Axios Twin Cities

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Good morning! Cloudy with a high near 64 today, per NWS.

๐Ÿ“… Situational awareness: Axios' Jonathan Swan will interview Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky live in Davos at 1pm today. Bookmark this link to tune in.

Today's newsletter is 823, a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: No deal by deadline

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

The divided Legislature didn't get it done.

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.

State of play: Leaders said overnight that they got close on a number of key spending areas, including schools and transportation, but remained far apart on others.

  • A bipartisan agreement to pass a $4 billion tax package that negotiators say is the biggest cut in Minnesota history was put on hold until those other issues could be resolved.

What got done: Both chambers approved an agriculture spending bill that includes more than $18 million for drought relief and $210 million in broadband investments. A last-minute compromise on mental health funding also passed.

  • On Friday, lawmakers also approved liquor legislation that allows more breweries and distilleries to sell their products directly to customers. Gov. Tim Walz signed that into law Sunday.

What didn't: Spending and policy bills on other major issues.

The intrigue: Blowing the deadline doesn't mean the bills are dead for the year. Talks could continue and, if all sides agree, Walz could call a special session once details are locked in.

Where they stand: House Speaker Melissa Hortman told reporters that some areas are within a day or two of agreement and could be resolved before Memorial Day.

  • But Senate Republican Leader Jeremy Miller expressed skepticism that a short special session would do much good: "If we couldnโ€™t get there now, with a real deadline at midnight, how the heck are we going to get there?" he said.

Walz, who just a month ago said he wouldn't call lawmakers back, said he now does want a special session given how close they are to finalizing the deal.

2. Bde Maka Ska pavilion work begins

bde maka ska pavillion
Rendering courtesy of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board

Construction on a new pavilion and concession stand at Bde Maka Ska is set to start this week.

What's coming: Two new buildings, a performance space, bathrooms and seating.

  • The site replaces a longstanding pavilion and restaurant Lola on the Lake, both of which burned down in a 2019 fire caused by discarded hookah embers.

Of note: The nearby boat launch will be closed June 6 to Sept. 16 to make space for construction. Access to paths may also be restricted at times.

What's next: The pavilion is expected to open next summer.

3. The Spoon: Minneapolis vs. MDHR

Illustration of a spoon of alphabet soup spelling out "The Spoon"
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

๐Ÿšจ Minneapolis' City Attorney's Office says it can't find evidence to back the Minnesota Department of Human Rights' claim that MPD officers posed as Black community group members online to monitor and target elected officials and advocacy groups.

  • Talks on a consent decree that could bring court-enforced changes to the embattled department are on pause as a result. (MPR News)

๐Ÿฅœ Pantry PSA: Some Jif peanut butter products are being recalled for potential salmonella contamination. (Axios)

๐Ÿ€ Get to know Marc Lore, the tech entrepreneur who's buying the Timberwolves along with Alex Rodriguez. (Mpls St. Paul Magazine)

โ˜• The Get Down Coffee Co., a local speciality roaster founded by entrepreneur Houston White and Dogwood Coffee's Dan Anderson, is heading to dozens of Illinois stores under an expanded distribution deal with Target. (Twitter)

๐Ÿ’ฐ UnitedHealth Group topped the Star Tribune's annual list of Minnesota's biggest companies, with more than $287 billion in revenue. (Star Tribune)

New jobs to check out

โšฝ๏ธ Get the ball rolling. Check out these openings from our Job Board.

  1. Public Affairs/Public Relations Team Member at LS2group.
  2. Partner Program Lead, NPO at AWS.
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4. ๐Ÿ”ฎ Our peek into the future of work meetings

Every company meeting should have some confetti. Photo: Cheriss May/Axios

We spent last week doing something that more of us will probably experience in a hybrid work world: A companywide retreat.

The big picture: A growing number of companies โ€” including Axios โ€” are making remote work not the exception, but the norm.

  • Opting to go "remote-first forever," as we have, can give employees more flexibility and employers an edge in recruiting top talent, as our co-founder Jim VandeHei wrote in Axios Finish Line last week.

Yes, but: Remote work has its limitations. A study published in April found that people are less creative in virtual meetings.

  • Plus: In our case, 75% of Axios' 500 employees โ€” including the entire Axios Local team, now in 25 cities across the country โ€” have been hired since the pandemic began. Many of us had never met!

The solution: Find ways for people to get geographically dispersed teams, and even the whole company from time to time, together to build relationships and get those creative juices flowing.

How we did it: More than 400 of us flew into D.C. last week for a two-day retreat. We had daily onsite COVID testing and a virtual option for those of us who couldn't attend in person.

The bottom line: Axios co-founder Mike Allen told us that time together in real life will always be a vital part of our company culture, especially in a work-from-anywhere world.

  • "We didn't even need ice-breakers," he says. "Everyone was instantly trading ideas, planning for growth and collaboration. Our next Zooms will be a lot more fun."

๐Ÿ Go deeper with "The future of retreats," via Axios Finish Line.

See you back here tomorrow!