Political

Real ID Law Hits a Snag in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota officials’ efforts to upgrade driver’s licenses so they pass muster for domestic flights have hit a snag. The state Senate defeated a bill Monday to put Minnesota in compliance with federal Real ID law. Democrats concerned about blocking driver’s license access for immigrants living in Minnesota illegally united with several Republicans who call the…

Trump Signs Revised Travel Ban

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump has signed a revised travel ban that temporarily halts entry to the United States for people from six Muslim-majority nations, who are seeking new visas and suspends the country’s refugee program. That’s according to White House spokesman Michael Short, who says the signing was done privately. The new directive aims to address legal issues…

Pro-Trump Rally Draws Counterprotesters

"March 4 Trump" in St. Paul was One of Several Nationwide

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) A rally in support of President Donald Trump has drawn hundreds of supporters and counterprotesters to the Minnesota State Capitol. The rally was one of several “March 4 Trump” demonstrations planned nationwide Saturday to support Trump. The Star Tribune reports the protest in St. Paul drew several hundred supporters and scores of counterprotesters. Chanting reverberated through…

Gov. Dayton to Spend One More Day at Mayo

Governor Will Return to Residence Sunday

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will spend one more day at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. Dayton is expected to return to the governor’s residence Sunday. Spokesman Linden Zakula says Saturday that the governor’s surgery was a success and the surgeon found no sign the cancer had spread beyond the prostate. Dayton…

Rick Nolan Takes Part in Healthcare Discussion

According to Nolan, nearly 350,000 people in the 8th district would be affected if the ACA is repealed

DULUTH, Minn. – Representative Rick Nolan was back in Duluth today. This time, talking health care. The congressman and medical professionals were part of a panel discussion sponsored by the United Way. Nolan said, while republicans want to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, there’s no answer to how they plan to do it. “ In a way, they’re…

Republicans Target UW Faculty’s Deal with Planned Parenthood

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican lawmakers want to prohibit University of Wisconsin employees from performing abortions or providing services at facilities where abortions are performed other than hospitals. Representative André Jacque and Senator Chris Kapenga are circulating a bill targeting an arrangement between Planned Parenthood and the University of Wisconsin in which faculty members work part-time at the organization’s Madison…

Wisconsin Company Vies to Build Wall Along US-Mexico Border

BROWNSVILLE, Wis. (AP) – A Dodge County construction company is the lone Wisconsin firm bidding on the federal government’s call for designing and building a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. The Fond du Lac Reporter reports that Brownsville-based Michels Corp. is answering the government’s early call for bids to build a wall spanning the roughly 2,000 mile border with…

House Endorses State Authority Over Wages, Sick Leave

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota House has taken a step toward giving the state sole authority over whether to hike the minimum wage or require sick leave, a move opponents say strips local control from cities in favor of the state businesses. The Republican-controlled House passed the bill following hours of debate Thursday, mainly along party lines. The…

Minnesota Fears Costs of GOP Health Care Plan

Could Cost Billions More

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Minnesota officials are bracing for billions of dollars in additional health care expenses if President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans move ahead with a plan they’re considering to replace the Affordable Care Act. A draft state planning document obtained by The Associated Press shows Minnesota would lose $1.3 billion starting next year under a Republican proposal that…

Wisconsin Republicans Try Again to Stop Sanctuary Cities

Similar Measure Already Passed Assembly

MADISON, Wis.- Republicans in the Wisconsin state Legislature are trying again to outlaw sanctuary cities for immigrants who are in the country illegally. The bill being circulated for co-sponsors would prohibit local governments from enacting any ordinances, resolutions or policies that would prevent federal immigration laws from being enforced. Violators would lose state aid up to $5,000 a day. A…

Dayton Recovering from Prostate Cancer Surgery

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ Gov. Mark Dayton is recovering from surgery to treat a recent prostate cancer diagnosis. Deputy Chief of Staff Linden Zakula said Dayton’s surgery went as planned Thursday, with the procedure ending about 11:30 a.m., and the governor is resting comfortably at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dayton revealed his diagnosis just a day after he collapsed…

Wisconsin Senate Committee Approves 2 Opioid Bills

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A state Senate committee has overwhelmingly approved bills that would grant people who overdose on opioids legal immunity and lay out money for more state drug agents. The first measure would ensure heroin users who overdose would be immune from prosecution for drug possession and ensure their probation, parole, or extended supervision could be revoked for…

Minnesota Fears Costs of GOP Health Care Plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials are bracing for billions of dollars in additional health care expenses if congressional Republicans enact a plan they’re discussing to replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a draft document obtained by The Associated Press. The planning document shows that the GOP proposal, a draft of which was circulated last week, would cut…

Wisconsin Republicans once again target sanctuary cities

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Republican proposal targeting sanctuary cities that offer protections for immigrants living in Wisconsin illegally is back in the state Legislature. A similar proposal failed to get enough support to pass last year following an outpouring of opposition. The new bill being circulated this week for co-sponsors is more limited than the previous version but still…

Minnesota state parks get 2 new campgrounds for 2017

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – New campgrounds, a new water trail and a new chance to see bison are coming to the Minnesota State Parks and Trails system this year. The Department of Natural Resources says two new campgrounds will open this summer at the Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota and Whitewater State Park in the…

Attorney General Facing Accusations of Having Connections with Russia

Investigation Sought by Both Democrats and Republicans

Courtesy of Attorney General’s Office WebsiteWASHINGTON, D.C.-The top House Democrat says Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath when he told the Senate Judiciary that he had no contacts with the Russian government and says he should resign. “Perjury is a crime,” said Nancy Pelosi, Democratic minority leader in the House of Representatives. In the meantime, Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham…

No more snow days? It could happen in Minnesota

Snow days could be replaced with "e-learning" days

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota lawmakers are considering legislation that could spell the end for snow days. A House committee Thursday will discuss a bill that could replace up to five snow days each year with “e-learning days.” Students would get on a laptop or tablet at home and follow along with online lessons on school days that would…

Gov. Dayton Wants Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

Dayton Says it's a Safety Issue

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Gov. Mark Dayton is pressing lawmakers to grant driver’s licenses to immigrants living in Minnesota illegally as part of the effort to comply with stronger federal ID requirements. The Legislature has struggled for years to comply with Real ID, which will require upgraded IDs for domestic flights in January 2018. Dayton’s position adds another possible hurdle. It’s a…

Budget Surplus Expected to be $1.65 Billion

About $250 Million More than Expected

ST. PAUL, Minn.-Minnesota’s projected budget surplus has grown to more than $1.65 billion. State budget officials released the updated figures Tuesday. Lawmakers had previously been expecting a $1.4 billion budget surplus. The revised estimate kicks off the Legislature’s budget-setting process at the Capitol this year. They’ll need to approve a new budget before adjourning in late May. But there have…

Bush Promotes New Book, Reflects on Painting and the Press

  NEW YORK (AP) – Former President George W. Bush says he didn’t intend to criticize President Donald Trump when he recently said that a free press is essential to democracy. Speaking by telephone Tuesday with The Associated Press, Bush said he was simply responding to a reporter’s question about the role of journalism. Trump has referred to the press…

Longtime Cloquet City Admin. Takes Job With St. Louis County

Brian Fritsinger Held Cloquet Position Since 1999

CLOQUET, Minn. – After 18 years as Cloquet’s city administrator, Brian Fritsinger is packing up but not going too far. Fritsinger has been hired as the new deputy county administrator for St. Louis County. He raised his three children in Cloquet and calls the city home, but he tells FOX 21 it’s time for the next chapter in his career….

Pence Asks Indiana Court to Keep Some Government Emails Secret

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to let him keep secret some documents emailed to him while he was the state’s governor. The request comes after an Indianapolis lawyer earlier this month sought the overturning of state appeals court decision access to emails sent to Pence in 2014 in which a staffer for…

Republican Proposes Raising UW Tuition by Inflation, Income

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A key Republican legislature says Governor Scott Walker’s plan to cut University of Wisconsin System tuition could hurt taxpayers and lawmakers should consider letting the system raising tuition according to inflation or income increases. Representative Dale Kooyenga, a member of the Legislature’s powerful budget committee, wrote on the Right Wisconsin website last week that cutting tuition…

Trump Budget will Hike Defense Spending by $54 Billion

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Donald Trump’s upcoming budget will propose a whopping $54 billion increase in defense spending and impose corresponding cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid. The result is that Trump’s initial budget wouldn’t dent budget deficits projected to run about $500 billion. White House budget officials outlined the information during a…

Candidates for Wisconsin Superintendent Face Off at Forum

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Candidates to be Wisconsin’s to education official will meet for their first head-to-head forum since advancing form last week’s primary election. The race to lead Wisconsin’s Department of Public Instruction is proving to be feisty, with bribery allegations and accusations of improperly using work email to campaign. Incumbent Superintendent Tony Evers and challenger Lowell Holtz will meet…

Sunday Liquor Sales Passes Minnesota Senate

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ The Minnesota Legislature has voted to repeal the state’s long-standing ban on Sunday liquor sales. The state Senate passed a bill undoing the Prohibition-era ban on a 38-28 vote Monday. It follows the House’s overwhelming approval of similar legislation last week. Lawmakers have struggled for years to lift the ban but those efforts have regularly…

President Trump to Skip Correspondents’ Dinner

President Announced Decision in Tweet

WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump says he won’t be attending the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner this spring. In a tweet on Saturday, the president doesn’t give a reason but says he wishes “everyone well and have a great evening!” The annual fundraiser for college scholarships mixes politicians, journalists and celebrities. Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with…

State Candidate Sent Campaign Email from Schools Account

Email Appears to be Violation of State Law

MADISON, Wis. (AP) State superintendent candidate Lowell Holtz sent a campaign-focused email detailing his support among Republicans using his Whitnall Public School email address during a school day. The email sent in May appears to be in violation of the state law prohibiting the use of government resources for campaign work. The email was provided to The Associated Press by…

Minnesota Secretary of State Visits Duluth

Secretary of State Simon came to Duluth to speak about Minnesota having the number one ranking in voter turnout.

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon was in Duluth brag bragging about Minnesota’s claim to the highest voter turnout. In the 2016 election, 74% of eligible Minnesotans voted last year. Secretary of State Simon said the state should be proud of its voting record. “We’ve got a good thing going in minnesota. We got back to number…

Wisconsin Attorney General Appeals Redistricting Ruling

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a ruling striking down GOP-drawn legislative boundaries as unconstitutional. Schimel filed the appeal with the nation’s highest court on Friday. Schimel had said he would appeal since a panel of judges last month struck down the maps and ordered the Republican-controlled…

Agency Publishes Timetable for Mexico Border Wall

SAN DIEGO (AP) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The agency said Friday on a website for federal contractors that a request for bids would be published on or around March 6. Companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes…

Minnesota House Passes Real ID Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota House has passed a Real ID bill by a vote of 72-58 after years of concern about government overreach and data privacy surrounding the federal law. Lawmakers are staring down a January 2018 deadline to distribute federally-approved IDs before Minnesota residents are barred from boarding domestic flights and entering military bases with their…

Renee Van Nett Announces Campaign for Duluth City Council

  DULUTH, Minn. – Renee Van Nett announces campaign for Duluth’s 4th district City Council seat. Van Nett founded the Cross Cultural Alliance of Duluth, which works to use cross-cultural collaboration to build a foundation of justice, education, and wellness for the community. She has also worked on various boards including the Duluth Citizen Review Board, Civil Service Board, The…

Trump Signs Executive Order to Reduce Regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump  has signed a new executive order taking aim at government regulations. The president says the order will direct each federal agency to establish a regulator reform task force. The task forces will then recommend which regulations they can simplify or eliminate. The president has long argued that excessive regulations are “killing jobs, driving companies…

Rep. Walz Mulling Democratic Bid for Minnesota Governor

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democratic U.S. Representative Tim Walz says he’s weighing a bid for Minnesota governor. The six-term congressman told Minnesota Public Radio News, Thursday that he plans to make a decision by April. Walz says representing southwestern Minnesota gives him critical experience to boost Democrats’ standing outside in rural Minnesota. Walz narrowly survived his own re-election in…

Ohio, Wisconsin Leaders Prepare for Trump Effect

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Republican legislative leaders from Ohio and Wisconsin are joining forces as they prepare for massive changes in how the federal government under president Donald Trump deals with states. Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberg and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday in Ohio, that they hope to enlist others in asserting the role of states in…

Walker Appoints Risch to Head Financial Institutions

MADISON (AP) – Governor Scott Walker has appointed a former lobbyist for the Wisconsin Bankers Association to head the state agency that regulates the banking industry. Walker announced Thursday that he was appointing Jay Risch to head the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Risch currently serves as deputy secretary of the department. He is replacing Lon Roberts whom Walker appointed…

Dayton Blasts Trump’s Transgender Bathroom Reversal

ST. PAUL (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton is urging Minnesota schools to continue allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. His Thursday pronouncement follows President Donald Trump administration’s decision this week to lift an Obama-era directive. It leaves the decision regarding bathrooms to individual states and school districts. Although the Obama guidance was not legally binding, transgender…

Superior Mayoral Primary Results

Spring election is April 4, 2017

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Tuesday was the Wisconsin primary election, and for Superior, that meant narrowing down to two opponents for the race for mayor. In the running was Brent Fennessey, Kalee Hermanson, Jim Paine, and Mike Herrick. Polls closed at 8 p.m. and shortly after that the official results were in: Brent Fennessey  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ….

Sen. Franken Tours Denfeld Techology Department

Senator Addressed Concerns About High-Tech Education

DULUTH, Minn. – U.S. Senator Al Franken toured the Duluth Denfeld High School’s technology department Tuesday, to see how students here are learning to fill tomorrow’s high tech jobs. The was part of the Senator’s “Advancing Career Pathways Tour” across Minnesota.  America is facing a shortage of high-tech workers, something Sen. Franken wants to see addressed. “We have skills gaps…

State Lawmakers Channel Grief Into Fight Against Opioids

ST. PAUL (AP) – In statehouses across the country, lawmakers with loved ones who fell victim to drugs are leading the fight against the nation’s deadly opioid-abuse crisis, drawing on tragic personal experience to attack the problem. In Minnesota, for example, state Senator Chris Eaton’s daughter died of a heroin overdose in 2007. Eaton has since spearheaded a law granting…

Minnesota House Approves Sunday Liquor Sales

The bill approves the sale of liquor on Sundays. It still needs to be passed by the Senate.

The Minnesota house voted to allow stores to sell liquor on Sundays. Lawmakers passed the bill 85 to 45. It’s the first step in reversing the prohibition-era law. The bill still needs to go to the Senate. The owner of Keyport Liquors in Superior said he doesn’t think that the extra day of sales will affect his business too much,…

Minnesota House Approves Sunday Liquor Sales Bill

The bill now moves onto the State Senate

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House passed legislation, Monday, that would legalize the sale of liquor, beer, and wine on Sunday, the first time in state history that standalone legislation on the issue has been voted on or approved. The bill passed on a bipartisan 85-45 vote, and now heads to the Senate for consideration. Sunday liquor sales has been…

Walker Asks Public for Help Selling His Budget

MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ Gov. Scott Walker wants Wisconsinites who like his budget to help him rally support. Walker’s campaign launched digital ads Monday encouraging citizens to write to their legislators in support of key elements of his budget proposal. Republican legislative leaders have been cautious about Walker’s proposed spending increases since he unveiled his budget earlier this month. Democrats…

Trump Announces New National Security Adviser

PALM BEACH, Fla (AP) – President Donald Trump has tapped Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser. Trump announced the pick Monday at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago. He says McMaster is “a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience.” Trump says retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who had been his acting adviser, will now serve…