Lawmakers

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New Senate Office Building Sparks Controversy

An expensive office building for lawmakers at the Capitol is facing new scrutiny. The four-story glass, steel and stone complex would sit across the street from the Capitol, and include offices for 45 of Minnesota’s 67 state senators. But the cost and design are raising eyebrows, even from supporters like Gov. Mark Dayton, who called the project “overly lavish.”

03/19/2014

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Time Running Out To Pass Medical Marijuana Legislation

The up-and-down medical marijuana bill at the Capitol may be down again. Top lawmakers in the House and Senate say it’s not likely to pass this year. Advocates of legalizing medical marijuana are hoping to make Minnesota the 20th state in the country to do so. Thursday, the advocates said it’s possible to pass it this year. But it’s not about medicine at this point at the Capitol; it’s about math.

03/14/2014

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Driver Record Data Fight Draws In Lawmakers

Minnesota state lawmakers are trying to slow down a plan from the Department of Public Safety that would restrict public access to driver’s license data, including the bulk sale of data to insurance companies and car dealers. DPS officials say they made the change after thousands of snooping incidents into personal driver’s license records. But insurance industry executives, and Insurance Federation of Minnesota Vice President Mark Kulda, say it could add money to your insurance bill.

03/12/2014

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Inside The Razor Wire, Part 4: Lawmakers & The MN Sex Offender Program

Minnesota lawmakers have a difficult job ahead. They must decide what to do about the Minnesota Sex Offender Program, now that a federal judge has ruled that it is broken and in need of repair.

03/06/2014

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Lawmakers Want Tougher Rules On H.S. Transfer Athletes

As the boys state hockey tournament skates into the Xcel Energy Center, it’s another showdown in St. Paul that some high school athletes are fighting to win. Lawmakers are wondering if some students and their parents are going too far to gain a competitive edge.

03/05/2014

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At Capitol, Health Experts Tie Low Wages To Low Life Expectancy

A group of health experts and faith leaders were at the state capitol Monday to ask lawmakers to raise wages to improve the health of workers. Statistics show that low-income workers die eight-years earlier than other workers. Shaquonica Johnson, 37, has been a personal care attendant for 15 years. She works several different jobs at $8.50 an hour to care for her two children.

03/03/2014

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Rental Space For Minn. Senators: $2.4M To $2.9M

Minnesota Department of Administration officials estimate it would cost at least $2.4 million to rent temporary space for state senators and staff during the ongoing Capitol renovation.

02/27/2014

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Office Dispute Adds Minn. Capitol Redo Uncertainty

Minnesota lawmakers have been told that a final decision on a new Senate Office Building must be made within weeks or a related renovation of the state Capitol will cost more and take longer.

02/10/2014

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Drone Debate Lands Before Minn. Lawmakers

Fears of prying from the sky have some Minnesota lawmakers seeking clamps on law enforcement’s use of unmanned aerial drones to gather evidence.

02/02/2014

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Concordia Students Fight Against Controversial Loophole

Students at Concordia University are attempting something not a lot of college students try to do. They’re going to the Minnesota Legislature to get some laws changed, including one controversial loophole for the lawmakers themselves.

11/12/2013

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State Officials: Local Pay Jumped As Minn. Cap Eased

Salaries of the top-paid employees in Minnesota city and county government have risen sharply since the state peeled back a restriction that made it rare for local personnel to earn more than the governor.

11/11/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Crafting Construction Bill On Tour

Lawmakers weighing where to send public construction aid are touring several Minnesota cities with projects in the 2014 mix. Members of the Senate Capital Investment Committee are headed to eight cities this week after spending three days on the road earlier in the month.

10/14/2013

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Minnesota Vets, Lawmakers Push For End To Shutdown

In Minnesota, veterans rallied at the Vietnam Memorial in St. Paul to show their support of the national movement. They talked about the closing of the national war memorials and the suspension of death benefits to military families.

10/13/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Try For Handle On Synthetic Drugs

Minnesota state legislators are struggling with how to craft new laws that would effectively combat the growing use of synthetic drugs. Several state House committees met Wednesday to strategize how to address problem that medical and law enforcement officials say is rapidly getting worse.

10/09/2013

Capitol, St. Paul, Minnesota

Minn. Leaders: Shutdown Poses ‘Evolving’ Problems

Minnesota leaders are taking stock of state departments that work in tandem with the federal government to determine those most at risk in the shutdown.

10/02/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Examine New State Worker Contracts

Two-year union contracts providing Minnesota state workers three percent annual raises are up for review by a panel of legislators. The Subcommittee on Employee Relations is deciding whether to ratify the deals.

09/20/2013

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Back To Work For Minnesota Lawmakers

A special session is expected to get underway today at the Minnesota State Capitol. Lawmakers are expected to deal with disaster relief after last June’s storms.

09/08/2013

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Good Question: How Many Smokers Will Quit With The Cig Tax Hike?

Starting Monday, Minnesota’s tax on tobacco is the sixth-highest in the country. The tax just jumped to $2.83 from $1.60, making the average pack of cigarettes in Minnesota now $7.51. Lawmakers who upped the tax said they did it not only to raise money, but to get people to quit.

07/01/2013

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Lawmakers Trying To Halt The Rise Of Student Loan Rates

Pressure is building for thousands of college students who could soon be paying more for school loans — a lot more, if Congress doesn’t act soon.

06/18/2013

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Group Works To Protect Gay-Marriage Supporting Lawmakers

A Minnesota group that formed to defeat a gay marriage ban, and successfully lobby for legalizing same-sex marriage, is taking another political step today: Defending lawmakers who voted yes on gay marriage.

06/13/2013

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Nearly 700 State Workers Earn More Than $100K

There was a lot of debate at the Capitol this year about pay raises for Minnesota lawmakers. But a WCCO investigation found soaring salaries are actually going to state employees who work as staff members.

05/22/2013

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Minn. Session ’13: What Got Done, What Didn’t

Minnesota state lawmakers promised when the legislative session began that their top priority was setting a new state budget. To that end, they produced a $38.3 billion two-year spending plan that hikes taxes on top income earners and on cigarettes, and distributes hefty spending increases to public schools, freezes tuition at state colleges and steers new money to job-creation programs.

05/21/2013

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New Minn. Taxes To Get More Scrutiny Next Year

Top Minnesota lawmakers purposely delayed the start of a new sales tax on warehousing services until next April in case they need to revise or undo it before then. The storage service tax, which doesn’t apply to mini-storage rentals, became a point of dispute.

05/21/2013

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Minn. Lawmakers Take Budget Debate Down To Wire

The final pieces of Minnesota’s next two-year, $38 billion budget were falling into place Sunday as state lawmakers clocked long hours and held a succession of late-night debates at the Capitol.

05/19/2013

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