Monthly Archives: June 2015
The next generation of Republicans gathered Monday evening at the Maple Tavern for the Minnesota Young Republicans' Freedom Reception. Keynote speakers included United States Representative Tom Emmer and Minnesota State Representative and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin.
6th term Rep Pat Garafalo, R-Farmington was featured on "Almanac" over the weekend alongside retiring Rep Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley. During the interview, Garofalo, Chair of the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, advocated for more public-private partnerships and touted divided government in Minnesota. When discussing the state's business climate, Garofalo observed, "We're never going to be a low tax state, no one wants Minnesota to be a low tax state. If low taxes were just the answer then Mississippi would have a great economy, if high taxes were the answer then Illinois would have a great economy."
Via MPR News: Minnesota's two largest government unions have won a 5% salary increase over the next two years. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE ) negotiated with the state of Minnesota for a 2.5% annual increase for each of the next two years. There are 30,000 employees between the two government unions. AFSCME Council 5 spent over $865000 lobbying the state legislature in 2013-2014. The union is a part of the Minnesota AFL-CIO which spent $720,000 lobbying in 2013-2014. MAPE spent $140,000 during the same two years.
Yesterday, Republicans had plenty to say about the Supreme Court's King vs. Burwell case which determined that the subsidies for the federal Obamacare exchange were legal. The Minnesota Republican party issued multiple tweets and sent an email urging party followers to "elect more Republicans" in light of the decision.
Alpha News asks students at The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, what they think about their tuition and President Kaler's salary. Their responses may surprise you...
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the "Run for America" consulting firm that is working via social media sites like LinkedIn to persuade millennials to run for Congress. The firm touted some of the perks of being a member of Congress including "paid vacation." The Post pointed out that they failed to mention the free overseas luxury vacations that many members of Congress have enjoyed. This caused Alpha News to take a look at Minnesota's House members and their travel habits.
Gretchen Carlson, host of "The Real Story" on Fox News, former Miss America and Miss Minnesota, and author of Getting Real sits down with our former Miss Minneapolis and Chief Capitol Reporter Julia Erynn to discuss her new book, overcoming obstacles, and being babysat by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
The Minnesota state general funds budget continues to skyrocket. The Governor and legislature recently approved a $42.5 billion 2-year budget which is a 17% increase from the first budget that Governor Dayton helped to craft four years ago ($35.3 billion) and a 30% increase from the last biennial budget under Republican Governor Pawlenty in 2010-2011 ($30 billion.)
Alpha News Report on the increase in closed door meetings and negotiations in Minnesota politics.
In the world of legislation, the first time isn't usually the charm. Governor Dayton likely knew that installing taxpayer-funded universal PreK wasn't going to happen with a Republican House, but he planted a seed for future debate while securing increased funding to expand existing state PreK programs. There were many other education bills that the public never heard about this session which were also initial attempts to change policy. While they didn't make it far in 2015, taxpayers will most likely see them again in the future.