Laura McCallum

Laura McCallum is MPR News' managing editor for daily news.

Stories by Laura McCallum

Legislature heads for day of decision on taxes

As the budget debate heats up at the Capitol, groups opposed to tax increases are making their voices heard. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota holds its annual tax day rally at the Capitol on Friday, and business groups have been running ads around the state. The groups say raising taxes will stifle job growth in the state. Advocates for a tax increase say scrimping on education and other state priorities will do far more harm to Minnesota's economy.

Legislature taking another look at parole boards

A bill that would re-establish a state parole board is moving through the Legislature. Offenders could go before the board and argue that they've reformed and should be released early. Minnesota hasn't had a parole board since 1982, when it was replaced by sentencing guidelines. Supporters say some inmates deserve a second chance through early release, which would also lower state prison costs. Critics say inmates are locked up for a reason, and should serve their time.

Committee deadline passes, but stadium bills still alive

Tuesday marks the first committee deadline of the 2005 legislative session. Bills had to clear all the necessary policy committees in either the House or the Senate by the end of the day. Those that don't face much tougher odds of survival, and that includes two high-profile proposals that haven't even had a hearing. Legislation to build new Twins and Vikings stadiums was just introduced in the last few days. Supporters say there's still time to push through the stadium proposals.

Education spending popular in Pawlenty's budget balancer

Last November, with much fanfare, Gov. Tim Pawlenty invited Minnesotans to suggest ways to balance the state budget without raising taxes by logging on to a new Web site. The governor's office has just released the results. More than 17,000 people responded, and most wanted the state to spend more money on education, both K-12 and higher ed. Democrats question whether Pawlenty is paying attention to the results of his own Web site.