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Tag Archives: Tom Hanson

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Onset of state shutdown fails to spur negotiations forward

Republican leaders seemed to come out of the negotiating room after the holiday weekend with a renewed sense of vigor. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers addressed reporters after an hourlong budget meeting on Tuesday — the first since talks collapsed and government went into shutdown mode — and repeated their caucuses’ “no new taxes” declaration.

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Rising GOP tide lifted some lobbyists’ boats

Members of the Capitol lobbying corps could have been excused for thinking they were in the wrong building at the start of the 2011 legislative session. A new administration and 60 new legislators took office in St. Paul, and a new complement of Republican leaders and chairs took the place of DFLers in both legislative chambers. The Capitol building itself was just about the only thing that resembled the state of affairs from the prior year.

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Taxing times for new revenue commissioner

Myron Frans didn't ease into his new role in the Minnesota political world. Within days of starting his job as Gov. Mark Dayton's head of Revenue on April 6, Frans and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter penned a contentious letter to Republican leaders. It warned them that their budgets were at least $1.2 billion shy of solving the state's $5 billion budget deficit, and were based on unsound fiscal notes and estimates.

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Board plays a critical role in keeping GOP together

Former Republican Rep. Dave Bishop remembers sitting in the office of then-House Speaker Steve Sviggum, trying to calm him down. Sviggum was fuming, as Bishop recalls, because he had just been voted down on an issue by the executive board, a small group of GOP representatives that serve as caucus advisers to the speaker of the House of Representatives.

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Freshman midterms – which new members are getting the most exposure and best reviews?

The scene was unusual for most Capitol regulars. At an early-session press conference, newly minted House Republican leaders Kurt Zellers and Matt Dean introduced the first symbolic bills of their newfound majority. Standing at their side were the bill authors - two first-time legislators just a few weeks removed from their swearing-in.

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Cuts bill exposes GOP divisions

When it came time to vote on the first $1 billion budget cutting bill from Republican leadership in the Ways and Means Committee, it was no surprise that all the DFL members voted against it. They say the bill, which proposes to extend one-time cuts to local government aid, human services and higher education that were part of a budget deal last session, has been rushed through the committee process.

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The world according to Tom Hanson

As legislators went over the Republican leadership's first budget-cutting bill in the House Ways and Means Committee Monday morning, DFL Rep. Nora Slawik asked the implications of one portion of the proposal, which directs the Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) Office to find nearly $200 million in cuts to state government. Committee members asked if anyone from the budget office was sitting in the audience to testify. No one from the current administration was identified, but one legislator pointed out former MMB chief Tom Hanson in the crowd.

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