have opened a rift in that caucus. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/30_khoom_lga/?refid=0 Fri, 30 May 2003 05:52:00 -0500 Special session snagged on bonding bill Legislative inaction has forced state lawmakers into at least one more day of budget wrangling as they struggle to erase a projected $4.2 billion deficit. But House and Senate leaders say they hope to break the impasse later today with final votes on both a health and human services package and a bonding bill that borrows money for state building projects. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/29_khoom_session29/?refid=0 Thu, 29 May 2003 09:02:00 -0500 House, Senate play cat and mouse with bonding bill One week into the special session, the Minnesota House has passed a transportation bill that could put as much as $900 million into road projects over the next four years. The bill would borrow for projects and use an advance of federal money, an approach criticized by Democrats as short-sighted. Senate DFL leaders say they won't take up the transportation bill until the House also passes a capital investment bill. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/28_mccalluml_transportation/?refid=0 Wed, 28 May 2003 11:04:00 -0500 Early-morning deal suggests end of special session is in sight Gov. Tim Pawlenty and legislative leaders have made a major breakthrough in budget negotations. Negotiators met late Sunday night and into Monday morning to craft agreements on transportation funding, aid payments to local governments, and state borrowing. Lawmakers are expected to tackle the final piece of the puzzle: the health and human services budget. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/26_khoom_deal/?refid=0 Mon, 26 May 2003 06:00:00 -0500 Senate approves Prairie Island nuke storage bill The Minnesota Senate has approved a plan that extends nuclear waste storage at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island plant. The proposal is meant to keep the facility operating through 2014, but has run into objections from environmental advocates. Critics say it lacks a strong commitment to renewable energy alternatives and provides no explicit role for lawmakers in future nuclear waste storage debates. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/23_khoom_nuke/?refid=0 Fri, 23 May 2003 10:40:00 -0500 Slow going in Legislature's special session State lawmakers have made only incremental progress towards completing a $4.2 billion deficit-reduction package. Legislators returned to the Capitol on Tuesday to begin a special session meant to resolve business left undone when the regular session ran out the clock Monday night. A state government finance bill is now on its way to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk, but at least six other funding measures await final legislative action. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/20_mccalluml_specialsession/?refid=0 Wed, 21 May 2003 05:34:00 -0500 Filibuster stalls Prairie Island nuke bill The Minnesota Legislature's regular session came to a close with a filibuster that blocked final action on expanding nuclear waste storage at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island plant. The power company is seeking to increase waste storage in order to keep the plant operating through the end of its current federal license in 2014. But a handful of Senate Democrats managed to stall action on a measure that they criticized as environmentally unsound. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/15_khoom_prairieisland/?refid=0 Tue, 20 May 2003 03:13:00 -0500 House votes down nuclear waste plan The Minnesota House has delivered a dramatic setback to plans for expanded nuclear waste storage at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear facility. Members voted 99-33 Thursday against the additional storage capacity, leaving the issue in legislative limbo with only four days left in the regular legislative session. Xcel officials say without extra storage space, the plant will need to shut down in 2007. But the House plan quickly unraveled just as it approached a final vote. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/16_khoom_nuclearwaste/?refid=0 Fri, 16 May 2003 10:10:00 -0500 Senate passes tax bill The Minnesota Senate on Tuesday approved more than $1 billion in new taxes to ease the state's budget crunch. The measure passed on a 35-to-31 party line vote with Democrats in support. The tax plan also contains funding provisions for K-12 education, and must now be reconciled with the no-new-taxes approach favored by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/13_khoom_tax/?refid=0 Tue, 13 May 2003 17:07:00 -0500 Senate votes to expand Prairie Island nuke storage The Minnesota Senate has approved a plan to increase nuclear waste storage at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island power plant. Early on Tuesday, the Senate voted 42-to-24 for a compromise plan that keeps the facility open for the next 10 years, but preserves legislative oversight of any operation beyond that horizon. The plan also increases investments in renewable energy and codifies an agreement between Xcel and the Prairie Island Indian Community situated adjacent to the facility. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/13_khoom_nukes/?refid=0 Tue, 13 May 2003 09:02:00 -0500 Patience running low as time winds down at Capitol Minnesota House Republicans say they're growing impatient with the slow pace of budget negotiations. With just over a week left before scheduled adjournment, GOP leaders in the House and Democrats who control the Senate remain deeply divided over how to erase a projected $4.2 billion deficit. The fault line lies over the contentious issue of taxes, with Republicans saying they'll stand by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and his pledge <i>not</i> to increase state taxes. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/09_khoom_taxbill/?refid=0 Fri, 09 May 2003 16:49:00 -0500 House passes tax bill Minnesota House Republicans say they've made good on their commitment to hold the line on new taxes. The House voted 70-63 Wednesday to approve a tax bill with no state tax increases. That sets GOP lawmakers up against the DFL-controlled Senate, which is contemplating more than $1 billion in income and cigarette tax hikes. The tax battle will be the key to resolving the overall budget debate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/07_khoom_taxbill/?refid=0 Wed, 07 May 2003 20:07:00 -0500 Poll shows support for Pawlenty's budget strategy A new poll shows most Minnesotans favor the direction set by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's no-new-taxes approach to budget-balancing. But the survey -- conducted for Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press -- also shows that when confronted with specific alternatives or tax proposals, significant majorities show a willingness to increase state revenues. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/05_khoom_pollbudget/?refid=0 Fri, 02 May 2003 17:00:00 -0500 Senate DFLers haven't backed off tax increase plan Senate Democrats began discussions Thursday on proposals for more than $1 billion in new taxes over the next two years. DFLers say the extra revenue is necessary to blunt the spending reductions outlined in proposals favored by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans. But Pawlenty says he'll stand by his pledge to reject any new tax increases, and a key DFL lawmaker says it's likely the governor will carry the day. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/01_khoom_taxes/?refid=0 Thu, 01 May 2003 16:14:00 -0500 Pawlenty tries for 'politics-free' aid distribution Gov. Tim Pawlenty has released new guidelines for distributing aid payments to cities across Minnesota. Administration officials say the new local government aid formula eliminates historical inequities in state assistance and focuses exclusively on a city's needs and resources. But city representatives say the formula isn't the point. While the distribution of aid may change, they argue the governor is also slashing the total amount of aid across the board, leaving municipal officials with few options. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/05/01_khoom_aid/?refid=0 Thu, 01 May 2003 05:40:00 -0500 House passes transportation, criminal justice budgets The Minnesota House has approved a transportation funding bill that injects more than $1 billion in new money for road projects over the next five years. The plan closely mirrors the proposal favored by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. But critics say it offers too little new cash. The body also approved spending reductions in the courts and criminal justice system. The two budget bills are the first to pass the House this year. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/29_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Apr 2003 10:04:00 -0500 Tolls for thee, Minnesota? In the next couple of years, Minnesotans could be paying tolls to use certain metropolitan highway lanes. State and federal lawmakers are considering plans to charge lane fees to relieve congestion and fund new road projects. The proposal is part of a mix of highway development and financing plans announced by Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration and legislators from both parties. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/24_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Thu, 24 Apr 2003 16:36:00 -0500 Senate transportation plan calls for higher gas tax Senate DFLers today are proposing increasing the state gas tax and license tab fees to funnel additional money into road projects and mass transit. The plan amounts to roughly twice the transportation funding favored by Gov. Tim Pawlenty and House Republicans. It also runs afoul of Pawlenty's pledge not to raise state taxes during his time in office. But supporters say the state's transportation needs demand new revenue, and they say they're hopeful the governor and his GOP allies can be persuaded. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/22_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Tue, 22 Apr 2003 16:37:00 -0500 New grad standards released while education budget is debated Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration briefs lawmakers Tuesday on a revised set of English and math standards meant to replace the Profile of Learning. The administration released the updated standards Monday, just as House lawmakers revealed a $12 billion education package that closely follows the governor's spending recommendations. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/14_khoom_edstandards/?refid=0 Tue, 15 Apr 2003 10:30:00 -0500 Senate DFL proposes more than $1 billion in new taxes In a direct challenge to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's no-new-tax pledge, Senate Democrats on Monday proposed a budget plan that would raise more than $1 billion from higher income and tobacco taxes. The proposal raises the income tax rate on those who earn more than $250,000 a year and adds $1 to the current 48 cents per-pack cigarette tax. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/07_khoom_dflbudget/?refid=0 Mon, 07 Apr 2003 16:47:00 -0500 State employee contracts approved, without same-sex benefits A bill is now on its way to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's desk that would ratify state employment contracts -- without providing benefits to same-sex partners of state workers. The House and Senate voted Thursday to strip those provisions from labor agreements that were initially negotiated in 2001, following a two-week strike. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/04_khoom_statecontracts/?refid=0 Fri, 04 Apr 2003 10:11:00 -0600 State-run casino plan derailed at Capitol State lawmakers on Tuesday dealt a significant blow to a proposed metropolitan casino to be operated jointly by the state and northern Indian tribes. The House Government Operations Committee voted 10-8 against the plan, making it unlikely the measure can pass this year. Representatives of the White Earth and Red Lake Indian tribes had stood to gain millions of dollars in gambling revenues from the project. But the state's other tribes viewed the plan as an encroachment on existing casinos. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/04/01_khoom_casino/?refid=0 Tue, 01 Apr 2003 16:29:00 -0600 Senate gives heave-ho to Pawlenty's health, higher ed budgets In the first votes testing parts of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget, two Senate committees on Thursday rejected his plans for the state's welfare and health programs and his proposals for higher education. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/27_khoom_budget/?refid=0 Thu, 27 Mar 2003 18:00:00 -0600 State-run casino idea dividing Native Americans A proposal for a state-run casino in the Twin Cities has divided Native American communities. The package is supported by the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa, who stand to share in millions of dollars of gambling revenues. But the state's other nine tribes say a new casino will eat into revenues they currently generate with their own gaming operations. The bill also faces opposition from lawmakers who say the state has no business in the gambling industry. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/25_ap_gambling/?refid=0 Tue, 25 Mar 2003 17:56:00 -0600 House committee approves expanded nuke storage at Prairie Island A bill to expand the storage of spent nuclear fuel at the Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear plant has cleared its first legislative hurdle. On Wednesday the House Regulated Industries Committee approved the measure on a 13-7 party-line vote, with Republicans in support. Xcel says without the additional capacity, the plan will be forced to shut down in 2007, depriving the state of a major source of electricity. But environmental advocates say the company should be weaned from a reliance on nuclear power and be required to develop renewable energy alternatives. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/20_khoom_nukes/?refid=0 Thu, 20 Mar 2003 12:43:00 -0600 Supporters, opponents spar over handgun bill The gun control debate at the state Capitol took several twists on Monday. Supporters of legislation to broaden the availability of firearm permits charged Senate DFL leaders with trying to sabotage their efforts by manipulating the committee process. But top Democrats say they're simply trying to encourage multiple viewpoints in order to refine the various proposals. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/17_khoom_guns/?refid=0 Mon, 17 Mar 2003 14:45:00 -0600 Pawlenty releases highway plan Gov. Tim Pawlenty has released a five-year transportation package that he says will jumpstart road and bridge projects across the state. The plan relies on borrowing $550 million for highway construction and seeks an equal amount in advance funds from the federal government. Critics say the plan is shortsighted and makes almost no allowances for public transit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/14_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Mar 2003 15:04:00 -0600 State employees rally against pay freeze More than 1,000 public employees converged on the state Capitol Thursday to demonstrate against proposed budget cuts and a plan to freeze public sector pay. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has fashioned a $4.2 billion deficit reduction package that relies heavily on spending reductions, and offers no new tax increases. Pawlenty has also proposed a wage freeze that would extend from state employees down to the city, county, and school district level. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/13_khoom_afscmeprotest/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Mar 2003 16:54:00 -0600 Commerce commissioner tells his side of insurance settlement A Democrat-led Senate committee on Monday began the first of what could be competing inquiries into whether the Commerce Department's handling of a $2 million settlement with a Florida insurance company was affected by a campaign contribution. At issue is whether the recent settlement with American Bankers Insurance Co. was lowered from a proposed $3.5 million fine that was discussed, but never finalized, under Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/10_khoom_bankershrng/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Mar 2003 17:14:00 -0600 Students' turn to complain about budget cuts A crowd of University of Minnesota students gathered at the state Capitol Thursday to voice their concerns about likely state budget cuts and increased tuition. The students arrived one day after university president Robert Bruininks delivered a similar message to lawmakers. But despite the warning of reduced programs and services, legislators say the current budget deficit means higher education should brace for cutbacks. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/06_khoom_students/?refid=0 Thu, 06 Mar 2003 17:00:00 -0600 DFLers say donation to GOP got insurance company off the hook Officials in Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration say there's no substance to reports that a Florida insurance company received favorable treatment in return for campaign contributions. The company -- American Bankers Insurance -- also denies any wrongdoing connected to its political donations. But Democratic leaders in the Senate say they'll press for an investigation into the matter. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/03/05_khoom_insurance/?refid=0 Wed, 05 Mar 2003 16:58:00 -0600 New Senate rule could bottle up controversial bills DFL leaders in the Senate are contemplating an obscure procedural change that critics say would present a roadblock to controversial social issues percolating in the Republican-led House. The change would make it much more difficult to dislodge a bill that's become ensnared in the committee process. And supporters of a wide array of conservative issues say it's a blatant attempt to stop certain bills from arriving for a vote in the full Senate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/25_khoom_senaterule/?refid=0 Tue, 25 Feb 2003 16:46:00 -0600 Bill would allow slot machines at Canterbury Park Lawmakers introduced legislation Monday to allow video gaming at the Canterbury Park racetrack in Shakopee. Canterbury already allows betting on horse races, and provides a card club for poker games. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/24_khoom_gambling/?refid=0 Mon, 24 Feb 2003 14:53:00 -0600 Poll: Minnesotans expect property tax increase in wake of budget cuts A new poll shows most Minnesotans are ready to accept the level of spending reductions outlined in Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget plan. Last week, Pawlenty released a deficit-reduction package that pruned back planned spending by almost $3 billion and offered no new tax increases. But the survey, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, also shows that majorities of respondents expect the cutbacks to fall hard on some Minnesotans. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/24_khoom_budgetcutpoll/?refid=0 Mon, 24 Feb 2003 00:01:00 -0600 Debating the public employee pay freeze Tucked into Gov. Tim Pawlenty's $4.2 billion deficit-reduction package is a proposal to freeze the wages of all public employees. The freeze would affect not just state workers, but everyone on the public payroll -- police, county health workers, teachers, and even professors in the state colleges and universities system. Administration officials say the plan is a tool to keep a lid on spending during difficult budget times. But union officials say the plan erodes the collective bargaining process. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/21_khoom_payfreeze/?refid=0 Fri, 21 Feb 2003 00:00:00 -0600 Pawlenty rebuffs angry city officials Gov. Tim Pawlenty is accusing local government officials of scare-mongering in order to preserve their state funding. As part of a $4.2 billion deficit-reduction package, Pawlenty suggested cutting aid to cities and counties by more than 20 percent. The governor says said local officials are exaggerating the impact those reductions might have. But supporters of the state aid say Pawlenty isn't telling the complete story. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/19_khoom_morelga/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Feb 2003 14:46:00 -0600 Cities hard hit by Pawlenty budget Local government officials across the state say they're concerned that Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget proposals will lead to cuts in public safety or property tax increases or both. As part of Pawlenty's plan to erase a $4.2 billion deficit projected over the next two years, the governor has suggested cutting state aid to cities and counties. Administration officials say it's a simple matter of spreading the budget burden evenly. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/18_khoom_budgetlga/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Feb 2003 05:45:00 -0600 Local leaders blast recommendation to cut aid to cities Local government officials and some lawmakers are objecting to the suggestion that cities are squandering state aid payments on unnecessary services. A report from Republican State Auditor Pat Awada concluded that local government aid could be trimmed by 43 percent without affecting essential programs or prompting local property tax increases. But officials from a cross-section of Minnesota cities told lawmakers on Thursday that the auditor's report doesn't present the full picture. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/13_khoom_lga/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Feb 2003 16:35:00 -0600 Tighter telemarketing restrictions face tough sledding at Capitol An attempt to tighten restrictions on telemarketers is drawing intense criticism from Minnesota's business interests. Last year, lawmakers created a &quot;Do Not Call&quot; list, meant to block unwanted telephone solicitations. Although the list went into effect last month, some legislators think too many calls will slip through. But opponents of tougher limits say it will cost the economy in jobs and growth. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/10_khoom_donotcall/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Feb 2003 17:21:00 -0600 Plan filed to overturn nuke waste restrictions at Prairie Island A group of lawmakers on Wednesday outlined a proposal to to extend the operational life of the Prairie Island nuclear power plant. Under a 1994 agreement between the state and Northern States Power -- now Xcel Energy -- the utility was restricted in its ability to store spent nuclear fuel at the Prairie Island facility. The new proposal would scrap those limitations. And it's raised concerns among environmentalists and a neighboring Indian tribe. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/02/05_khoom_prairieisland/?refid=0 Wed, 05 Feb 2003 17:14:00 -0600 The ethanol debate The House is set to take up a budget-balancing plan Monday that preserves most of the state's ethanol payments. Gov. Tim Pawlenty's suggestion that the subsidies should be eliminated to balance the current budget deficit met with cries of protest from farmers and producers of the corn-based fuel. Critics of the program say ethanol producers would survive without state assistance, but supporters say profits vary from year to year and plant to plant. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/27_khoom_ethanol/?refid=0 Sun, 26 Jan 2003 17:28:00 -0600 With ethanol subsidy restored, House budget-cutting plan headed for floor debate The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday night approved a budget-balancing plan that tracks closely with the priorities outlined by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The $468 million deficit-reduction package now heads to the House floor where the Republican majority anticipates easy passage. But provisions of the plan have upset state employees unions and advocates for the state's steel industry. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/23_scheckt_housebudget/?refid=0 Fri, 24 Jan 2003 09:30:00 -0600 Budget cut reaction: It's only a warm-up Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to bridge the state's current $356 million deficit has touched off a chorus of protest from some corners of the Capitol. One of the larger items on the chopping block is the state's subsidy to ethanol producers, which is slated for complete elimination for the remainder of the biennium. Higher education, state agencies, and a business tax break would also suffer. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/13_khoom_budgetreax/?refid=0 Tue, 14 Jan 2003 17:20:00 -0600 Proponents of increased gas tax counting on groundswell of support The chair of the Senate Transportation Finance Committee has dusted off last year's plan to boost the state gas tax by pennies on the gallon, but despite support from key legislative leaders, the proposal is likely to meet stiff resistance from Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The new administration has pledged to veto state tax increases of any kind. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/13_khoom_transportation/?refid=0 Mon, 13 Jan 2003 16:30:00 -0600 First battle at Capitol is over terrorism Before the opening gavel of the 2003 legislative session, lawmakers were already testing their political messages. House DFLers Tuesday floated a pair of themes linking state assistance to cities and counties with terrorism preparedness. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/07_khoom_terrorbill/?refid=0 Tue, 07 Jan 2003 16:29:00 -0600 Ventura closes out his term Gov. Jesse Ventura held the final news conference of his four-year term Friday, appointing two new judges and taking a few last swipes at the news media. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/03_khoom_lastjesse/?refid=0 Fri, 03 Jan 2003 12:10:00 -0600 Budget woes will make easing transportation gridlock difficult Major transportation initiatives have been stalled at the state Capitol for the last few years, leading to what some advocates say is a near crisis situation on Minnesota's roads and buses. During the campaign for governor, Republican candidate Tim Pawlenty promised that would change under his leadership. But then came the news of the state's whopping $4.5 billion projected deficit. The deficit -- and Pawlenty's pledge not to raise taxes -- complicate the debate over transportation funding. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2003/01/03_khoom_transpopreview/?refid=0 Fri, 03 Jan 2003 05:00:00 -0600 Legislature must balance budget with eye on Pawlenty's pledge If voters knew one thing about Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty it was this: under no circumstances, he said, would he raise state taxes. Now, Gov.-elect Pawlenty is facing a $4.5 billion budget deficit over the next two years, far bigger than most had anticipated. Pawlenty says the unexpected size of the shortfall hasn't diminished his resolve to stand tough on taxes. But critics say his pledge could damage the state's long-term prospects. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200212/31_khoom_taxespreview/?refid=0 Tue, 31 Dec 2002 11:05:00 -0600 Jesse and the Independence Party Jesse Ventura's election four years ago was remarkable not just for the flamboyant individual Minnesotans picked, but for the party he represented. Ventura hitched a ride to the governor's office with Ross Perot's Reform Party and oversaw its rebirth as the Independence Party. But even members of his own party say he did little of the day-to-day work necessary to capitalize on his electoral success. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200212/19_khoom_ipwithoutjesse/?refid=0 Thu, 19 Dec 2002 17:00:00 -0600 The days of Jesse The curtain falls on Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration in January, bringing to a close Minnesota's brief experiment with three-party government. Four years ago, Ventura took Minnesota and the nation by surprise, delivering an upset victory that few political observers had predicted. And very little that followed was predictable, either. The Ventura years were marked by some notable policy successes. But they're likely to be most remembered for the governor's frequent flamboyance, his occasional outbursts, and his constant celebrity. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200212/16_khoom_ventura/?refid=0 Sun, 15 Dec 2002 17:00:00 -0600 Vikings and Gophers at stadium impasse Plans for a football stadium to be shared by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Vikings hit a snag when Vikings officials rejected a proposed on-campus site. The setback comes just as a design study is due to the legislature. It puts a partnership between the university and the Vikings on hold. The plan for a joint-facility would have been unique in the NFL and some say for a good reason: professional and collegiate sports don't necessarily mix. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/28_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Nov 2002 14:00:00 -0600 Ventura releases report card on performance Gov. Jesse Ventura says he's pleased with a new report card that gives his administration an average score of seven out of 10 on his key initiatives. Shortly after taking office, Ventura unveiled his &quot;Big Plan.&quot; Monday's &quot;Big Accounting&quot; finds significant success on tax reform, transit, and trade promotion. But lawmakers say they governor could have been more effective if he'd developed better relations with legislators. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/25_khoom_bigplan/?refid=0 Mon, 25 Nov 2002 10:15:00 -0600 Doing more with less Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty says state government has already demonstrated it can increase productivity without consuming more tax dollars. He singled out the state Driver and Vehicle Services agency as an example for doing more with less. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/14_khoom_pawlenty/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Nov 2002 15:21:00 -0600 Pawlenty names Weaver to head transition team Gov.-elect Tim Pawlenty is taking the first steps towards building his new administration. Pawlenty has announced that Public Safety commissioner Charlie Weaver will lead the effort to recruit the agency heads and commissioners necessary to run state government. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/08_khoom_transition/?refid=0 Fri, 08 Nov 2002 17:17:00 -0600 Democrats confront new political geography DFL lawmakers have two new leaders. Senate Democrats picked John Hottinger of St. Peter to replace outgoing Majority Leader Roger Moe. Moe stepped down from the Senate to pursue an unsuccessful bid for governor this year. And House DFLers have selected St. Paul Rep. Matt Entenza to serve as Minority Leader. Both caucuses saw a significant loss of seats in Tuesday's elections, but Democrats say they'll regroup to confront the new political geography. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/08_khoom_leadership/?refid=0 Fri, 08 Nov 2002 14:25:00 -0600 White House visits boost Coleman campaign Laura Bush stumped for Republican candidates Saturday night in Eagan. The first lady appeared with most of the Republican candidates for statewide office and, in particular, was the highlight to a busy day of campaigning by Senate candidate Norm Coleman. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/03_khoom_coleman/?refid=0 Sun, 03 Nov 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Pawlenty elected governor Republican House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty has won his bid to be Minnesota's next governor. Unofficial returns show Pawlenty leading DFL rival Roger Moe 45 to 36 percent. Independence Party candidate Tim Penny was trailing a distant third with 16 percent of the vote. The Green Party's Ken Pentel finished with just over 2 percent. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/06_khoom_gov/?refid=0 Sun, 03 Nov 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Tight race for governor heads into last weekend The four major-party gubernatorial candidates are returning to their core campaign themes in the final days of the election. Republican Tim Pawlenty, DFLer Roger Moe, Independence Party candidate Tim Penny, and Green Party nominee Ken Pentel spread across the state Friday to deliver their messages as they begin the last weekend of campaigning. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200211/01_khoom_gov/?refid=0 Fri, 01 Nov 2002 12:00:00 -0600 With time running out, candidates for governor pick up the pace The Minnesota gubernatorial race is reviving after going dormant in the wake of Sen. Paul Wellstone's death</a> last week. The four major party candidates for governor say despite the turmoil in the Senate contest, they hope to keep the governor's race fresh in the minds of voters. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/30_khoom_govrace/?refid=0 Wed, 30 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0600 DFL files suit over ballot questions The state DFL Party Tuesday filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court asking it to intervene in the balloting confusion caused by Sen. Paul Wellstone's death last week. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/29_khoom_ballotsuit/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Officials try to sort out ballot confusion Minnesota elections officials are still sorting out polling details in the wake of DFL Sen. Paul Wellstone's death last week. Democratic Attorney General Mike Hatch advised county auditors to continue issuing absentee ballots with Wellstone's name, despite pleas by DFL officials to wait until a new nominee has been identified. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/28_khoom_ballots/?refid=0 Mon, 28 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0600 The life of Paul Wellstone The crash of Paul Wellstone's chartered aircraft in Eveleth silenced one of the most original voices in national and Minnesota politics. Paul Wellstone died as he approached the final full week of campaigning for a third term in the U.S. Senate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/25_khoom_wellstoneobit/?refid=0 Fri, 25 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 The life of Paul Wellstone The crash of Paul Wellstone's chartered aircraft in Eveleth silenced one of the most original voices in national and Minnesota politics. Paul Wellstone died as he approached the final full week of campaigning for a third term in the U.S. Senate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/25_khoom_wellstoneobit/?refid=0 Fri, 25 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Gubernatorial candidates stick to their scripts With the election just two weeks away, Minnesota's major-party gubernatorial candidates are scrambling to pick up the state's remaining undecided voters. The candidates met Monday night for a televised debate on KSTP. Recent polls show a virtual dead heat between Republican Tim Pawlenty, DFLer Roger Moe, and Independence Party nominee Tim Penny. But each played it fairly safe, sticking to his campaign's familiar themes and avoiding dramatic shifts that could fracture his base of supporters. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/22_khoom_govdebate/?refid=0 Tue, 22 Oct 2002 15:00:00 -0500 Profile: Secretary of State race Minnesota's only statewide Republican office-holder is running for re-election this year. Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer is facing challengers on three fronts, including DFLer Buck Humphrey, Independence Party candidate Dean Alger, and Green Party nominee Andrew Koebrick. The race isn't generating as much attention as the governor's contest or the tight U.S. Senate race, but the four secretary of state candidates say the match-up is crucial to the future administration of the state's elections. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/21_khoom_sos/?refid=0 Mon, 21 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Pawlenty accepts campaign finance violation ruling Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Pawlenty has now accepted full responsibility for campaign practices that a state review board found illegal. The decision could represent a substantial setback for Pawlenty, who also announced he would temporarily suspend television ads while his campaign assesses its options. But Pawlenty vows he'll vigorously press the campaign until the end. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/11_khoom_pawlenty/?refid=0 Fri, 11 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Gubernatorial issue: Stadium The excitement around the Minnesota Twins is generating new interest in ballpark plans, and the issue figures to resurface next year when a new governor is sworn in. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200210/08_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 08 Oct 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura meets Castro Gov. Jesse Ventura will broadcast his weekly radio show from Havana on Friday. Ventura is traveling in Cuba as part of the U.S. Food and Agribusiness Exhibition, which he officially opened during a ceremony with Cuban President Fidel Castro on Thursday. Ventura also directed Castro to a livestock exhibit set up by Minnesota farmers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/27_khoom_cuba27/?refid=0 Fri, 27 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura begins final foreign journey as governor Gov. Jesse Ventura is spending the next three days participating in the U.S. Food & Agribusiness Exhibition in Havana. The governor and leaders from several prominent Minnesota companies say the island nation presents a new market for the state's farmers, but Ventura's visit has drawn criticisms from Bush administration officials who say he's only lending legitimacy to Fidel Castro's government. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/25_khoom_cuba1/?refid=0 Wed, 25 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Three-way tie in race for governor The governor's race is locked in a virtual three-way tie between DFLer Roger Moe, Republican Tim Pawlenty, and Independence Party candidate Tim Penny. A new poll from Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press shows the three clumped tightly together as the campaigns head into the final two months of the election. Green Party candidate Ken Pentel trailed a distant fourth, and is in danger of failing to maintain major party status for the Greens. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/17_khoom_govpoll/?refid=0 Tue, 17 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Tone of governor's race sharpens The tone of this year's gubernatorial debate appears to be sharpening. The four major-party endorsees met Thursday night at a forum sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the League of Women Voters. The debate comes just two days after each candidate easily overcame a primary challenge. And now, each is drawing clearer distinctions between himself and his opponents. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/13_khoom_govdebate/?refid=0 Fri, 13 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Profile: Roger Moe For the last 22 years, DFL Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe has run Minnesota's Senate. He has held that position longer - by far - than any lawmaker in state history. But this year, he'll step down. Or step up, if he has his way, into the governor's office. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/12_khoom_moeprofile/?refid=0 Thu, 12 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Profile: Tim Penny Former DFL Congressman Tim Penny gave Minnesota's political pot a good stir over the summer when he threw his lot in with Gov. Jesse Ventura and the Independence Party. Penny's decision to seek the party's gubernatorial nomination came on the heels of Ventura's own decision not to seek re-election and immediately shifted the dynamics in this year's governor's race. Although he was the last major party hopeful to jump into the race, all signs indicate Penny is the frontrunner. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/12_khoom_pennyprofile/?refid=0 Thu, 12 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 McGaa ousted from Senate race; legislators pitch shutout Primary voters on Tuesday winnowed the field of candidates heading into November's general election. Most of the major parties' endorsed candidates easily held of primary challenges, but in the Green Party Senate race, Ray Tricomo defeated endorsee Ed McGaa. And DFL State Treasurer Carol Johnson outpolled Democratic endorsee Gregory Gray for the state auditor nomination. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200209/11_khoom_primaryresults/?refid=0 Wed, 11 Sep 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Baseball strike could spell end of stadium effort Another baseball strike -- the 9th in 30 years -- could derail the flickering effort at the Capitol to build a new stadium for the Minnesota Twins. All four of the state's major-party-endorsed gubernatorial candidates say a work stoppage would diminish the drive for a new ballpark. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/29_khoom_strikestadium/?refid=0 Thu, 29 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Pawlenty leads money race Republican candidate for governor Tim Pawlenty has taken the lead in this year's money race. Among the four major party gubernatorial endorsees, Pawlenty has the most cash-on-hand as of last week. And in just over a month, Independence Party candidate Tim Penny has surged into second place ahead of DFLer Roger Moe. The Green Party's Ken Pentel rounds out the list. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/27_khoom_govmoney/?refid=0 Tue, 27 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Candidates debate commuter rail The four major parties' endorsed gubernatorial candidates met Tuesday to make their pitches to metropolitan business leaders. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/13_khoom_bizdebate/?refid=0 Tue, 13 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 McGaa officially kicks off Senate campaign Green Party candidate Ed McGaa officially launched his bid to unseat incumbent DFL Sen. Paul Wellstone. McGaa hasn't had the same visibility as Wellstone or GOP challenger Norm Coleman, but he says his military record and environmental sensitivity will win voters. Some progressive activists, however, fear McGaa's candidacy will drain votes from Wellstone. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/05_khoom_mcgaa/?refid=0 Mon, 05 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Candidates for governor spar in televised debate The four endorsed major party gubernatorial candidates met for their first televised debate. The forum was sponsored by Twin Cities Public Television, and moved from education to transportation to budget issues. It contained few surprises, but each hopeful took the chance to set himself apart from his opponents. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200208/01_khoom_govdebate/?refid=0 Thu, 01 Aug 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Wellstone paints Coleman with a 'big business' brush On the day President Bush signed into law new corporate accountability legislation, the issue is heating up Minnesota's political landscape. DFL Senator Paul Wellstone and GOP challenger Norm Coleman traded charges that each is accepting contributions -- directly or indirectly -- from firms under investigation for accounting irregularities. The finger-pointing comes as Coleman begins a two-day swing through northern Minnesota to promote his views on natural resource management. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/30_khoom_colemanwellstone/?refid=0 Tue, 30 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Republican senators defect to Independence Party Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny has picked state Sen. Martha Robertson, R-Minnetonka, as his running mate. Robertson says she's switching to the IP in order to present a centrist alternative to Minnesota voters. Her announcement comes on the same day that another Republican senator -- Sheila Kiscaden of Rochester -- bucked the GOP for the Independence Party. But Republican officials say they're not worried the announcements represent any sort of trend. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/09_khoom_ip/?refid=0 Tue, 09 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Although hospitalized, Ventura carrying out 'light duties' Gov. Jesse Ventura is expected to spend a second night in the hospital while doctors monitor his condition. Ventura checked in to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale Tuesday afternoon after physicians discovered a blood clot in one of his lungs. The condition is a potentially serious one, but Ventura's office says he remains in a stable, upbeat mood and hopes to return to work next week. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/09_mccalluml_venturahealth/?refid=0 Tue, 09 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Now an 'official' candidate, Coleman opens fire on Wellstone over taxes Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman officially filed as a candidate to unseat DFL incumbent Paul Wellstone. And Coleman wasted no time drawing distinctions between the two on tax and spending issues. Coleman criticized Wellstone for obstructing attempts to ease the federal tax burden. The senator's camp fired back, saying Coleman had distorted Wellstone's record on the issue to gain political points. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200207/02_khoom_colemantax/?refid=0 Tue, 02 Jul 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Abortion - front and center in Penny campaign Former First District Congressman Tim Penny announced Thursday he's leaving the DFL to run under the Independence Party banner for governor. Penny is positioning himself as a centrist candidate - and in so doing is already attracting criticisms from both sides of the political spectrum. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/28_khoom_pennyjumps/?refid=0 Fri, 28 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Penny launches gubernatorial bid; opponents ready to attack Former congressman Tim Penny said Thursday he is leaving the Democratic Party to run for governor on the Independence Party ticket, a move encouraged by retiring Gov. Jesse Ventura. But Penny will face a challenge for the IP nomination. And if he succeeds there, he'll face a crowded field in November. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/27_khoom_penny/?refid=0 Thu, 27 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 The Ventura chronicles Ventura's decision not to run again sent shockwaves through the state's political circles and beyond. Ventura's decision brings to a close another chapter in a colorful life that included stints in the U.S. Navy, as a pro-wrestler, action movie star, and suburban mayor. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/18_khoom_venturahistory/?refid=0 Tue, 18 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura wraps up China visit Gov. Jesse Ventura is returning home to Minnesota, after a week in China. Ventura and some 100 government and business leaders have spent the last week in Beijing and Shanghai drumming up support for Minnesota goods and services. The governor and members of the delegation are calling the trip an unqualified success, although most agree the dividends won't be immediately apparent. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/14_khoom_day6/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura wrapping up trade mission; visits with Gore Gov. Jesse Ventura is beginning the last day of his China trade mission. Ventura is wrapping up his week-long promotion of Minnesota products and services. And as the mission comes to a close, the governor and the business delegates accompanying him got a word of encouragement from former Vice President Al Gore. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/13_khoom_day5/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 On to Shanghai Gov. Jesse Ventura is once again on the move. He's heading from Beijing, China, to Shanghai for the next leg of his week-long Chinese trade mission. Earlier, Ventura sat down with top-level Chinese government officials to lay out a road map for further economic cooperation between Minnesota and China. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/11_khoom_day3/?refid=0 Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura honored at Great Hall of the People Gov. Jesse Ventura was honored at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, last night. The event was part of the governor's week-long business development mission in China. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/10_khoom_day2/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura visits the Great Wall on China visit's first day Gov. Jesse Ventura has finished his first full day in China. Ventura is visiting Beijing and Shanghai this week to promote Minnesota goods and services. But he began his trip Sunday morning - Beijing time - with a visit to the country's most visible attraction: the Great Wall. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/09_khoom_day1/?refid=0 Sun, 09 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura: No talk of human rights during trade mission Gov. Jesse Ventura is heading for a week-long trade mission to China. Roughly 100 government and business leaders will join Ventura to help promote Minnesota products and services in the world's most populous country. The delegation is believed to be the largest ever assembled by a state government. While it's billed as a trade mission, some are pressing Ventura to carry an additional message on human rights. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200206/07_khoom_china/?refid=0 Fri, 07 Jun 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Arts organizations take major hit in bonding bill vetoes Gov. Jesse Ventura on Wednesday vetoed dozens of projects, cutting a $979 million capital improvements bill by more than one-third. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/22_mccalluml_bonding/?refid=0 Wed, 22 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Vikings, Twins pick apart stadium bill While Gov. Jesse Ventura ponders whether to accept a Twins ballpark bill now sitting on his desk, fallout from the last-minute deal continues to accumulate. Vikings owner Red McCombs says he's disappointed a football stadium was given only cursory treatment, and he now says he'll explore options to sell or relocate the franchise. Meanwhile, Twins president Jerry Bell says the team will push to have a roof added to a ballpark. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/20_khoom_stadiumfolo/?refid=0 Mon, 20 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Session 2002: It's a wrap The 82nd state legislative session will officially end Monday after the Senate returns to wish its departing members farewell. The House completed its business and adjourned early Sunday morning after both bodies put the finishing touches on this year's legislative business. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/20_khoom_wrap/?refid=0 Mon, 20 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Legislature passes stadium bill After six years of struggle, a Minnesota Twins stadium bill is headed for Gov. Jesse Ventura's desk. The plan calls for a $120 million upfront private contribution towards a $330 million ballpark. But the push to build a ballpark is far from over. Twins officials say serious challenges remain, and west-metro officials say the bill as drafted stacks the deck against a Minneapolis ballpark. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/19_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Sun, 19 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Lawmakers are close to budget deal House and Senate negotatiors will return to the bargaining table Monday, hoping to remove the last stumbling block to a resolution of the state's budget deficit. Lawmaker met over the weekend and hammered out a deal to cover the remaining $439 million projected shortfall, but have deadlocked over how to replace the state's reserve funds - most of which were drained to balance the budget. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/12_scheckt_budget/?refid=0 Sun, 12 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Cheney raises campaign cash for Kennedy Vice President Dick Cheney has helped 2nd District Congressman Mark Kennedy bring in almost $250,000 for his re-election bid. Cheney spoke at a Minneapolis fundraiser, in support of Kennedy, who will run for re-election in a newly constituted and more suburban 6th District. But the event was marked by Democratic complaints that Kennedy should have been in Washington where the House was considering efforts to save the Crusader artillery program, a program that employs 800 Minnesotans. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/10_khoom_cheney/?refid=0 Fri, 10 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Lawmakers vow renewed effort to direct more money toward resources A proposal to boost spending on natural resources preservation may be on the fast track for approval at the Legislature. Key lawmakers have recently rallied around a plan to dedicate a portion of the sales tax to a natural resources fund. They're predicting the plan could go to voters for final approval on the November ballot. But some say the plan would siphon important dollars away from other state functions. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200205/02_khoom_salestax/?refid=0 Thu, 02 May 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Campaign 2002 Profile: Becky Lourey DFL delegates from across the state will gather this weekend to endorse a gubernatorial candidate for the fall elections. Three major candidates have emerged - State Auditor Judi Dutcher, Sen. Becky Lourey, and Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe. This year's convention is attracting increased attention because all three candidate have agree to abide by the decision of delegates. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/30_khoom_lourey/?refid=0 Tue, 30 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Theatrics takes center stage at Capitol Budget talks at the state Capitol still show no sign of progress and could detoriate even further. On Wednesday, House and Senate leaders staged dueling press conferences to point blame at each other. And GOP leaders say if resolution isn't in hand by the end of the week, there's likely to be no compromise until next month. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/11_khoom_showbiz/?refid=0 Thu, 11 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura - waiting for a better offer? Gov. Jesse Ventura may be inching closer to a running for re-election this year. Ventura said Tuesday that until he says otherwise, Minnesotans should consider him a candidate for governor. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/10_khoom_jesseplans/?refid=0 Wed, 10 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0500 Stadium plan begins to unravel The Minnesota Twins have told lawmakers that they - or potential new owners - won't be able to make the upfront contributions expected under a stadium plan being considered at the state Capitol. Team officials say they support the framework of the financing plan, but would like more flexibility in the details. But lawmakers say they need specifics before they can sign off on any deals. And the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota floated a financing plan of their own. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/05_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Fri, 05 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Twins attorney issues new demands as ballpark bill advances As a bill for a new baseball stadium limped to its next stage Wednesday, the lawyer in charge of selling the Minnesota Twins forwarded an 18-point list of "necessary changes" the team wants. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200204/03_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Wed, 03 Apr 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Enthusiam for stadium bill wanes Several key supporters of a new Twins ballpark say a stadium plan embraced by state lawmakers may be more difficult to enact than previously envisioned. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/28_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Stadium bill passes crucial House test The Minnesota Twins have taken a major step towards realizing their ballpark dreams. The Minnesota House voted 80-52 in favor of stadium legislation that requires little direct funding from the state, but could raise taxes in local communities to help pay for a new ballpark. The plan must now be reconciled with a Senate version passed earlier this month before being sent to Gov. Jesse Ventura. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/25_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Mon, 25 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Twins gain victory as stadium plan advances The Minnesota Twins are celebrating a House committee's approval of new ballpark legislation. The House Ways and Means committee voted 22-6 in favor of a bill modelled closely on a financing plan offered by Gov. Jesse Ventura last week. The plan envisions a limited role for the state's contribution, but the version approved in committee would give a host community the option of raising local taxes to help fund the project. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/21_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 21 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Suburbs get more clout from new plan A court panel's redistricting plan would shift the split of Minnesota's congressional districts to five urban and three rural. The shift would better represent the state's population over the next decade. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/19_khoom_redistricting/?refid=0 Tue, 19 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Johnson retirement may signal declining political power for rural Minnesota State Sen. Doug Johnson, DFL-Tower, has announced that he's stepping down after more than 30 years at the Legislature. Johnson currently chairs the Senate Finance Committee, but made his biggest mark during more than two decades as the Taxes Committee chair. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/18_khoom_dougjohnson/?refid=0 Mon, 18 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Feds drop a tax bomb on Minnesota The budget-balancing act at the state Legislature has just gotten a little trickier. The federal economic stimulus package enacted last week could swell Minnesota's deficit by another $240 million. Tax breaks contained in the federal law could translate into smaller state revenues as well http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/15_khoom_fedtax/?refid=0 Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura gets into stadium game Gov. Jesse Ventura on Friday proposed letting the Twins use the state's credit card and other government perks to finance a $330 million ballpark, but the team would be on the line for most of the cost. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/15_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Fri, 15 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 After debate and drama, Senate passes stadium bill The state Senate debated for more than six hours before passing a stadium bill on a 37-30 vote. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/13_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 House, Senate far apart on 'phase two' budget fix House Republicans have unveiled their plans for clearing up the remaining $439 million deficit projected for the current budget cycle. The package relies on more cuts to state programs and siphoning off dollars from the state's tobacco endowments. The plan diverges significantly from a first stab made by Senate DFLers last week. And Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration say both plans are politically motivated and leave long-term problems unaddressed. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/12_khoom_phasetwo/?refid=0 Tue, 12 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 House stadium bill relies on newspaper, restaurant taxes A bill using newspaper and restaurant taxes to pay for a new Twins stadium squeaked through a House committee Tuesday, although both revenue sources would be subject to referendums. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/12_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 12 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Twins stadium goes to Senate floor A plan to fund a new Twins ballpark, and possibly a Vikings stadium, is on its way to the full Senate for consideration. On a 17-10 vote the Senate Tax Committee approved the measure, which draws on user fees and a variety of specialized taxes to finance the plan. The legislation also requires a referendum before the facility's host community could impose local sales taxes to support construction. Even as the package is picking up steam, however, it's getting mixed reactions from the teams that would benefit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/08_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Fri, 08 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura objects to budget cuts Gov. Jesse Ventura says a bipartisan deficit reduction plan enacted over his objections could force the closure of the Governor's Residence in St. Paul. Ventura has criticized the budget-balancing bill for hitting state agencies particularly hard, and he says cuts to the governor's security budget could mean lights out for the Summit Avenue residence. But lawmakers say the cuts they enacted shouldn't require closing the mansion. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/01_khoom_budget/?refid=0 Fri, 01 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Gubernatorial candidates hold first debate Four of the leading candidates in this year's governor's race are beginning to stake out their differences. During a debate before the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Thursday, DFLers Roger Moe and Becky Lourey made the case for additional taxes to patch the state's anticipated budget deficits. Republicans Tim Pawlenty and Brian Sullivan steered clear of raising state revenues, but nonetheless called for spending in key areas, including transportation. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200203/01_khoom_debate/?refid=0 Fri, 01 Mar 2002 12:00:00 -0600 House overrides Ventura veto of budget plan After a false start earlier this week, 11 House Democrats switched their votes Wednesday to provide the necessary two-thirds majority required for an override in the House. Lawmakers say they'll now turn their attention to tackling the next piece of the shortfall, but differences on how to proceed are already emerging. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/27_mccalluml_budget/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura rejects budget plan; override appears likely Gov. Jesse Ventura on Monday vetoed a bill to patch a nearly $2 billion gap in the state's budget, setting the stage for an override attempt by the Legislature Tuesday. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/25_mccalluml_budgetforecast/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura's back in budget picture Lawmakers and Gov. Ventura will meet through the weekend in an attempt to hammer out a budget fix for an expected long-term deficit. Legislators have presented Ventura with a plan to fix the current shortfall, but the governor says he wants to see an outline for a long-range solution before he decides whether to sign or veto the short-term patch. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/23_khoom_budget/?refid=0 Sat, 23 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Domestic deal-breaker House Republicans have sent up a warning flag that state workers contracts negotiated last fall could be in jeopardy. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/13_khoom_statecontracts/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura scolds lawmakers over budget Gov. Jesse Ventura said Friday he found plenty to disagree with in both the House GOP and Senate DFL plans for fixing the projected $1.95 billion deficit in the state budget. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/08_khoom_venturabudget/?refid=0 Fri, 08 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Things begin to look up for Twins Alabama businessman Donald Watkins was in Minneapolis Wednesday to assess potential ballpark sites. Watkins is exploring a possible purchase of the Minnesota Twins and has pledged to build a new stadium entirely with private dollars if he's able to acquire the team. Meanwhile, Gov. Jesse Ventura says he hasn't changed his stance on a ballpark, despite a willingness to call a special session if lawmakers can't address the issue in the regular course of business. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/07_wilcoxenw_watkins/?refid=0 Wed, 06 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Minnesota Supreme Court refuses to hear Twins' appeal Minnesota's Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal of an injunction that forces the Twins to fulfill their Metrodome lease, all but killing baseball's contraction plan for this season. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/05_khoom_twins/?refid=0 Tue, 05 Feb 2002 12:00:00 -0600 The money chase Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., has a hefty financial advantage over likely Republican challenger Norm Coleman. According to financial documents, Wellstone raised more than $4 million in 2001, almost double Coleman's $2.2 million. And an even greater funding gap is opening up in this year's gubernatorial debate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/31_khoom_moneyfight/?refid=0 Thu, 31 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Stadium task force finishes work with recommendation for two stadiums A tripartisan stadium task force has given final approval to a report that calls for two new professional sports stadiums. The panel voted 16-1 to recommend a new ballpark for the Minnesota Twins and a second stadium to house the Vikings and the University of Minnesota football team. The task force will now forwards its findings to the Legislature where stadium legislation could still face a tough fight. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/28_khoom_taskforce/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura - the year in review The curtain rises Tuesday on the last legislative session of Gov. Jesse Ventura's first term in office. It will also be the governor's first battle with a budget deficit, projected to be a whopping $2 billion over the next year and a half. But Ventura has surprised many observers by negotiating politically tricky waters before. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/28_khoom_jessereview/?refid=0 Mon, 28 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Court rules against Twins in Metrodome lease case The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld an injunction requiring the Twins to play the 2002 season in the Metrodome. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/22_khoom_twins/?refid=0 Tue, 22 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Stadium panel recommends two stadiums A tripartisan stadium task force is poised to recommend that the governor and the Legislature approve financing proposals this year for two new stadiums. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/16_khoom_taskforce/?refid=0 Wed, 16 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Redistricting: An exercise in politics A special panel of five state judges heard oral arguments on how to redraw the state's political map. The once-in-a-decade redistricting process attempts to align legislative and congressional districts with shifts in the state's population over the last 10 years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/17_khoom_redistricting/?refid=0 Wed, 16 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Unicameral issue may be key to Ventura's political future Gov. Jesse Ventura says he won't make a final determination about running for re-election until the legislative session is complete. But he hints those interested in making predictions should pay special attention to a particular issue this year: unicameralism. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/15_khoom_venturaelection/?refid=0 Tue, 15 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura releases bonding plan Gov. Jesse Ventura has recommended the state borrow nearly $750 million to pay for long-term capital investments over the next five years. The bonding bill is considerably larger than the package Ventura submitted just two years ago - but Senate DFLers are already saying it's too small. House Republicans, meanwhile, are worried it's too hefty. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/14_khoom_bonding/?refid=0 Mon, 14 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Panel endorses public funding for stadiums A tripartisan stadium task force has given its informal endorsement to a state role in building new stadiums for the Minnesota Twins, the Vikings, and the University of Minnesota Gophers. During a meeting in Mankato, the panel opted to support the concept of public financing for a stadium while steering clear of direct subsidization. But sorting through the details is likely to remain a formidable task. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/10_khoom_stadiumfunding/?refid=0 Fri, 11 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Lawmakers prepare response to Ventura plan Gov. Jesse Ventura is challenging critics of his budget proposals to offer alternatives of their own. Legislators and interest groups all found aspects of the plan to attack, but the governor insists he's spreading the fiscal pain as evenly as possible. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/11_khoom_dayafter/?refid=0 Fri, 11 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Critics of stadium drive becoming scarce A tripartisan stadium task force opened its proceedings to public comment and found supporters of state assistance for a new Twins ballpark outnumbering opponents. Unlike previous stadium discussions in previous years, critics of taxpayer involvement were scarce during nearly six hours of testimony. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200201/03_khoom_taskforce/?refid=0 Thu, 03 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 Senate committee approves Twins stadium bill The ballpark debate has returned to the state Capitol on two fronts, and lawmakers seem more receptive to stadium plans than in past years. A Senate committee has given the green light to a proposal for a St. Paul Twins ballpark. And House lawmakers introduced legislation to construct a joint Vikings and University of Minnesota football facility. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200202/15_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 01 Jan 2002 12:00:00 -0600 "Homer Hanky jurisprudence" The Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball told an appeals court Thursday to lift an injunction that keeps the Twins at the Metrodome next season. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/27_khoom_twinshearing/?refid=0 Thu, 27 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Senators back welfare extension Two DFL senators and more than 110 charities and nonprofit groups hope to delay for three years a planned cutoff in welfare benefits. A recession, they argue, is no time to kick people off public assistance. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/19_khoom_welfare/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Metrodome renovation plan gets lukewarm reception ... again The Minnesota Vikings returned to the state Capitol Tuesday to continue their campaign for a new stadium. The Vikings are seeking a $500 million stadium to be shared with the University of Minnesota Gophers. But the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission is advancing a plan to renovate the Metrodome. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/18_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Tue, 18 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Vikings detail stadium woes to task force The Minnesota Vikings are the latest Minneapolis-based sports team to ask the stadium task force for a new stadium. Vikings Executive Vice President Mike Kelly told task force members that a gap between the revenue of the Vikings and the rest of the league's teams will grow by 2004. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200112/13_khoom_twinsvikings/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Dec 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Stadium group begins hearings; Twins try to overturn injunction There's more maneuvering in the debate over the Minnesota Twins. A tripartisan stadium task force held its first meeting Tuesday to discuss the future of professional sports facilities in the state. And attorneys for the Twins and Major League Baseball have prepared motions seeking a speedy ruling on their appeal to overturn an injunction that effectively blocks the threat of contraction. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200111/21_khoom_taskforce/?refid=0 Wed, 21 Nov 2001 12:00:00 -0600 States prepare to play hardball with baseball owners Major League Baseball's decision to eliminate two teams by next year has touched off a string of legal action intended to block the decision. In Minnesota, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission has filed suit to hold the Twins to their Metrodome lease while Attorney General Mike Hatch is contemplating a federal antitrust suit. In Florida, the state attorney general has already taken the first steps towards a similar suit. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200111/14_khoom_twins/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Nov 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Poll: Race relations and the police A new poll shows most Twin Cities residents believe the St. Paul and Minneapolis police departments have established fairly good relations with minority groups. But the survey, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, shows a sharp gap in how white and black respondents rate the cities' police officers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200111/05_khoom_profilingpoll/?refid=0 Mon, 05 Nov 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Despite battles with state workers and press, Ventura's popularity remains constant Gov. Jesse Ventura's approval rating remains stable at just over 50 percent despite a two-week state workers strike and signs of a slowing economy. A poll conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV shows a slight majority of respondents rate Ventura's performance as good or excellent. And more than a third say they're inclined to vote for him if he seeks re-election next year. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/19_khoom_venturapoll/?refid=0 Fri, 19 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Minnesotans expect status quo in family finances A new poll shows Minnesotans remain generally upbeat about economic prospects, despite signs of a downturn and the uncertainties following last month's terrorist attacks. The survey was conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/18_khoom_econpoll/?refid=0 Thu, 18 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Bush gets high marks; Minnesotans divided on restrictions A new poll shows President Bush's approval ratings have soared since the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The survey, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV, shows 76 percent of Minnesota voters give Bush favorable marks. But while the public is united in its support of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, divisions emerge on how to combat terrorism on the home front. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/17_khoom_bushpoll/?refid=0 Wed, 17 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Minnesotans unsure about state's ability to cope with terrorism A new poll shows most Minnesotans have doubts or are unsure about the state's ability to respond to a potential terrorist attack. The survey, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV, shows just over a third are confident the state is well-prepared to deal with an attack in Minnesota. The poll results come just as federal, state, and local law enforcement officials are seeking to reassure lawmakers and the public that the state is primed for action if necessary. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/16_khoom_terrorism/?refid=0 Tue, 16 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 State workers' strike ends State negotiators have reached a tentative contract agreement with union leaders that is expected to end a two-week-old strike by state workers. The agreement was announced early Sunday morning after three days of nearly around-the-clock talks. All sides say they were able to achieve some of their key goals. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/14_khoom_strikeday14/?refid=0 Sun, 14 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Contract talks resume, but workers remain on picket lines State negotiators and representatives from Minnesota's two largest public employees unions return to the bargaining table Friday. Talks officially resumed Thursday, but so far there's been no immediate sign of progress. Union leaders say any real breakthrough will require several days of intense negotiations. In public, however, Gov. Jesse Ventura and the unions are standing firm. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/11_newsroom_strikeday11/?refid=0 Thu, 11 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Unions insist state has money for a better offer State officials and leaders of the two largest public employee unions are set to resume contract talks on Thursday, but Gov. Jesse Ventura says he doesn't see any way to satisfy the demands of striking workers short of cutting government payrolls. Union leaders, however, say if more money isn't available, there's little chance for movement when talks resume. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/09_newsroom_strikeday9/?refid=0 Tue, 09 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 'New' economy ushers in new tone at Capitol State lawmakers say the weakening economy, rattled by the September 11th terrorist attacks, will set a new tone when the state Legislature reconvenes early next year. After almost a decade of substantial surpluses, state officials now say revenues are likely to fall short of projections, forcing the state to dip into its reserves - and perhaps beyond. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/04_khoom_economy/?refid=0 Thu, 04 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura threatens layoffs As many as 22,000 state workers remain on the picket lines with no new talks scheduled and little prospect for a quick resolution to contract negotiations. Gov. Ventura, who has maintained a low profile up to and during the strike, is repeating his warning that the state simply doesn't have additional resources to put on the table; union members believe otherwise. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200110/04_newsroom_strikeday4/?refid=0 Thu, 04 Oct 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Cheney seeks Midwest support for energy plan Vice President Dick Cheney was in Minneapolis Friday to discuss the link between agriculture and President Bush's energy policies. Cheney says the administration is interested in helping renewable, crop-based fuels find their way to market. And he also took a chance to lay the groundwork for the 2002 elections and beyond. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200107/27_khoom_cheney/?refid=0 Fri, 27 Jul 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Little Love for Session 2001 A new poll shows Minnesotans are disappointed that it took the state Legislature extra time to complete a new, $27 billion budget. The survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, indicates two-thirds of respondents rate the Legislature's performance either poor or only fair. The poll shows support for sweeping property-tax cuts, but more than half of respondents felt too little was spent on K-12 education. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200107/09_khoom_legispoll/?refid=0 Mon, 09 Jul 2001 12:00:00 -0500 With shutdown averted, Legislature adjourns The Minnesota Legislature wrapped up a new two-year budget early Saturday morning, hours before a partial government shutdown would have begun. Lawmakers approved the final three spending bills and a bonding bill for long-term investments. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/30_khoom_session/?refid=0 Sat, 30 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Action on tax, education bills lessens chance of shutdown State lawmakers worked into the early morning on budget legislation needed to avert a partial government shutdown. While their work still isn't complete, both the House and the Senate did pass a cornerstone of the budget Thursday - a major overhaul of Minnesota's property-tax system. And just past midnight, the House passed a funding bill for K-12 education. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/28_khoom_taxbill/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Negotiators agree on tax plan House and Senate negotiators have signed off on a major property-tax reform bill that will produce double-digit cuts for all property categories. The $760 million measure is set for a House vote today and could be up in the Senate this evening or tomorrow. The Ventura administration and GOP leaders are hailing the package as historic, but some Democrats say the changes may pinch homeowners down the road. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/27_khoom_taxdeal/?refid=0 Wed, 27 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura, lawmakers break stalemate House Republicans say they want to keep some options open in considering a budget compromise offered by Gov. Jesse Ventura. The governor offered a budget deal, which he says split the difference between the House and Senate on major unresolved tax and spending issues. Senate Democrats say they'll sign off on the proposal, but GOP leaders made it clear they still have concerns. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/22_khoom_deal/?refid=0 Fri, 22 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 How to close state government State agencies are taking the first concrete steps towards mothballing non-essential services in the event state government funding runs dry next month. Road construction and maintenance crews are expected to stop their work and begin securing construction zones in preparation for a potentially wider shutdown. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/21_khoom_shutdown/?refid=0 Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Senate DFLers press Ventura on education funding Legislative leaders are resuming budget talks in hopes of breaking a month-old stalemate on fundamental tax and spending issues. House and Senate negotiators are expected to respond to offers traded during a closed meeting Tuesday night, and Senate DFLers are calling on Gov. Jesse Ventura to play a more public role in resolving the impasse. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/20_khoom_session/?refid=0 Wed, 20 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Legislature hears about effects of shutdown House and Senate negotiators made budget offers during a public meeting of the tax working group. The two proposals, however, exposed the wide differences separating the two caucuses. But all sides say they're encouraged to have the discussions back in the public eye. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/13_mccalluml_budget/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Government Shutdown Planning Begins With budget negotiations stalled at the state Capitol, agency heads are beginning to identify critical services that must be maintained even if spending bills aren't approved when the fiscal year closes at the end of the month. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/12_khoom_shutdown/?refid=0 Tue, 12 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Schwietz Leaves MCCL The state's largest anti-abortion group will soon see a change in leadership. Jackie Schwietz, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, is stepping down in December. Her supporters say they're losing a tireless advocate for abortion restrictions, while her critics, including some who share her views on abortion, say her style was too confrontational to be effective. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/06_khoom_abortionfoes/?refid=0 Wed, 06 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Negotiations Stuck In Neutral Budget talks have broken down at the state Capitol, but the rhetoric is only heating up. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats canceled a scheduled meeting with House Republicans and Gov. Jesse Ventura, saying there was nothing new to discuss. Negotiators remain divided on the appropriate levels of business property tax relief and education spending. The new impasse has once again raised the possibility of a government shutdown. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200106/06_khoom_impasse/?refid=0 Wed, 06 Jun 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Legislative and Administration Leaders Agree on Budget Deal House and Senate negotiators announced a compromise on tax and spending measures that paves the way for an anticipated special session. Responding to an offer from Gov. Jesse Ventura, legislative leaders shook hands on an agreement for signficant property-tax relief and reform as well as new funding sources for K-12 education. House GOP leaders and the Ventura administration are hailing the agreement as historic, but Senate Democrats say the compromise shortchanges education. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/25_khoom_deal/?refid=0 Fri, 25 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Special Session May Be Tied to Unicameral Vote Gov. Jesse Ventura says he may require lawmakers to vote on the unicameral question as a condition for calling them back for a special session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/22_khoom_dayafter/?refid=0 Tue, 22 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Special Session? Budget Talks Deadlock Prospects for an orderly resolution to this year's legislative session have grown dimmer. On Thursday, Gov. Jesse Ventura warned lawmakers he has no intention of calling a special session if they're unable to pass major spending bills by Monday's adjournment deadline. But after a second late night of negotiations, House and Senate leaders failed to reach agreement. And House Republicans say they're skeptical about a Senate contingency plan to avert a government shutdown if a deal isn't forthcoming. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/17_khoom_stalemate/?refid=0 Thu, 17 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Senate holsters concealed carry proposal Gun-control advocates have successfully blocked a move to loosen the state's handgun permitting laws. On Tuesday, supporters of so-called concealed-carry reform withdrew their bill after opponents amended the measure to preserve the discretion of local police chiefs in approving or denying handgun permits. The move has effectively killed the issue for the legislative session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/16_khoom_conceal/?refid=0 Wed, 16 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Twins Hopeful About Legislation The Minnesota Twins say they've glimpsed a ray of light in the stadium debate at the State Capitol. On Monday, a House committee approved a package that removes most of the public subsidies from the ballpark plan. The Twins say it's doubtful they would support such a deal, but they say they were encouraged by the suggestion they study the financing plan used for the Minnesota Wild's hockey arena. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/14_khoom_twinsvote/?refid=0 Mon, 14 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Twins: Ballpark Plan Lands Foul There's good news and bad news for the Minnesota Twins. Lawmakers on Friday revived discussion on a new outdoor ballpark - but in an effort to generate more support, they've removed most of the public financing from the package. Twins officials say legislators may have gone too far, making the stadium deal unpalatable to the franchise. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/11_khoom_ballpark/?refid=0 Fri, 11 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Showdown Over Abortion Waiting Period The Minnesota Senate Tuesday approved a Health and Human Services funding bill with an abortion provision that Gov. Jesse Ventura has promised to veto. Supporters of legalized abortion say funding for essential state services is being held hostage to abortion politics. But abortion foes say their plan to create a 24-hour waiting period for abortions is moderate, and deserves the govenor's signature. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/08_khoom_showdown/?refid=0 Tue, 08 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Senate Democrats Release Tax Plan With only two weeks to go in the legislative session, Senate DFLers have finally released details of their $609 million tax relief bill. The package concentrates on property tax relief for mid-range homes. But House Republicans say the size of the cuts are an "embarassment." And Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration says the bill fails to meet any of the governor's criteria for reform. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200105/08_khoom_taxes/?refid=0 Tue, 08 May 2001 12:00:00 -0500 House Releases $1.56 Billion Tax Cut Plan Income taxes also would drop, but not by way of traditional rate cuts. The House GOP plan focuses instead on capital gains relief and credits for low-income families totaling about $93 million. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/30_khoom_taxplan/?refid=0 Mon, 30 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 The Incredible Shrinking Income Tax Cut Prospects for a major income-tax cut appear dim. House Republicans, who previously championed the idea of across-the-board income-tax cuts, say they're now leaning towards substantial property-tax reform and relief. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/26_khoom_incometax/?refid=0 Thu, 26 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Power to the Suburbs? Minnesota Senate Republicans are the first out of the gate in the redistricting race. Caucus members unveiled a new map of congressional districts, which they say accounts for the explosive growth in Twin Cities suburbs. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/24_khoom_redistricting/?refid=0 Tue, 24 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 White House Call Reshapes Senate Race House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty says an unusual phone call from the White House has convinced him not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2002. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/18_khoom_pawlenty/?refid=0 Wed, 18 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Rebate at Heart of Senate-Ventura Showdown Gov. Jesse Ventura is criticizing Senate Democrats for not passing a tax-rebate bill this year, despite an April 15th deadline for taking action. Appearing on MPR's <i>Midday</i> program, Ventura said the failure to act means the Senate will have to accept his proposal, which returns the entire current year surplus. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/17_khoom_ventura/?refid=0 Tue, 17 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura Meets His Match: Hunters Gov. Jesse Ventura has apologized for his comparison of deer hunting with his own military career. Ventura had seemed to question the legitimacy of hunting animals that can't defend themselves. But after extended criticism from sporting groups, the governor's backing down. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/06_khoom_ventura/?refid=0 Fri, 06 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Mixing Abortion Policy with Budget Bills Private providers of family planning services say they could lose significant funding if legislation approved by a key House committee becomes law. Last week, the Health and Human Services Committee voted to shift state family planning grants from non-profit groups to cities and counties. Opponents say the move is a veiled attack on groups that provide abortions. But supporters say the switch simply gives taxpayers oversight into how the money is used. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200104/03_khoom_abortion/?refid=0 Tue, 03 Apr 2001 12:00:00 -0500 Twins' Stadium Bill is Barely Breathing The move to build a new Twins stadium with partial state funding has cleared a crucial legislative committee. The favorable vote comes just one day before the first deadline for committee action, but the legislation still faces significant obstacles. A number of lawmakers and citizens' groups remain staunchly opposed to public funding for a new ballpark. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200103/29_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 29 Mar 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Redistricting Battle Looms Political consultants are already sharpening their map-drawing pencils with an eye towards the once-in-a-decade redistricting battle. Sharp growth in the Twin Cities' suburban ring will require lawmakers to redefine legislative and Congressional boundaries to match shifting populations. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200103/28_khoom_census/?refid=0 Wed, 28 Mar 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Holds Court Gov. Jesse Ventura revealed more than just his opposition to abortion legislation during an appearance on MPR's <i> Midday</i> program. The governor staked out positions on a host of proposals now under consideration at the Legislature. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200103/27_khoom_ventura/?refid=0 Tue, 27 Mar 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Vikings Seek Stadium Study The Minnesota Vikings announced legislation for a stadium study rather than launching a full-bore bid for public money toward a $500 million facility the team would share with the University of Minnesota. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200103/22_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Thu, 22 Mar 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Tackles Campaign Finance Reform Gov. Jesse Ventura has announced a package of campaign finance reforms he says will level the playing field for all candidates in future elections. A tripartisan group of lawmakers joined the governor to support his initiative, although some of them say even deeper reforms are necessary. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200103/06_khoom_campaignfinance/?refid=0 Tue, 06 Mar 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Holds Firm on Tax Plan A new economic forecast that predicts a drop in the state's projected surplus means lawmakers and interest groups will have to reconsider some of their budget proposals. But most say the dip of just over $600 million won't force a major change in priorities; and Gov. Jesse Ventura says the new numbers actually strengthen his case for major tax relief and reform. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/28_khoom_budget/?refid=0 Wed, 28 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Gets an Earful Gov. Jesse Ventura is on the road to shop his legislative agenda. Ventura spent Thursday afternoon in downtown St. Peter meeting with business owners. He brought along his budget proposals and tax reform agenda, and residents brought pointed questions. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/16_khoom_ventura/?refid=0 Fri, 16 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Poll: Spend Some of the Surplus A new poll shows most Minnesotans favor using part of the state's projected $3 billion surplus for new spending initiatives. The Minnesota Public Radio-St. Paul Pioneer Press survey finds schools among the top priorities. DFL lawmakers say the results support their call for more spending on K-12 and higher education, but GOP leaders and the Ventura administration say they'll continue to push for tax relief. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/14_khoom_poll/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Students Rally at Capitol Thousands of Minnesota students converged on the state Capitol Wednesday to protest Gov. Jesse Ventura's proposed higher education budget. Education advocates say Ventura's budget shortchanges colleges and universities, but the governor is standing his ground. He says he wants to see higher education tighten its belt before seeking new state funds. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/14_khoom_uprotest/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Despite Controversies, Minnesotans Still Embrace Ventura A new poll shows roughly half of Minnesotans disapprove of Gov. Jesse Ventura's job broadcasting XFL football games. But the same survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, shows the governor's job approval ratings are virtually untouched following his XFL debut. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/09_khoom_venturapoll/?refid=0 Fri, 09 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Energy Aid to Schools Stirs Rebate Debate The Minnesota Senate has approved up to $30 million in emergency assistance for schools hit by rising energy costs. Supporters of the bill say the measure will allow schools to pay their heating bills without making cuts in other programs. But critics say the plan is just the first step towards spending down the state's projected surplus rather than returning it as a rebate. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200102/05_khoom_rebatedebate/?refid=0 Mon, 05 Feb 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Legislators Brace for Abortion Fight Several thousand abortion opponents demonstrated on the steps of the state Capitol to mark the 28th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision. The crowd cheered the new political landscape, in particular the swearing-in of President George W. Bush, and promised to push for more restrictions on the procedure. But groups who support legal access to abortion are vowing not to give up the fight. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200101/22_khoom_abortion/?refid=0 Mon, 22 Jan 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Gauging Ventura's Contributions Minnesota's experiment in tripartite government begins its third year this month, and Gov. Jesse Ventura says the system is a success. But leaders in the state Legislature say the governor has yet to make his mark in any fundamental sense and that it's too soon to reach a verdict on Minnesota's peculiar arrangement. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200101/16_khoom_jesse/?refid=0 Tue, 16 Jan 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Promotes XFL on 'State Time' Gov. Jesse Ventura has come under fire from lawmakers for taking vacation time during the legislation session and for agreeing to provide color commentary during broadcasts of the upcoming Xtreme Football League. It now appears he's combined the two by stumping for the XFL this week while out of town. The governor has said the extracurricular activities won't interfere with his policy agenda, but some legislators think otherwise. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200101/12_khoom_venturaxfl/?refid=0 Fri, 12 Jan 2001 12:00:00 -0600 Session 2001: Redistricting State lawmakers will redraw legislative and congressional boundaries to match shifting populations. Drawing a map is the easy part, but since the new districts will affect the balance of political power until 2010, drawing a map that all parties can accept may take years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200012/27_khoom_legisredistricting/?refid=0 Wed, 27 Dec 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Session 2001: The Property Tax Debate Gov. Ventura has recommended a sweeping reform of Minnesota's property tax system, removing general education funding from the property tax system. His vision faces tough sledding at the Capitol. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200012/26_khoom_legispropertytax/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Dec 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Kennedy In, Minge Out in Second District Democratic Congressman David Minge has conceded the second district race to Republican challenger Mark Kennedy. Minge's annoucement brings to an end almost two weeks of ballot recounting. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200012/12_khoom_kennedy/?refid=0 Tue, 12 Dec 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Ethics Question Unanswered in A.G. Opinion The Minnesota attorney general's office has released an opinion that Gov. Jesse Ventura is bound by the state's code of ethics. Ventura has previously maintained that as an elected official, he is exempt from the rules applied to other state employees. But the A.G.'s opinion does not address the crucial question of whether Ventura's recent contract with the XFL actually breaches any ethical codes. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200011/28_khoom_xfl/?refid=0 Tue, 28 Nov 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Dayton Ousts Grams from Senate DFLer Mark Dayton is headed to Washington after defeating incumbent Republican Rod Grams. Unofficial returns show Dayton with 49 percent of the vote and Grams with 43 percent. Independence Party candidate James Gibson finished a distant third with six percent, but enough to keep major-party status. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200011/08_khoom_senate/?refid=0 Wed, 08 Nov 2000 12:00:00 -0600 MPR Poll: McCollum in Control of 4th District Race A new poll suggests Minnesota will elect a woman to Congress for the first time in more than 40 years. The survey, commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV, shows DFLer Betty McCollum leading Republican Linda Runbeck in the Fourth District race. Independence Party candidate Tom Foley is following in third place. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200011/02_khoom_4distpoll/?refid=0 Thu, 02 Nov 2000 12:00:00 -0600 MPR Poll: Gore, Bush in Dead Heat in Minnesota Texas Gov. George W. Bush arrives in Minnesota to try to break a statistical dead heat among likely Minnesota voters. A new poll, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and KARE-11 TV, shows Gore with 44 percent, Bush with 41 percent, and Green Party candidate Ralph Nader with 8 percent. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200011/01_khoom_prezpoll/?refid=0 Wed, 01 Nov 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Poll: Dayton Catches Grams The first poll since the primary election shows Mark Dayton has garnered much of the previously undecided vote, and now leads incumbent U.S. Senator Rod Grams. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200009/28_khoom_senpoll/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Sep 2000 12:00:00 -0500 The Politics of Privacy Minnesota Democrats say they'll make consumer privacy a core issue in the upcoming state legislative races. Last session, both sides of the aisle promised to enact privacy protection measures, and now both are blaming the other side for failure to do so. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200009/26_khoom_privacy/?refid=0 Tue, 26 Sep 2000 12:00:00 -0500 A Gubernatorial Lecture Governor Jesse Ventura stepped into the jackal's lair with an appearance at the Radio and Television News Directors' Association meeting in Minneapolis. Ventura, who refers to the news media as media "jackals" in his latest book, hosted his weekly radio show from the convention and briefly addressed a lunchtime audience. For all his bluster, Ventura and the press received each other cordially. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200009/15_khoom_venturartnda/?refid=0 Fri, 15 Sep 2000 12:00:00 -0500 No Time to Lose The surviving candidates for U.S. Senate wasted no time hitting the campaign trail after the primary election significantly narrowed the field. Republican incumbent Rod Grams, DFLer Mark Dayton, and Independence Party candidate James Gibson are all promising clean campaigns focused on the issues. But the rhetoric is already heating up. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200009/14_khoom_senate/?refid=0 Thu, 14 Sep 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Campaigning at the Fairgrounds If Minnesota elections have an unofficial starting gun, the State Fair is it. And with a highly-contested DFL Senate primary just over the horizon, this year's candidates are preparing for a mad sprint to the finish line. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/25_khoom_fairpols/?refid=0 Fri, 25 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Gore Pulls Ahead in Minnesota A new poll shows Vice President Al Gore has taken the lead among likely Minnesota voters. Over the summer, various polls have shown Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush in a virtual dead heat to carry the state. But the survey, conducted for Minnesota Public Radio, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and KARE-11 TV, shows Gore leading Bush by eight percentage points. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/24_khoom_prez/?refid=0 Thu, 24 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Report Raises Questions About Property Tax Reform A report by the Citizens League shows the state's property tax system is leaving some homeowners squeezed by high tax levies. The study was conducted at the request of the state revenue department, which is developing a plan to overhaul the tax system during the next legislative session. The Citizens League report recommends policymakers start with relief for those low- to middle-income families who have seen their tax bills rise beyond their ability to pay. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/22_khoom_taxes/?refid=0 Tue, 22 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Senate Candidate Profile: Jerry Janezich In June, state senator Jerry Janezich survived hours of debate and nine ballots to become the DFL's endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate. With the party's backing, the support of the state's major labor unions and a strong base on Minnesota's Iron Range, the Chisholm native might seem like a natural choice to challenge incumbent Republican Rod Grams. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/21_khoom_janezich/?refid=0 Mon, 21 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Gore's Speech Reaffirms Democratic Platform Vice President Al Gore and running mate Joseph Lieberman began their day on August 18 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. They're starting a campaign boat trip down the Mississippi River and through several key swing states. Minnesota delegates are also on their way home after the final curtain came down on the Democratic National Convention. They say they're energized by Gore's acceptance speech, but state DFLers admit the campaign won't be easy. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/18_khoom_gore/?refid=0 Fri, 18 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Senate Candidate Profile: Rebecca Yanisch Minnesota has never elected a woman to the United States Senate, but that could change this year, if Rebecca Yanisch has her way. The Minneapolis DFLer is the only female major party candidate seeking to challenge incumbent Republican Rod Grams. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/07_khoom_yanisch/?refid=0 Mon, 07 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 The Party's Over, It's Back to Work for Minnesota Delegates Many of the Minnesota delegates to the Republican National Convention head home with optimism that the state is winnable for George W. Bush. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/04_khoom_gop/?refid=0 Fri, 04 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Minnesota Delegation Reacts to Cheney Speech George W. Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney, spoke to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and brought the Minnesota delegation to its feet. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200008/03_khoom_gop/?refid=0 Thu, 03 Aug 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Convention Battles Gone, But Drama Remains The Republican National Convention has begun in Philadelphia. The gathering will culminate Thursday night with the formal endorsement of Texas Governor George W. Bush as the GOP's presidential nominee. Although the party's major decisions have been made in advance of the convention, Minnesota's delegation say there's still reason to be excited. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200007/31_khoom_gop1/?refid=0 Mon, 31 Jul 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Three Minnesotans Speak on GOP Convention's First Day The Republican National Convention is underway in Philadelpia. The first day's speakers included three Minnesota candidates: Senator Rod Grams, who is up for re-election this year, and Congressional candidates Linda Runbeck and John Kline. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200007/31_khoom_gop2/?refid=0 Mon, 31 Jul 2000 12:00:00 -0500 DFL Debate Reveals Too Much Candidate Similarity The four major DFL candidates for U.S. Senate faced off last night during a citizens' forum debate. State senator Jerry Janezich, the party's endorsed candidate joined trial attorney Mike Ciresi, Minneapolis businesswoman Rebecca Yanisch and former state auditor Mark Dayton. In this debate however, the candidates found themselves struggling to differentiate themselves to voters. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200007/27_khoom_debate/?refid=0 Thu, 27 Jul 2000 12:00:00 -0500 MPR Poll: Ventura's Still a Hit Minnesotans are giving Governor Jesse Ventura high marks for the recently concluded legislative session. A poll shows more respondents approve of the governor's performance than of the Legislature's. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200007/13_khoom_venturapoll/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Jul 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Poll: Minnesota Up for Grabs in Presidential Contest A new poll suggests Texas Governor George W. Bush could be the first Republican presidential candidate to carry Minnesota since Richard Nixon's 1972 victory. An MPR survey shows Bush and Vice-President Al Gore in a statistical dead heat among likely Minnesota voters. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200007/12_khoom_prezpoll/?refid=0 Wed, 12 Jul 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Pump Politics Despite signs of falling gas prices, House Republicans called on Governor Jesse Ventura to convene a special legislative session to suspend the state's gasoline excise tax. Ventura quickly nixed the idea, but not before a flurry of competing proposals emerged aimed at combatting high prices at the pump. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200006/23_khoom_pumppolitics/?refid=0 Fri, 23 Jun 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Pols Hit the Road Running DFL candidates for the U.S. Senate aren't missing a beat as they turn their attention from the weekend convention to the September primary contest. Endorsed candidate Jerry Janezich and rival Rebecca Yanisch were out shaking hands and Mike Ciresi and Mark Dayton are also about to begin criss-crossing the state. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200006/05_khoom_campaign/?refid=0 Mon, 05 Jun 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura: Little State Can Do to Stop Mine Closing During an appearance on MPR's Midday program, Ventura seemed resigned to the Hoyt Lakes mine closing without a fight. But he was ready to take the gloves off with reporters who were more interested in a new book chapter. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200005/25_khoom_venturaltv/?refid=0 Thu, 25 May 2000 12:00:00 -0500 North Star Standard Flunks Legislative Test After several false starts on a Profile of Learning compromise, lawmakers eventually agreed on reforms to the state graduation rule. Missing from the agreement, however, were the alternative North Star standards favored by some House Republicans. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200005/18_khoom_profile/?refid=0 Thu, 18 May 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Dashed Hopes Under the Dome Had the legislative session gone according to plan, lawmakers would have wrapped up their work Wednesday and returned home to kick off their re-election campaigns. Instead, both houses will return next week to pick up where they left off - deadlocked over budget talks. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200004/20_khoom_session/?refid=0 Thu, 20 Apr 2000 12:00:00 -0500 The Art of No Deal Governor Ventura has often proclaimed his lack of ability as an artist. When it comes to the art of political negotiations and consensus-building, he may be right. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200004/19_khoom_venturaonsession/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Apr 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Ventura Vetoes Abortion Bill Governor Ventura angers Republican leaders in the House by vetoing a bill on abortion, which they claim he promised to support. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200004/14_khoom_abortion/?refid=0 Fri, 14 Apr 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Abortion Bill Heads to Ventura The Minnesota Senate voted 37-30 in favor of so-called "Women's Right to Know" legislation. The bill establishes a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. The measure has already passed the House and now heads to Governor Jesse Ventura's desk. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200004/10_khoom_abortion/?refid=0 Mon, 10 Apr 2000 12:00:00 -0500 Lawmakers Bicker Over Tax Cuts Minnesota House Republicans have passed a tax relief package totalling three-and-a-quarter billion dollars over the next three years. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/28_khoom_tax/?refid=0 Tue, 28 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Light Rail at the Brink The Minnesota House has approved more than $400 million in new spending for state transportation projects. The bill is similar to one passed earlier this week by the Senate. But significant differences remain between the House, the Senate, and the governor - including the issue of light-rail. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/22_khoom_spending/?refid=0 Wed, 22 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 The End of the Pork Barrel? Minnesota's House Republicans have released their 2000 bonding proposal which they say is free of the pork-barrel spending of the past. The $400 million package conforms with Governor Jesse Ventura's spending target but falls short of what Senate DFLers will likely request. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/15_khoom_bonding/?refid=0 Wed, 15 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Unicameral Bill Staggers After House Hit Governor Jesse Ventura's push to create a one-house legislature stumbled not once, but twice at the Capitol. A House committee killed a bill that would have let voters decide the issue in the fall. Later in the day, an attempt to revive the measure on the house floor met stiff resistance and was abandoned. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/10_khoom_unicameral/?refid=0 Fri, 10 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Grams Leads Senate Poll In the fight to unseat U.S. Senator Rod Grams, the DFL's strongest candidate isn't even a candidate. A poll commissioned by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press shows former Congressman Tim Penny would beat Grams if the election were held today. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/03_khoom_senpoll/?refid=0 Fri, 03 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Privacy Striking Out at Legislature Now that the uproar has quieted over news that banks and other companies routinely sold the private financial data of its customers, so - apparently - has the willingness of Minnesota politicians to do something about it. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200003/02_khoom_privacy/?refid=0 Thu, 02 Mar 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Spend or Save? Despite Governor Ventura's insistence that most of the budget surplus be saved until next year, the news of a higher-than-expected surplus immediately touched off a round of legislative maneuvering over how to divide it between tax cuts and new spending initiatives. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/29_khoom_surplus/?refid=0 Tue, 29 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Senate Wounds Unicameral Bill A proposal to create a one-house state legislature has stumbled out of a Senate committee in a mixed victory for unicameral supporters. Though the committee sent the plan forward to the next committee stop, lawmakers signalled their opposition by voting down a recommendation that it pass. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/23_khoom_unicameral/?refid=0 Wed, 23 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 The Mile-High Governor Governor Jesse Ventura says the Denver experience offers lessons in building successful rail systems, including overcoming political obstacles. Ventura's plan for a Minneapolis LRT line faces a challenge from some state lawmakers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/18_khoom_denver/?refid=0 Fri, 18 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Denver's Light Rail Experiment Governor Jesse Venture is in Denver, Colorado to tour that city's light-rail transit system. The trip is part of the governor's campaign to bring LRT to the Twin Cities, where the plan faces renewed opposition from some state lawmakers. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/17_khoom_denverlrt/?refid=0 Thu, 17 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Unicameralism Survives First Test A proposed constitutional amendment to create a one-house state legislature took a small but important step forward Monday. A House committee unanimously approved a measure to put the question on November's ballot. It's the first time a unicameral proposal has passed a legislative committee. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/14_khoom_unicameral/?refid=0 Mon, 14 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Is LRT a Legislative Poker Chip for 2000? Nearly $100 million in state funds for light-rail transit is under attack by House Republicans. GOP leaders say a proposed LRT line in Minneapolis is a waste of taxpayer money and they'll seek to repeal the bonding authority. Senate DFLers and Governor Jesse Ventura say the funding will stay. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/10_khoom_lrt/?refid=0 Thu, 10 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Soft Money Survives Attempt at Hardball Politics A state Senate committee has struck down an attempt to restrict campaign expenditures by political parties. The plan would have restored a provision limiting so-called independent expenditures by parties on behalf of their candidates. But opponents said the plan would give too much power to special interest groups who would remain unregulated. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/09_khoom_softmoney/?refid=0 Wed, 09 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Unicameral Proposal Gets First Legislative Airing The unicameralism debate has finally opened at the state Capitol. Last night Governor Jesse Ventura and key lawmakers presented the case for a one-house state legislature to legislators themselves. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/08_khoom_unicameral/?refid=0 Tue, 08 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Ventura Proposes a Boost Toward Self-Reliance Governor Jesse Ventura wants to strengthen Minnesota's social safety net by nearly $200 million. Yesterday, the governor proposed using a reserve fund of federal dollars to assist families moving from welfare to self-reliance. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/03_khoom_welfare/?refid=0 Thu, 03 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Hands Off the Surplus, Ventura Declares Governor Jesse Ventura says he'll offer Minnesota businesses some relief from contributions to the state's workers' compensation fund. Last night in an address to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the governor said he'd take advantage of a $500 million surplus in the workers' comp program. Ventura says he'll be more prudent with projected surpluses in the state's general fund. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200002/02_khoom_venturacommerce/?refid=0 Wed, 02 Feb 2000 12:00:00 -0600 The Effect of Welfare Reform A report from Minnesota's legislative auditor shows Minnesota's welfare rolls are shrinking, but the remaining cases tend to be the hardest to solve. With a federal five-year limit on welfare benefits approaching, the study recommends intensified efforts to reach all needy families and tougher sanctions for those that don't comply. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/28_khoom_welfare/?refid=0 Fri, 28 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 DFL Releases Rural Plan DFL leaders in the State senate announced their rural development agenda for the 2000 legislative session. The Democrats' package doesn't yet have a price tag, but it's similar to a House Republican plan released last week. The main obstacle to each plan may be Governor Jesse Ventura. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/25_khoom_rural/?refid=0 Tue, 25 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Health Care Under the Microscope Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch says he will soon launch an investigation into rising health-care premiums in Minnesota. Hatch made his announcement as top DFL lawmakers unveiled a package of health-care proposals for the 2000 legislative session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/21_khoom_healthcare/?refid=0 Fri, 21 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Katie's Law Local law enforcement officials say they often find themselves cash-strapped when required to conduct a large-scale, high-profile investigation. U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone announced he'll introduce federal legislation known as "Katie's Law." Named after Katie Poirier, the bill would create an emergency fund available to rural law enforcement agencies engaged in major criminal investigations. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/19_khoom_katieslaw/?refid=0 Wed, 19 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Republicans Lose Another Politician State Auditor Judi Dutcher has announced she will leave the Republican Party for the DFL. Dutcher's move marks the second defection by a high-ranking Republican in less than a week. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/18_khoom_dutcher/?refid=0 Tue, 18 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 The Politics of Privacy With the 2000 legislative session still more than two weeks away, the debate over consumer privacy protection is shaping up to be a major issue. DFL leaders unveiled a privacy protection package as an alternative to one announced by Republicans last week. DFLers are calling privacy their top legislative priority this session. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/200001/13_khoom_privacy/?refid=0 Thu, 13 Jan 2000 12:00:00 -0600 Time to Go Private? http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199911/09_khoom_privatestadium/?refid=0 Tue, 09 Nov 1999 12:00:00 -0600 Voters Write Stadium Obituary St. Paul residents yesterday overwhelmingly rejected a sales-tax increase to pay for a new Minnesota Twins ballpark in the city's downtown. After a summer of sometimes contentious debate, voters defeated the proposal 58 percent to 42 percent. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199911/03_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Wed, 03 Nov 1999 12:00:00 -0600 Will Baseball Ever Change? Next week, St. Paul voters will decide whether to approve Mayor Norm Coleman's plan to build a new Minnesota Twins ballpark in the city's downtown. Supporters and opponents argue back and forth on the economic impact a stadium could provide, but both sides seem to agree the finances of Major League Baseball are in disarray, leaving small market teams like the Twins at a competitive disadvantage. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/28_khoom_mlbfinances/?refid=0 Thu, 28 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 The Beginning of the End The college basketball season hasn't started, but the University of Minnesota Gophers already know they won't make the Final Four next spring. University officials are prohibiting the mens' basketball team from postseason play for one year. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/27_khoom_usanctions/?refid=0 Wed, 27 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Old Debate, New Forum Supporters and opponents of Mayor Norm Coleman's plan to build a new Minnesota Twins ballpark in downtown St. Paul faced off again, this time before the Saint Paul City Council. Meanwhile, Mayor Coleman has eliminated two potential sites for a stadium. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/21_khoom_stadiumcouncil/?refid=0 Thu, 21 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 MPR Poll Shows Little Support for Stadium Despite an attempt to diffuse opposition to a taxpayer-financed stadium by a change in ownership, a Minnesota Public Radio - Saint Paul Pioneer Press shows steadfast opposition to the plan remains. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/19_khoom_stadiumpoll/?refid=0 Tue, 19 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 A Hidden Threat? Minnesota's House Crime Prevention Committee is again exploring options for changing Minnesota's law on concealed handguns. Last night, the committee took public testimony on a proposal that would make it easier for some Minnesotans to carry concealed weapons. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/13_khoom_concealcarry/?refid=0 Wed, 13 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Forum on Stadia Provides Little Agreement With the Twins and the Vikings both seeking public support for new sports facilities, tracking the ongoing stadium debate becomes more complicated each day. Last night, key figures in the discussion gathered at a forum sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. They came to five the issues a thorough hearing, and left with little to agree upon. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/12_khoom_fitz/?refid=0 Tue, 12 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Pohlad Agrees to Sell Twins Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad has signed a letter of intent to sell the team pending approval of a new ballpark in downtown St. Paul. If the deal goes through, sports moguls Glen Taylor and Robert Naegele will head up the new ownership group. Taylor and Naegele are, respectively, the principal owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Wild. A sale would give them control of three of the Twin Cities' four major professional sports teams. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/08_khoom_pohladsells/?refid=0 Fri, 08 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 After the Vote In less than a month, Mayor Norm Coleman's plan to build a new Twins ballpark in downtown St. Paul will face a crucial test at the polls. If St. Paul voters approve a new sales tax to fund the stadium, the debate will move to a leery state legislature. Even if the referendum fails, the discussion isn't necessarily over. Part four of a series. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/07_khoom_stadiumfour/?refid=0 Thu, 07 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Baseball's Political Football Mayor Norm Coleman's campaign to build a new Minnesota Twins ballpark in downtown St. Paul has entered the final month before a citywide referendum on the issue. If voters approve a sales-tax hike to help fund the project, the debate will advance to the state Legislature, where just two years ago, efforts to build a new ballpark ran afoul of public sentiment. Part two of a series. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199910/05_khoom_stadiumpolitics/?refid=0 Tue, 05 Oct 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Stretch Drive Underway for Stadium Vote In just over a month, St. Paul residents will deliver their verdict on Mayor Norm Coleman's plan to increase the city sales tax to help build a new open-air stadium for the Minnesota Twins. With time running down, opponents and supporters of the plan are waging campaigns to win hearts, minds, and votes. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199909/24_khoom_stadium/?refid=0 Fri, 24 Sep 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Uncharted Territory Has a near-perfect 1998-99 season spoiled fans of the Minnesota Vikings? Anybody can be a fan when a team wins, but remaining true to a team after a loss is the ultimate test of character. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199909/20_khoom_vikingslose/?refid=0 Mon, 20 Sep 1999 12:00:00 -0500 How to Keep 'Em on the Farm The head of the Minnesota Office of Planning says if the problems of rural Minnesota can't be fixed, the population crunch in metro-Minnesota will get worse. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199908/31_khoom_citizensforum/?refid=0 Tue, 31 Aug 1999 12:00:00 -0500 What Does Cleveland Know? St. Paul boosters of a new ballpark say Cleveland is a great example of how a stadium can revitalize a city. Can it? Cleveland's downtown is thriving, but its schools are a disaster and critics say Jacobs Field is a monument to misplaced priorities. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199908/30_khoom_jake/?refid=0 Mon, 30 Aug 1999 12:00:00 -0500 McCombs' Turn With the debate over the Twins stadium heating up, Vikings owner Red McCombs makes it clear: he expects a stadium for his team too. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199908/12_khoom_vikes/?refid=0 Thu, 12 Aug 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Is Resistance Futile The stadium debate becomes a war of attrition. Can proponents outlast frustrated opponents? http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199908/10_khoom_opponents/?refid=0 Tue, 10 Aug 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Monson's Message: Go to Class After an academic cheating scandal forced out basketball coach Clem Haskins, the University of Minnesota hires a new coach with a different agenda: players should do their own work. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199907/26_khoom_monson/?refid=0 Mon, 26 Jul 1999 12:00:00 -0500 A Mixed Bag Although his job performance rating is relatively unchanged, the latest poll from Minnesota Public Radio, KARE TV, and the St. Paul Pioneer Press shows growing concern over Governor Ventura's behavior as governor. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199907/14_khoom_venturapoll/?refid=0 Wed, 14 Jul 1999 12:00:00 -0500 No Sale A Minnesota Public Radio - St. Paul Pioneer Press - KARE TV poll shows overwhelming opposition in St. Paul to the idea of a taxpayer-funded baseball stadium. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199907/01_khoom_stadiumpoll-s/?refid=0 Thu, 01 Jul 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Legalized Fireworks The Fourth of July holiday rekindles the debate: should Minnesota legalize fireworks for public sale? http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/30_khoom_boom/?refid=0 Wed, 30 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Lost Cause? As the stadium war heats up in the Twin Cities, some economists say stadiums won't equalize the economic playing field. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/28_khoom_zimbalist-s/?refid=0 Mon, 28 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 The Kid From Hibbing The people who knew Kevin McHale way back when didn't know he'd be good enough to be a Hall of Famer. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/24_khoom_mchale/?refid=0 Thu, 24 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Rallying Around a Friend Friends of Kathleen Olson say her arrest by the FBI doesn't change their opinion of her. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/21_khoom_fugitive/?refid=0 Mon, 21 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Swing And A Miss Mayor Coleman and stadium supporters strike out in first attempt to sway voters on ballpark's merits. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/18_khoom_parkforum-s/?refid=0 Fri, 18 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 The Drive Begins St. Paul begins petition drive to put the stadium question on the ballot. A key lawmaker says it won't matter. He'll still vote against it. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/15_khoom_stadium-s/?refid=0 Tue, 15 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Grams Re-election Effort Underwa Incumbent senator has plenty of DFL challengers waiting in the wings. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199906/08_khoom_grams/?refid=0 Tue, 08 Jun 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Pencils Down. Legislature Closes Book on Session Education is the big winner in the legislative session, but the future of &quot;Profile of Learning&quot; is in doubt. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199905/18_khoom_session/?refid=0 Tue, 18 May 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Rock 'n' Roll to the Rescue Minneapolis hosts the first U.S. benefit concert for Kosavar refugees. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199904/26_khoom_concert/?refid=0 Mon, 26 Apr 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Who Are These Guys? They're the Minnesota Twins; a lean, mean, game-losing machine. And the fans seem to love it. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199904/07_khoom_twins/?refid=0 Wed, 07 Apr 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Senators Cancel One Another As they have for years, Minnesota's two Senators have different opinions on Kosovo. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199904/06_khoom_kosovo/?refid=0 Tue, 06 Apr 1999 12:00:00 -0500 Looking for a Seed of Hope Farmers worry promises of help from state officials was little more than talk. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199903/26_khoom_farm/?refid=0 Fri, 26 Mar 1999 12:00:00 -0600 Abortion Debate Heats Up Committee action sets the stage for floor fights. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199903/17_khoom_abortion/?refid=0 Wed, 17 Mar 1999 12:00:00 -0600 All Danced Out The Majestic Ballroom bows out. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199903/02_khoom_majestic/?refid=0 Tue, 02 Mar 1999 12:00:00 -0600 Titanic Whistle Blows Again Thousands gather in St. Paul for last chance to hear blast. http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/199902/20_khoom_titanic/?refid=0 Sat, 20 Feb 1999 12:00:00 -0600