Brian Bakst Profile picture
"A top political reporter" at @mprnews (according to legal filings), formerly @ap.
Feb 27 4 tweets 2 min read
JUST IN: @MMBCommunicates pegs FY2024-25 surplus at about $17.5 billion.

Essentially unchanged from early Dec., but it means revenue kept growing because this forecast figures inflation into spending calculations for the first time in decades. #mnleg… Revenue was up $599M over the prior forecast and $865M was carried over from the prior year's budget. That pushed up overall available revenue to $1.464B

Estimated expenditure increase (including inflation projection and approved bills this session) was $1.536B. #mnleg
Jan 17 4 tweets 1 min read
. @GovTimWalz outlined budget plans around youth services and education today.

Some highlights:
-+4%/2% in next 2 years on general ed formula
-universal school meals
-state buydowns of special ed/English language costs on districts
-pegs future formula bumps to inflation Tax credits
-$1k per kid child tax credit for families earning less than $50K
-increase in child care credit for under-5 children in fams under $200k
-expanded K-12 education credit eligiblity
Oct 5, 2022 8 tweets 2 min read
#mn02 Legal Marijuana Now candidate Paula Overby's son, Tyler, says his mother passed away this morning at age 68. She had been having heart valve problems and was recently hospitalized. Of Paula Overby, Tyler says she was "selfless, always trying to help others."

"Always had great advice, wonderful to talk to, always there for you."

She leaves behind her mother, a son, two daughters, a son-in-law, two grandchildren and two sisters.
Aug 2, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
#mn01 candidate forum at FarmFest about to begin. No @SouthernMN4Jeff (Ettinger). He tested positive for COVID-19, according to forum organizers who read from a statement from him.

@BradFinstad and @jeremymunson on stage along with Richard Reinsdorf (LMN), James Rainwater (DFL). Image Opening remarks from Finstad:
“I grew up as a crop farmer and a hog farmer. … I’ve been scooping manure from a young age and that’s unfortunately prepared me for politics.”
Jul 28, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
NEW: Minnesota Attorney General @AGEllison (D) won’t appeal a district court decision that struck down several abortion laws, including a 24-hour waiting period, a two-parent notification requirement and hospitalization rules. Ellison says the AG's office has put about $620,000 toward the case in staff time and other costs since 2019.
Jul 27, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
GOP AG candidate @doug_wardlow, the 2028 nominee challenging endorsed Republican @JimForMN, criticizes his opponent as “effectively prochoice” over a recent abortion quote in @StarTribune.

The Aug 9 primary will determine the fall opponent of incumbent DFLer @EllisonCampaign. Image This is the quote in question Image
Jul 26, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
Top 5 favorite all-time campaign expense line item. #onlyinmn #allinthegameyo Image Honorable mention Image
May 22, 2022 4 tweets 3 min read
Senate Majority Leader @jeremyrmiller says his caucus doesn’t want a special session #mnleg House Minority Leader @kdaudt, newly empowered as special session talk commences, says he wants spending bills reined in.

“I am not optimistic about there being a special session, and I think that’s OK.”

“We can pick that work up right away in January of next year.”
May 22, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
NEW: @melissahortman says #mnleg is beyond the point where all bills can be closed up, written and voted on by midnight.

She says negotiators will work to seal up agreements and she will ask @GovTimWalz for “a brief special session” to process remaining bills if deals sealed. Still not finished: Health and Human Services, Public Safety, E12, transportation, and bonding.

Some of the completed bills could get votes today.

Only governors can call special sessions but duration dictated by #mnleg, especially minority caucuses due to rules suspensions.
May 20, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
State employee contracts bill ratified by Senate, which appears to be identical to a bill approved by the House in March. #mnleg There might need to be one more House vote. But it'll sail there.
May 20, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
What is this 2006? House Speaker @melissahortman going on @wccoradio to talk end of session with ex-Gov @TimPawlenty (who is guest hosting the time slot opened by @CoryHepola run for #mngov).

Hortman has had a low profile in the last week after contracting COVID19. Hortman: "We've got some stubborn people who all think they should get 75% decision making in any deal that gets made. They need to get realistic."
Apr 26, 2022 7 tweets 2 min read
Minnesota House is moving to take up an unemployment replenishment bill (the Senate version) under a rules suspension. #mnleg Bill would put $2.7B toward a fix -- part to pay off a federal loan and part to add a cushion to avoid any additional business assessments.

But there is an amendment to alter where the money comes from and to credit employers that have already paid at a higher rate.
Apr 4, 2022 5 tweets 3 min read
Here is the House DFL tax bill #mnleg… And the House research fiscal analysis…

Bill summary…
Apr 4, 2022 5 tweets 2 min read
The Senate GOP tax bill has been posted #mnleg… The bill would cut taxes by $3.38B in this budget and $5B in the next two-year budget. #mnleg…
Feb 28, 2022 6 tweets 3 min read
FORECAST thread here:

The state's three major tax categories are all up over the prior forecast

Income (people making more)
Sales (people spending more/items cost more)
Corporate (businesses doing well) Image Spending is down.

Education (fewer students enrolled in public schools than expected)
Health care (fewer in subsidized programs/more costs shifted to other types of accounts) Image
Dec 6, 2021 9 tweets 3 min read
A new budget forecast is out Tuesday from @MMBCommunicates with a broad expectation it will show a healthy surplus, or projected positive balance in MMB-speak.

But there are some considerable caveats with this report ... 1/7 The November forecast (almost always published in December) has some automatic carveouts that, by law, will take money off the table before #mnleg even has a chance to weigh in. 2/7
Sep 14, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
The Draft Kendall Qualls committee now has its web site and its first video ad push

@kentkaiser says a "significant amount of money" already raised or pledged. He wouldn't say how much.

FWIW, Kaiser insists he hasn't spoken to Qualls about it. In a brief phone call Monday, @KendallQuallsMN said he's honored by the "good-natured talk" about a #mngov run. He declined to lay out a decision timetable.

"I haven’t even gotten to the point where I even know if there is a door to close because I’m not trying to frame one.”
Sep 13, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
NEW: A Ramsey County judge has suspended Minnesota’s new law that changed the standard for peace officers when defending use of deadly force. The old law is reinstated until the lawsuit can be fully resolved. Judge Leonardo Castro says the police groups who sued have both standing and reason to sue now.
“Plaintiffs need not wait for one of its members to be charged with a homicide crime before the question of the constitutionality of the provision plaintiffs challenged is answered.”
Sep 8, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Paul Gazelka makes 7 on the GOP side of #mngov race Quick takeaways:
-Gazelka leaned hard into spirituality
-He framed himself as a "conservative candidate with a track record" and a "collaborator"
-He says he'll abide by GOP endorsement
-He signaled support for new Texas abortion law
-He says D Sen Bakk may run as R, back him
Sep 7, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
If I'm understanding this right, attorney Jeff Anderson says a minor girl and her parents came to his firm after a July 2020 hush-money offer from Anton Lazzaro's attorney.

Anderson says firm helped contact authorities, who launched investigation leading to indictment. Anderson confirms that his firm "facilitated" the report to law enforcement, which was believed to be the first awareness of the alleged Anton Lazzaro sex trafficking.
Apr 12, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
. @mayor_elliott says authorities are releasing body camera footage of the deadly encounter.

Some lawmakers are pushing for a law change so quick release would become standard practice. Police chief says the officer who fired mistakenly drew a gun instead of a Taser.