Minnesota Waives Absentee Ballot Witness Signature Requirement

Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the statewide primary election in August under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuits were filed by political arms of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. A Ramsey County judge signed off on the consent decree with the retirees Wednesday while a federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case.

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Nine More Lawmakers Join Lawsuit Against Gov. Walz Over Use of Emergency Powers

Nine more Republican lawmakers have joined a lawsuit against Gov. Tim Walz regarding his use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Resolution to End Walz’s Peacetime Emergency Fails to Pass, But Receives Bipartisan Support

Yet another resolution to end Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency declaration was rejected Friday, but this time the proposal received bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.

The resolution passed the Republican-controlled Senate in a vote of 38-29, with three Democratic senators joining Republicans in voting to end the governor’s emergency powers, which first took effect March 13 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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DFL Lawmaker Wants Portrait of Lincoln Removed from Minnesota House Chamber

A DFL lawmaker revealed on Twitter this week that she’s “tried a bunch of times” to get a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln removed from the Minnesota House chamber.

State Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL-New Brighton) said it’s “hard to look at” House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) when she’s “standing in front of Lincoln.”

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Minnesota Business Owners Call for Reopening Economy During Press Conference at the Capitol

Several small business owners called for reopening the economy during a Monday press conference at the Minnesota Capitol.

“We desire to honor our God, and our government and governor. We think we can do both. But we have no idea how to get a plan approved, to whom to submit it, or if anyone needs to or will consider it. The church needs to gather, we are more the church when we gather than at any other time. Please, Gov. Walz, help us by providing clear ways for plans to be approved and for us to meet,” said Rory Martin, pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church in Eden Prairie.

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Organization Claims Minnesota Legislative Committees Meeting in Small Groups to Avoid Open Meetings Law

ACLU Minnesota John Gordon

A legal organization said members of the Minnesota Legislature are holding committee meetings in small groups in order to avoid triggering the state’s “Open Meeting Law.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Minnesota said legislators have been deliberately meeting in small groups so they can bypass the law, which generally requires that all meetings be open to the public.

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DFL-Controlled House Blocks Two Resolutions to End Minnesota’s Peacetime Emergency

The DFL-controlled Minnesota House voted Tuesday against two resolutions that would have ended Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency declaration and voided his coronavirus-related executive orders.

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Minnesota Republicans Introduce Bill to End Peacetime Emergency, Return Power to Legislature

Minnesota House Republicans introduced a resolution Monday that would end Gov. Tim Walz’s peacetime emergency declaration and restore power in responding to the pandemic to the State Legislature.

The resolution was introduced shortly after Walz announced that he has extended the state’s peacetime emergency for 30 days, which allows the governor to act unilaterally in adopting “necessary orders and rules.”

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Republican Lawmakers Blast Minnesota’s Coronavirus Omnibus Bill: ‘Zero Transparency’

The Minnesota Legislature passed a $330 million omnibus bill this week to address the coronavirus pandemic, but some Republican lawmakers were frustrated with the unprecedented lack of transparency in the process.

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Minnesota Republicans Introduce Bill to Strip Funding from Libraries That Host ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’

A bill introduced Monday in the Minnesota House would pull public funding from libraries that host “drag queen story hour” performances for children.

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Minnesota’s Projected Budget Surplus Increases $181 Million in New Forecast

Minnesota Management and Budget’s annual February economic forecast projected a budget surplus of $1.513 billion for the 2020-21 budget cycle.

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Minnesota Session Begins With Debate to Adjourn Until Next Year: ‘We’re Safer If the Legislature Goes Home’

The Minnesota Legislature kicked off its 2020 legislative session Tuesday, but the House began with an unexpected debate about whether or not it should even be meeting.

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State Reps Ask Two More Minnesota Counties to Become Second Amendment Sanctuaries

Republican state lawmakers have asked two more Minnesota counties to become Second Amendment “sanctuary” jurisdictions, which are areas that refuse to enforce gun control measures.

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National Democrats Sue Minnesota As Part of ‘Eight Figure Commitment’ to Fighting ‘Voter Suppression’

Two national Democratic groups filed a lawsuit against Minnesota Thursday in an effort to eliminate the state’s “unconstitutional” restrictions on voter assistance.

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DFL Lawmakers Announce ‘Religious Freedom Day’ Resolution Condemning ‘Islamophobia,’ Promoting ‘Religious Pluralism’

Two DFL lawmakers plan to introduce a “Religious Freedom Day” resolution that condemns “Islamophobia” and celebrates “religious pluralism.”

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Minnesota State Senator ‘Deeply Disturbed’ by DFL Leader’s Threat to Cut Funding from County Over Refugees

A Minnesota senator said he is “deeply disturbed” by House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler’s (DFL-Golden Valley) threat to cut state aid from Beltrami County after it voted to opt out of refugee resettlement.

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DFL House Leader Threatens Minnesota County for Voting Against Refugee Resettlement

A high-ranking Minnesota lawmaker is threatening to withhold state aid from Beltrami County after it became the first county in the state to opt out of refugee resettlement.

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Justice Democrats Candidate for Minnesota House Wants to Pass ‘Sanctuary State’ Law, Says Cars Aren’t a ‘Long Term Transportation Plan’

A graduate of the Justice Democrats’ “Movement School” recently launched a campaign for Minnesota House District 60A, which was left vacant after the passing of Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Minneapolis).

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Minnesota DHS Commissioner Says Agency Isn’t ‘In Crisis’ During House Hearing

Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Jodi Harpstead presented her “90-day report” to state lawmakers Monday morning, but the two-hour hearing before the House Health and Human Services Committee may have produced more questions than answers.

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Email Appears to Show DHS Wanted to Cut Check to Child Care Center Connected to ‘Taliban Official’

Officials in Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) allegedly wanted to cut a new check to a child care center that had its bank account frozen by the Office of Foreign Asset Control because of the account owner’s association “with a Taliban official,” emails obtained by a state representative show.

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Child Protection League Denied Booth Space at Minnesota School Boards Conference

A Minnesota nonprofit seeking to protect children from “exploitation, indoctrination, and violence” was denied booth space at the Minnesota School Boards Association’s (MSBA) annual “Leadership Conference.”

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House GOP Leader Criticized for Joining Lobbying Firm While Still a Legislator

House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) caused an uproar Friday when it was announced that he would be working for a lobbying firm as its director of public affairs while still serving in the Minnesota Legislature.

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House DFL Wants to Raise Taxes on Tobacco Products, Ban All Flavored Products, Prohibit Online Sales and Raise Purchasing Age to 21

The Minnesota House DFL Caucus accused JUUL and other e-cigarette companies of targeting kids and communities of color at a Monday press conference where a number of new policy initiatives were announced, including a proposal to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21.

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Minnesota Republican Called ‘Dangerous’ for Revealing That Walmart Sells Cheap Insulin 

A Minnesota Republican lawmaker was called “dangerous” and “reckless” for suggesting that diabetics purchase a cheaper insulin from Walmart instead of rationing the newer and more expensive analog insulin products.

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Lawmakers Renew Calls for Privatizing Minnesota’s Twin Cities Public Television After Station Destroyed Embarrassing Footage of First Lady Walz

Minnesota Republicans are renewing their calls to privatize public television stations after new reports revealed that Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) deleted embarrassing footage of First Lady Gwen Walz at the request of the governor’s office.

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ACU Honors Minnesota’s New House GOP Caucus at Special ‘Some People Did Something’ 9/11 Event

The American Conservative Union, the organizer of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, was in Minnesota Wednesday evening for an event honoring conservative members of the Minnesota House and commemorating the tragic events of 9/11.

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Informal State Fair Polls Show Broad Support for Liberal Policies

Two annual Minnesota State Fair polls released Tuesday show broad support for progressive policy initiatives in the state, including driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and an end to abortion bans.

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Minnesota House GOP Calls on Democrats to Hold Hearings on DHS During Upcoming ‘Mini-Session’

Minnesota House Republicans are calling on their Democratic colleagues to hold hearings on the ongoing turmoil at the Department of Human Services during an upcoming legislative “mini-session.”

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Same DFL Staffer Who Called for Murder of Republicans Faces Backlash for Labeling New Navy Ship ‘Murder Boat’

  A DFL staffer who once called for sending Republicans “to the guillotines” faced backlash over the weekend for calling the new USS Minneapolis-St. Paul a “murder boat.” William Davis, a research director and deputy communications director for the DFL, made the comments in response to the christening of the…

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