David FitzSimmons knew when he joined a very small group of legislative Republicans who voted for legal gay marriage in Minnesota that he might face political fallout on his conservative home turf. And he did.
The top Republican in the Minnesota House was detained by Montana authorities last September when a deal to buy an antique truck soured and a friend accompanying him displayed the lawmaker’s gun, according to just-surfacing court records and a statement issued Friday. Rep. Kurt Daudt, the House minority leader, was briefly placed in handcuffs, and his friend was arrested and charged.
Election Day is 11 months away, but there are plenty of campaign-related deadlines dotting the Minnesota calendar. Four weeks from Tuesday, Minnesota’s major parties are holding precinct caucuses.
Four-term Rep. John Benson of Minnetonka says he’ll retire rather than run again for the Minnesota House. His decision announced Wednesday touches off what is likely to be a competitive contest for the seat he first won in 2006.
A Minnesota legislator who has worked for health care reform says he will not seek re-election. DFL Rep. Tom Huntley, of Duluth, said Tuesday he will complete his 11th term in the Legislature, but will not run again next year.
A few final debates echoed through the state Capitol Monday, as lawmakers haggled over tax increases and union organizing in a session that’s already seen a big spike in spending on schools and a landmark law legalizing gay marriage.
The Minnesota House has voted to give nursing home workers in the state a 5-percent pay increase. The pay hike is included in a broader, $6 billion a year budget for health and human services programs that the House passed Friday night by a party-line vote of 73-61. It’s one of the biggest chunks of state spending and includes funding for services for the poor, elderly and disabled.
The Minnesota House is planning to vote on a constitutional amendment that would take decisions about their own pay out of their hands. The House planned a Friday debate on the amendment.
The Minnesota House plans a Friday debate an $800 million construction projects bill that can’t pass without Republican votes.
In early 2012, a public policy poll found that 50 percent of Minnesotans surveyed favored a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and only 40 percent said they opposed the amendment.
Supporters already are celebrating the Minnesota House’s passage of a measure to legalize gay marriage, but there are a few more steps before it gets to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk. The state Senate is scheduled to vote on the bill Monday, and leaders expect it to pass there too.
A gay Minnesota lawmaker leading the push to legalize same-sex weddings in the state told colleagues Thursday that gay couples “contribute to the same Minnesota system as everyone else” and deserve the right to be married.
Hundreds of people on both sides of the gay marriage issue are expressing their viewpoints at the Minnesota Capitol where the House is expected to cast a historic vote on legislation legalizing same-gender unions.
Stock up on booze on Saturday. The Minnesota House on Wednesday resoundingly rejected an effort to give liquor stores permission to open on Sundays. The measure went down on a 106-21 vote.
The democrats may be in control at the state Capitol but they certainly cannot agree on how to solve the state’s budget problems.