Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders met Tuesday to preview the upcoming session before its Feb. 20 start date. The hour-long forum, hosted by the Forum News Service at the Senate Office Building in St. Paul, focused on legislative priorities and legal conflicts between the executive and legislative branches.
The 38-hour standoff at the Graduate Hotel on the University of Minnesota campus last week ended without harm. The end to the standoff was made possible by a coalition of law enforcement agencies that collaborated to secure the suspect, 43-year-old Rashad Bowman of Woodbury. Law enforcement officials say police and SWAT training for prevention of mass-casualty events was partially responsible for ending the standoff.
State lawmakers and gubernatorial hopefuls will look to gain momentum for their election campaigns at precinct caucuses this week. Political party caucuses begin at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in precincts throughout the state. Candidates vying for the governor’s position and seats in the state House will also attempt to expose new participants to the process.
The University of Minnesota’s 2018 bonding request is among its largest in the past five years. But that hasn’t stopped Gov. Mark Dayton from proposing full funding for the University’s request, plus an additional $60 million the school didn’t ask for. Dayton unveiled his higher education proposal as part of a larger $1.5 billion public works package earlier this month.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, launched her re-election campaign Tuesday among supporters at the African Development Center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
Gov. Mark Dayton proposed a $1.5 billion bonding bill on Tuesday that includes nearly $300 million in spending for the University of Minnesota campuses. Dayton’s public works package matches the University’s entire 2018 capital request of $238.5 million, plus an additional $60 million for critical facilities maintenance and the design of a new clinical research facility on the University’s Twin Cities campus.
A new Minneapolis City Council committee will focus on boosting the city’s affordable housing stock. The formation of a new Housing Policy and Development committee was announced last week with the approval of other standing committees and new council leadership. The HPD committee will have primary oversight on current and future affordable housing policies.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and new city council members took their oaths of office Monday at a public ceremony in City Hall. The new mayor spoke during his inaugural address about his priorities for the city and offered a hopeful outlook for the future. University of Minnesota-area council members Steve Fletcher and Cam Gordon were also sworn in during the ceremony.
The federal government has filed a counter-suit against the University of Minnesota over contamination at a school-owned property in Rosemount.
The Minnesota state government will face an estimated $188 million deficit over the current two-year budget cycle, the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget announced Tuesday. The forecast was met with concern, and some apathy, by University of Minnesota officials and state lawmakers.