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Special Session Means 2nd Chance For Some Interests

Now that Minnesota lawmakers will be pulled back into action, the second-chance stampede is on. Groups with a gripe about the budget are trying to get in on the special session provoked by a promised veto of a $17 billion education spending plan, and some want Gov. Mark Dayton to veto other bills too.

05/20/2015

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Dayton Rejects Education Bill; Special Session Ahead

On Tuesday Gov. Mark Dayton made good on his threat to take down the $17 billion education bill. It forces a special session, but Dayton said he won’t call one until Republicans give him the pre-kindergarten programs he wants.

05/19/2015

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Lawmakers Eyeing March 8 Start Date For Next Year’s Session

Minnesota lawmakers are eying a March 8 start date for next year’s legislative session. The plan would start the session after a state budget forecast is released in late February.

05/15/2015

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Soccer Franchise Leaders Approach Capitol For Stadium Help

The group that landed a new professional soccer franchise is turning its focus to Minnesota lawmakers for help building a new stadium. The Minnesota United FC ownership group hasn’t specifically presented a finance plan for a new outdoor stadium.

04/14/2015

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Under Bill, 84-Year-Old Could Get Another Shot At A Deer

An 84-year-old hunter who asked Minnesota lawmakers for help bagging another deer may get his wish. A provision tucked in House Republicans’ budget bill for environmental and natural resource agencies would allow hunters 84 and older to kill a doe without a permit.

04/13/2015

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Top Minnesota Legislators Seek Internal Umpire On Bill Costs

Minnesota lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan to swap out executive branch fiscal umpires who price out bills with an agency internal to the Legislature. The drive to put the power in a legislative unit is being led by House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.

03/18/2015

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House Revives Effort To Scrap Lawmaker Immunity

A Minnesota lawmaker wants to make it crystal clear: State legislators can’t avoid arrest during session. Lawmakers’ supposed immunity from being arrested for drunken driving and other crimes has been a hot topic for years.

03/18/2015

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Lawmakers Point To Accidents To Make Case For Rail Upgrades

Democratic lawmakers say a string of recent explosive crude-by-rail derailments nationwide make it necessary to improve Minnesota’s railroad network. Five trains hauling crude oil have derailed since February. Sen. Scott Dibble, a Minneapolis Democrat, says it’s “sheer dumb luck” no similar accidents have happened in Minnesota. Seven or more trains haul North Dakota crude across the state daily.

03/10/2015

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Bill Would Allow Liquor Sales Before 10 A.M. Sundays

A House committee on Wednesday is revisiting a century-old law forbidding the sale of liquor before 10 a.m. on Sundays.

03/04/2015

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Minn. Lawmakers Hear From Gun Violence Prevention Group

At a rally Monday, members of “Protect Minnesota” talked about the need for a uniform background check on all gun sales.

02/23/2015

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Ride-Hailing Regulation Debate Could Hit Capitol This Year

Minnesota lawmakers could decide whether to regulate the ride-hailing industry this year. House and Senate legislators say they plan to introduce bills soon to toughen insurance regulations for companies like Uber and Lyft.

02/12/2015

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No Quick Decision On Medical Marijuana For Pain

State officials will hold off for another year on deciding whether to expand Minnesota’s new medical marijuana program to residents suffering chronic pain. The move could someday extend the potentially potent medicine to tens of thousands more Minnesota residents and dramatically increase business for the state’s two medical marijuana manufacturers.

02/11/2015

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Vaccine Skeptics Find Unexpected Allies In Conservative GOP

As vaccine skeptics fight laws that would force more parents to inoculate their kids, they are finding unexpected allies in conservative Republicans. Though the stereotype of a vaccine skeptic is a coastal, back-to-the-land type, it’s generally been Democratic-controlled states that have tightened vaccination laws.

02/06/2015

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Fantasy Football Story Features Minnesota Lawmakers

On CBS Sunday Morning, a story on fantasy football featured a Minnesota woman’s league, and among the players were State Sen. Karin Housley and former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.

02/01/2015

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Office Space Disputes Threaten Capitol Renovation

Minnesota lawmakers are caught in a dust-up over office space at the State Capitol, and it’s threatening to delay the massive Capitol restoration now underway. The three-year, $272 million project is on time and on budget. But the tenants in the new building — including the governor, the Senate, the House and the attorney general — cannot come to agreement over how much space they will control.

01/14/2015

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Lawmakers Study Up On Issues Facing Minnesota

Minnesota lawmakers just got back to the Capitol, and now they’re leaving to study up on state issues. Demographers, economists and business executives are scheduled to address legislators at One Minnesota, an annual conference at the University of Minnesota that focuses on the top issues of the time.

01/07/2015

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If 2015 Goes Well, Minnesota Lawmakers May Skip 2016 Session

Top Minnesota lawmakers have had early discussions about cramming more work into the next five months so they could skip a 2016 session amid a construction-ravaged Capitol. Senate Minority Leader David Hann raised the prospect Tuesday, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk hasn’t ruled it out. Bakk acknowledged having preliminary talks with House Speaker Kurt Daudt about that option.

01/06/2015

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Minn. Considering Powdered Alcohol Ban

Minnesota is the latest state considering a ban on powdered alcohol. The product is better known as “Palcohol.” Its inventor says it’s a convenient way to mix a drink, and federal regulators say it’s safe.

12/16/2014

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Gov. Dayton Vows To Ensure No Child Goes Hungry At School

Gov. Mark Dayton says it is time to make sure no child in Minnesota goes hungry at school. This comes almost six months after a report revealed 46 Minnesota school districts had policies denying some children lunch, if they couldn’t pay for it.

06/04/2014

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Lawmakers Demand Higher Speed Limits On More Miles

On more of Minnesota’s two-lane state highways, motorists could soon be free to drive above 55 — legally. As part of an expansive budget bill signed into law last week, state lawmakers nudged transportation officials to boost the speed limit to 60 miles per hour on lane miles where it can “reasonably and safely” be done.

05/25/2014

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Ritchie Stops Issuing Privilege Cards To Lawmakers

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said Wednesday he will no longer issue cards that appeared to give lawmakers immunity from being arrested for drunken driving or other crimes during a legislative session, saying his office isn’t bound by statute to distribute them.

05/21/2014

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In Minn., A Short & Productive 2014 Legislative Session

Minnesota lawmakers are gone from the Capitol after ending the 2014 session on Friday night. It was an unusually short and productive session. Included on the completed list is the bill to legalize medical marijuana, which became among the most publicly visible — and contentious — issues of the year.

05/19/2014

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Minn. Lawmakers In Rare Agreement On 2nd Round Of Tax Cuts

There was something a little different going on at the State Capitol Tuesday: A major bill that everyone appears to agree on. It means a second round of tax cuts could be heading your way. State lawmakers already passed income tax relief on the way to hundreds of thousands of middle income Minnesotans. Now, homeowners and renters are getting a break.

05/13/2014

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Week To Go, Big Decisions Remain For Lawmakers

Minnesota lawmakers face a shrinking pile of unfinished business as they sprint this week toward the end of the legislative session and the campaign season just beyond.

05/11/2014

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Fix To Data-Snooping Problem Is Slow Go At Capitol

Minnesota lawmakers are running out of time to pass a bill that could protect citizens from snooping in their private data by public employees. The sticking point is how to do it without making it too difficult for state agencies to do their jobs.

05/08/2014

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