Politics

Torey Van Oot
Updated 23 hours ago - Politics

Tracker: Minnesota Legislature's retirement count grows

Data: Minnesota Legislative Reference Library; Note: Senators were not up for re-election in 2014 or 2018; Five legislators intending to run for other offices excluded in 2022 for now; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

An expected wave of state legislative retirements is starting to swell ahead of the 2022 election.

What's happening: Sixteen state legislators have already announced that they won't seek re-election in November, per announcements and a tally kept by the Legislative Reference Library.

Plus: Seven more legislators, including former Senate leader Paul Gazelka, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rena Moran are seeking other offices.

Why it matters: Retirements create open races that could reshape the Legislature with new voices.

Torey Van Oot
Jan 24, 2022 - Politics

Cash flows into Minnesota's Secretary of State race

steve simon in a mask
Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The race to run Minnesota's elections is already attracting serious money.

Driving the news: Secretary of State Steve Simon raised $397,000 for his re-election bid in 2021, a spokesman told Axios, significantly outpacing recent campaigns for the state's top election official.

  • The incumbent Democrat entered 2022 with more than $450,000 in his campaign account.
Nick Halter
Jan 14, 2022 - Politics

Rent control will be top issue for Minneapolis City Council

Elliott Payne
Elliott Payne is one of several council members pushing for a strict rent control policy. Photo courtesy of Elliott Payne

Several progressive Minneapolis City Council members are making a strict rent control ordinance their first big to-do at City Hall.

Why it matters: 53% of voters approved a ballot measure last November giving the new City Council power to enact some kind of rent control ordinance.

Nick Halter
Jan 11, 2022 - Politics

Minneapolis' new City Council president shares plan to bridge divides

Minneapolis' new City Council President Andrea Jenkins looks off-camera.
Andrea Jenkins is the new Minneapolis City Council president. Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for New York Magazine

A Minneapolis City Council with seven new members began the process of governing Monday after electing a new president, Andrea Jenkins, and a new vice president, Linea Palmisano.

Why it matters: The council, which had its power weakened by voters in November, will deal with a shortage of affordable housing, rising crime and fractured police-community relations.

Torey Van Oot
Jan 9, 2022 - Politics

Kendall Qualls announces run for Minnesota governor

kendall qualls
Kendall Qualls. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Former congressional candidate Kendall Qualls is running for Minnesota governor.

State of play: Qualls joins a full field of Republicans vying to take on DFL Gov. Tim Walz in November.

Torey Van Oot
Dec 13, 2021 - Politics

Paul Gazelka wins Minnesota GOP gubernatorial straw poll

paul gazelka laughs
Photo: Jim Mone/AP File

State Sen. Paul Gazelka won the Minnesota Republican Party's gubernatorial race straw poll over the weekend.

Why it matters: The straw poll of GOP delegates gives some indication of how party activists who will influence the endorsements are leaning in the competitive gubernatorial race right now.

Yes, but: A bigger universe of Republican delegates votes for the actual endorsement next year. And being straw poll frontrunner isn't a lock for the nomination — someone else won the primary in at least the last three elections. In 2018, the victor ended his campaign a month later.

Torey Van Oot
Dec 8, 2021 - Politics

Jockeying begins over how to spend Minnesota's $7B surplus

Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Get ready for a gold rush at the Minnesota State Capitol.

What's new: State budget officials are projecting a record $7.7 billion surplus — meaning there's loads of cash for lawmakers to spend in the upcoming legislative session and beyond.

The big picture: The major tension at the politically divided Legislature will be over how much to give back in tax cuts versus spend on new programs.

Torey Van Oot
Updated Dec 7, 2021 - Politics

Minnesota projected to have $7.7 billion surplus

Illustration of a common loon sitting on a pile of cash.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minnesota's state economists are now projecting a $7.7 billion surplus for the government's general fund.

Driving the news: The state Department of Management and Budget (MMB) released its updated budget forecast on Tuesday, giving lawmakers and residents a sense of Minnesota's financial health for the next two-year budget.

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