MINNEAPOLIS — A Hennepin County judge on Monday, June 3, sentenced a man who threw a boy from a third-floor balcony at the Mall of America to 19 years in prison. Emmanuel Aranda, 24, in May pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted murder and said he knew that throwing five-year-old Landen over the railing nearly 40 feet to the ground could kill him.
ST. PAUL — Drug distributors and manufacturers will be required to help pay for some of the aftermath of the opioid epidemic in Minnesota after Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday, May 22, signed into law a sweeping package of legislation. The DFL governor announced that he signed into law the package that would require opioid distributors to pay fees expected to total more than $20 million. Those funds would be used to provide education and prevention programs as well as treatment programs.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Sunday, May 19, announced a compromise budget deal with hours remaining in the legislative session. After days of closed-door meetings, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Gov. Tim Walz emerged with a plan to spend $48 billion over the next two years, a roughly 6% increase in spending from current funding levels.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislative leaders and the governor on Wednesday, May 15, continued the second day of marathon budget talks, which they said entered a "really important time." The seemingly productive talks come after a series of negotiations that ended in deadlocks, stalling progress in advancing a two-year state budget expected to top $48 billion. A day prior, the leaders spent more than 10 hours talking through how they might bring their budgets closer together in the last week of the legislative session.
ST. PAUL -- State legislative leaders and the governor on Monday, May 13, again deadlocked over state spending with a week left to get their work done. Legislative leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature started their conversations with a $2 billion gap in proposed spending and seemed to inch closer to the middle, each giving up a bit more with each counteroffer. But their talks abruptly broke off after Republicans committed to blocking new taxes and Democrats said they'd fight to levy them to help pay for priorities such as schools and health care programs.
ST. PAUL -- Leaders in the nation's only divided Legislature dug in hours before the Minnesota House of Representatives was set to debate two gun control measures Monday, April 29, as part of a larger public safety funding proposal. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, rallied with gun control supporters Monday morning and said the measure would pass in the House, despite opposition from some in her caucus. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, meanwhile, said the bills would be "dead" in the Senate.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to hike Minnesota's tax on gasoline took a step forward Monday, April 29, in the state Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives on a 74-58 vote approved a plan to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years as part of the body's $7.2 billion transportation spending plan.
ST. PAUL -- Buckle up, Minnesota. Construction season is on the way. The state Department of Transportation on Thursday, April 4, unveiled its list of 221 infrastructure construction projects slated for this spring and summer. And department leaders shared them with a word of warning for Minnesotans: get ready to spend some more time in the car.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives said the state needs to do more to detect, prevent and investigate fraud in the state's child care assistance program. At a news conference on Monday, March 25, GOP lawmakers presented a package of bills they plan to move forward that would increase penalties for committing fraud and block those who've abused the program from re-enrolling.
ST. PAUL -- Members of the Minnesota Senate re-wrote their rules on harassment and discrimination for the first time in almost two decades. The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Monday, March 25, voted unanimously to advance changes to the body's non-discrimination and harassment policies. The vote allowed the rules to take effect immediately, replacing ones in place since 1990.