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Alex Derosier

Minnesota Reporter

Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service. He previously spent almost three years as a digital producer and news editor for the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Before that, he worked at The Associated Press in Raleigh, N.C., and contributed research to investigations at CBS News in Washington, D.C. He can be reached via email at aderosier@forumcomm.com.

Languages spoken: English

While metro races will be front and center in the contest for the House, other Greater Minnesota regions could make a big difference in the Senate, where Democrats hold 31 seats. Historic Democratic strongholds in northeast Minnesota’s Iron Range appear to be leaning more toward Republicans, and population centers like Rochester have started to lean more Democratic as they grow and change demographically.
Current guidelines make it rare for media to bring recording equipment into courtrooms. Representatives from media organizations and other groups presented their cases before the high court justices after a court panel presented a report recommending the state not drastically expand camera access.
Minnesota set its current goals in 2007 when the state adopted the bipartisan Next Generation Energy Act, which called for an 80% reduction in 2005-level emissions by 2050.
In July, edible cannabis products became legal in the state, but the legislation that opened up that door had minimal regulation and no taxation requirements.
Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, as well as Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips, all Democrats, reported transactions involving companies influenced by committees they sit on. Republican North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven also reported potential conflicts.
A group called Mothers Offering Maternal Support is attempting to intervene after Ramsey County Judge Thomas Gilligan in July tossed several laws restricting abortion, including a 24-hour wait period and a requirement for minors to notify both parents before getting the procedure. Democratic Attorney General Keith Ellison, who backs abortion rights, declined to file an appeal in the case, arguing his office had spent three years and more than half a million dollars defending the laws in the case Doe v. Minnesota.
The report from Senate Education Chair Roger Chamberlain asserts the Minnesota Department of Education did not take proper safeguards against fraud, which “greatly magnified the scope of the loss.” His DFL counterpart on the education committee called the report "partisan" and one-sided." The education department has stood by the way it approached tens of millions in fraud at the nonprofit Feeding Our Future.
Now confronted with a challenge from the other side of the abortion debate, Republican nominee for Minnesota attorney general Jim Schultz continues to downplay the issue’s importance in the race. He argues the attorney general’s office ultimately has very little influence over abortion policy in the state of Minnesota and said the question is fundamentally for the legislature to decide.
Minnesota is among a group of states that have not conformed their codes to a federal law exempting student loan debt forgiveness from taxes. Changing that has bipartisan backing, but any action will likely have to wait until January when lawmakers return to the capitol in St. Paul for the regular session.
“In Minnesota, it's a protected constitutional right, and no governor can change that,” said Jensen, a Chaska family practice physician. A pro-abortion rights doctors group said Jensen was attempting to obscure his past statements in support of an abortion ban.