Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Two Minnesota lawmakers — a Republican woman and a Democratic man — have a plan to revamp the way the state House deals with sexual harassment allegations. The plan, announced Monday, Dec. 11, would speed up the process for allegations to be addressed and allow anyone — not just fellow lawmakers — to make a complaint.
ST. PAUL — Al Franken's announced resignation from the U.S. Senate will create a rare vacancy in a crucial link between Minnesotans and the nation's highest tiers of power. Wait, it's not as rare as you might think. In the past 100 years, Minnesota had this same scenario six times, with some of the state's most storied political figures involved. Two of the vacancies occurred when a Minnesotan was elected vice president of the United States. Three were the result of crashes that killed the sitting senator.
ST. PAUL — We're gonna be lavished with attention. And maybe lathered with negative campaigning. Thursday, Dec. 7's, announcement by Sen. Al Franken that he'll resign from office following allegations of sexual misconduct has made Minnesota the focus of the national political-industrial complex in advance of the November 2018 elections. "It's everything that the political junkie dreams about and everyday people detest," said Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
ST. PAUL — Dan Schoen is ready to turn in his Washington County lawmaker credentials, but not his gun and badge. Faced with allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, Schoen, a Democratic state senator from St. Paul Park, has officially notified Gov. Mark Dayton he'll resign Dec. 15. The letter was delivered Monday, Dec. 4, to Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, the top Democrat in the Senate. But Schoen, who is on the Cottage Grove police force, said he wants to remain a cop.
ST. PAUL — The backlog of vehicle titles and registrations in Minnesota's new computer system has gotten so big that a supervisor recently instructed staff to focus on speed and "accept the additional risk of errors in our work." An internal memo obtained by the Pioneer Press also described bureaucratic work for more expensive vehicles as "more critical" than the same tasks for lower-priced ones.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota has hired a Colorado IT firm for $26 million to handle the state's driver's license system as it gears up for a major change. The job of FAST Enterprises will be to ensure that the state's troubled new computer system, known as MNLARS, can take on driver's licenses before an October 2018 deadline to ensure the state's licenses comply with new federal Real ID requirements. MNLARS thus far has been criticized for the way it has processed — or not — vehicle license registration and titles since a rollout in July.
U.S. Sen. Al Franken has spoken. Amid the fallout from allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior, the Minneapolis Democrat on Monday, Nov. 27, gave brief one-on-one interviews to numerous Minnesota media outlets and faced the Washington, D.C., press corps live outside his office on Capitol Hill, where he returned to work after Thanksgiving recess. In the face of repeated questions, he generally offered the same substance to his answers: • He's sorry. • Women's experiences should respected.
ST. PAUL — Depending whom you ask, Minnesota's new computer system to handle vehicle licenses and titles is either mostly working with glitches, or barely working with major failings. Those who say mostly working — generally the folks in the state Department of Vehicle Services and IT Services — note that of the 650,000 transactions the new system, known as MNLARS, has processed since its launch in July, the ones that have fully failed number in the mere thousands — a percent or 2.
ST. PAUL—Two Minnesota lawmakers are resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment, and on Wednesday Gov. Mark Dayton said it shouldn't take long to replace them. Dayton said he'll call for special elections soon once he receives formal notices from state Sen. Dan Schoen, a Democrat from St. Paul Park, and Rep. Tony Cornish, a Republican from Vernon Center.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota state Sen. Dan Schoen and state Rep. Tony Cornish — both under fire since sexual harassment allegations against each surfaced earlier this month — will resign. On Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 21, Schoen's attorney said the St. Paul Park Democrat and Cottage Grove police officer will formally announce his resignation at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.