At Issue: Sept. 17 — Walz and Flanagan both in Japan; finding Minnesota’s cannabis czar

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Minnesota’s largest public transportation project is getting even more expensive. The Metropolitan Council approved an agreement that wipes out a $340 million deficit for the long-delayed and over-budget Southwest Light Rail project.

That deficit fix will come at the cost of metro area taxpayers, with Hennepin County covering $190 million and the Met Council pitching in the remaining $150 million.

Also last week, Gov. Tim Walz returned on Friday from a trade mission to Japan. Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan accompanied him on that trip, raising questions about whether the state’s top two elected officials should be out of the country at the same time.

And as work continues to implement Minnesota’s new recreational cannabis law, one woman is leading the charge in finding a new leader for the Office of Cannabis Management. Charlene Briner, the agency’s implementation director, joined “At Issue” in the studio on her progress to date.

Plus, as a lawsuit seeks to keep former President Donald Trump off the ballot in Minnesota next year, questions swirl about President Joe Biden’s fitness to run for reelection. Republican strategist Andy Brehm and former DFL state Sen. Jeff Hayden weigh in on the former and current president.