Politics & Policy

Bye bye, puppy mills!

Time to celebrate, SWDers! It’s been a long road to get here (one with its share of disappointments), but yesterday, May 20, Governor Mark Dayton signed the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (H.F. 3172) into law, which included the MN Dog and Cat Breeder Regulation Bill.


Lawmakers finish jam-packed session early

Rep. Carly Melin gets an embrace from Sen. D. Scott Dibble after final House passage of her medical cannabis bill May 16. (Photo by Andrew VonBank)

The 2014 Legislature gaveled in on the relatively late date of Feb. 25. But lawmakers surprised even themselves by accomplishing a substantial amount of this year’s business on the early side of things. By the time legislators returned to their districts for the Easter/Passover recess, they had cut taxes and increased the budget reserves by more than $600 million and settled their differences on raising the state’s hourly minimum wage.


Making sense of the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session – A tale in four parts

Legislative sessions in Minnesota produce defining themes. These narratives allow observers to make sense out the political debates and the policies that emerge. Often times these narratives also influence the legislators themselves, acting almost as invisible hands that move participants in ways that look as if they are serving broader goals. The 2014 legislative session too had its defining themes; in this case four stand out.


Trials and tribulations at the Legislature

I have been at the Minnesota Legislature for a long time influencing public policy. I have been guided by my viewpoint what I think is important for civil liberties, privacy, and open government. But life as a concerned citizen has not always been a bed of roses. My satisfaction of getting laws and initiatives passed with which I have had a hand in has been quite satisfying. Many of my actions for or against legislation will never affect me, but I know it will with others. But the trial and tribulation one goes through is another story.


COMMUNITY VOICES | Mother's Day and the federal budget

When I was growing up, my single Mom worked hard as a minimum wage waitress at the local golf club to put food on the table for our family and to pay the mortgage.


Jim Oberstar…Congress' best and what an ally

Without question, Jim Oberstar will long be honored as one of Minnesota’s most effective members of Congress. He had an uncanny ability to get things done and never shied away from what may have appeared to be an impossible mission.


COMMUNITY VOICES | Jim Oberstar remembered by Senator Al Franken

Hours before Senator Al Franken was to address the convention of Minnesota Congressional District Three Democrats at Maple Grove Junior High School, he learned that his adviser and friend, former C


The Weltanschauungen of Obama and Dayton

The German word “Weltanschauung” refers to a world view. The power of an Weltanschauung was on display last week in two events–one involving President Obama responding to critics of his presidency and specifically his foreign policy, the other in Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton delivering his State of the State address. While the media largely covered these stories as political or campaign speeches, they missed the deeper meaning or world views that both contained.

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