Torey Van Oot
May 23, 2022 - Politics

Tax cuts and school spending stall as Minnesota Legislature session wraps up

minnesota house
Photo: John Autey/MediaNews Group/St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

Proposals to use Minnesota's surplus to cut taxes and give schools and other areas of state spending a boost stalled amid partisan gridlock at the divided Legislature over the weekend.

The big picture: A midnight Sunday deadline for passing bills by the end of the regular session came and went, with some of the biggest pieces of a deal to spend more than $8 billion of the state's projected surplus unfinished.

Torey Van Oot
May 16, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota leaders outline framework for end-of-session spending deal

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

Top Minnesota lawmakers have agreed to the framework of an end-of-session deal on spending a big chunk of the state's surplus, with one week to go until the deadline to adjourn for the year.

The big picture: Under the tentative agreement announced by Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders Monday, about $4 billion will go to tax cuts and $4 billion to spending on areas such as education, public safety and health services over the next three years.

Torey Van Oot
May 15, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota candidate for governor Scott Jensen wins GOP endorsement

scott jensen
Scott Jensen. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Legislature

Minnesota Republicans endorsed Scott Jensen as their candidate to take on DFL Gov. Tim Walz after a long and contentious debate on Saturday.

Why it matters: The endorsement unlocks support from the state party and has historically carried significant sway with GOP primary voters.

Torey Van Oot
May 13, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Republicans gather to endorse candidate for governor

Illustration of an elephant trunk holding a megaphone.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

November matchups for some of Minnesota's top statewide races could be all but finalized by this weekend — if a fight over election security doesn't derail the state Republican Party convention.

What's happening: Republican activists will gather in Rochester Friday and Saturday to endorse candidates for statewide office, including governor, ahead of the August primary.

Torey Van Oot
May 12, 2022 - Politics

Trail mix: Endorsement battles and election integrity directors

Illustration of trail mix with elephant and donkey pretzels
Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Trail Mix is Axios Twin Cities reporter Torey Van Oot's occasional column reporting on Minnesota's midterm campaigns.

Statewide races are in the spotlight this weekend, as Republicans flock to Rochester to pick their preferred candidates.

  • But the longest-serving member of Minnesota's congressional delegation is facing an endorsement challenge this weekend.
Torey Van Oot
May 10, 2022 - Politics

Andrew Yang's plans for the Forward Party in Minnesota

Photo illustration of Andrew Yang and the Forward Party logo.
Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The prospect of his new political party being called a spoiler doesn't seem to bother Andrew Yang.

The big picture: The former presidential candidate, who launched the Forward Party late last year after leaving the Democratic Party, told Axios in an interview that his effort reflects a need for the nation to "evolve to a dynamic, more representative multi-party system."

Torey Van Oot
May 6, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz walks back COVID "after action" report plans

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

In mid-March, as COVID-19 cases fell to some of the lowest levels in months, Gov. Tim Walz touted plans for a COVID "after action" report.

  • The findings, which he said could be released by the end of the month, would serve as a "playbook for future administrations and future Minnesotans" for how to respond to future waves.
Torey Van Oot
May 4, 2022 - Politics

How the SCOTUS leak is playing out in Minnesota

Photo illustration of abortion protest signs representing opposing sides in front of the US Supreme Court
Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Minnesota abortion providers are bracing for a surge in demand if the U.S. Supreme Court's leaked draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade holds.

The big picture: Abortion will remain legal in the state for the immediate future if Roe is overturned, due to a 1995 state Supreme Court decision. But it would immediately become illegal in two of our neighbors — North Dakota and South Dakota.

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