ST. PAUL — Opioid overdose deaths fell in Minnesota between 2017 and 2018, early data show, potentially bending a nearly decade-long trend in painkiller-related deaths. And for the first time, synthetic opioids like fentanyl were recorded as the cause of the most opioid-related overdose deaths over commonly prescribed opioids and methadone.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota hunters and farmers could soon carry handheld tools to test deer for fatal brain disease in the field. In labs across the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, scientists are months away from making that a reality. After lawmakers and the governor approved $1.8 million to fund the creation of a test to detect chronic wasting disease within hours, rather than days, a team of veterinary experts, microbiologists, genomics professors and engineers started a two-year timeline to create a breakthrough tool to test for the disease.
ST. PAUL — Schools around the state are set to see a funding boost next year (as well as the year after) under a $48 billion, two-year spending plan passed through the Legislature and was signed into law. And that could mean districts struggling to make ends meet can skip bond referendum votes and resulting property tax hikes for Minnesotans, at least for now, Gov. Tim Walz and Commissioner of the Department of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker told reporters on Monday, June 10.
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 -- The Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives on Monday, May 20, approved a proposal to hike the fee on drug manufacturers to pay for the impacts of the opioid epidemic. In the final hours of the legislative session, a conference committee put up a last-minute deal that would require the manufacturers and 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.
ALBERT LEA, Minn. — The governor and Minnesota legislative leaders hooked a baker's dozen fish at the Governor's Fishing Opener Saturday, May 11, but they didn't reel in a budget deal. Gov. Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, along with Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, spent the morning on Fountain Lake on a pontoon boat. Ahead of the trip, they said they'd be open to talking shop on the boat but decided Saturday morning to focus on the fish.
ST. PAUL -- A pair of gun control bills is scheduled for another primetime hearing Wednesday night at the Capitol. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division is set to take up the proposals that would require universal background checks at the point of sale or transfer of a firearm and allow law enforcement officers to remove a person's weapons if they're believed to pose a threat.
ST. PAUL -- The state should take advantage of the current low interest rates and pass a $1.3 billion bonding bill to cover the cost of a slate of projects, Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday, Feb. 26. The call from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor came in a nonbonding year at the Legislature and while it bucked the state's traditional schedule, Walz said it was crucial to pass the bill to resolve some of the state's most pressing issues.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Feb. 19, presented his first budget proposal which came with a $49.5 billion price tag for the next two years. It includes a boost for Minnesota schools, local communities and health care programs. And to fund those programs, as well as a transportation and infrastructure package, the DFL governor planned to use a projected $1.5 billion surplus and new taxes. Democratic lawmakers were largely supportive of the proposal while Republicans, who hold a key two-seat advantage in the Senate, said they'd oppose several pieces.