Ad Spot

2 Iron Range lawmakers spilt with Senate Democratic Caucus

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two veteran state senators from the Iron Range broke with other Democrats on Wednesday to form their own independent caucus in a closely divided legislative chamber.

Sens. Tom Bakk, of Cook, and David Tomassoni, of Chisholm, said in a statement that they’ve left the Senate Democratic Caucus to start a caucus for moderates that will also focus on the economic interests of northern Minnesota. They expect to become committee chairs.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the split will give Republicans a bit more breathing room heading into a 2021 session where they were facing a one-seat majority. The lineup now will be 34 Republicans, 31 Democrats and the two independents. Democrats will keep their majority in the Minnesota House.

“We are not going to become Republicans. That’s not what this is about. That’s not who we are,” Bakk told MPR. “We’re going to do our very best to vote what’s in the best interest in our districts. Sometimes that will be be with Republicans. Sometimes that will be with Democrats.”

Tomassoni was elected Senate president last week in a deal engineered to keep the Senate under GOP control in case Democratic Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan were to be appointed to replace U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, if Klobuchar takes a Biden administration post, which would then result in the Senate president replacing Flanagan as lieutenant governor.

News

Virus surge, staff shortages hit Minnesota nursing homes

Austin Bruins

An eye for detail: Bruin goalie escapes pressure with videography

Mower County

The drive moves forward

Mower County

On full display: Austin man not losing the Christmas spirit

Mower County

Last week’s flu vaccine clinic hailed as a success

Mower County

Keep these Turkey Day fire safety tips in mind this Thursday

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Local law enforcement participating in statewide extra DWI enforcement

Mower County

Special election set for Gabrielson’s seat

Health

In the face of a new wave, Mayo urges continued mask wearing

News

Minn. issues another approval for disputed oil pipeline

News

Farmers enjoy perfect harvest conditions after 2 ugly years

News

Restaurant workers out of work again as virus surges

News

Survey of bankers shows concern about farm debt, low income

News

Biden signals stark shift with new national security team

News

Mysterious shiny monolith found in otherworldly Utah desert

Health

Mower County seeing 5 percent COVID positivity rate

News

Walz, House GOP, push for quick aid for hard-hit businesses

News

US agency ascertains Biden as winner, lets transition begin

News

Minnesota launches smartphone app to slow spread of COVID-19

Health

Mayo launches COVID-19 Vaccine Registry for those interested in clinical trials

News

‘Vaccinations are the endgame’: State prepares to roll out first rounds of COVID-19 vaccines

News

3rd major COVID-19 vaccine shown to be effective and cheaper

Mower County

Tuesday morning snow showers could bring 1 to 2 inches

Local Government

City/County food drive has record setting year