Minnesota Senate

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Minnesota Senate Passes Medical Pot Legislation

The Minnesota state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes.

05/06/2014

Brew, Bottles, Booze, Alcohol,

Minnesota Senate Defeats Sunday Booze Sales Bid

Stock up on beer, wine and liquor on Saturday. The Minnesota Senate soundly defeated a repeal of the state’s law barring liquor stores from being open on Sundays. The chamber voted in favor of allowing craft beer tap rooms to sell growlers for takeaway on Sundays, but then the bill got pulled from debate.

05/06/2014

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Minnesota Medical Pot Bill Goes To Senate Floor

A bill to legalize medical marijuana is headed to the Senate floor after passage by the Finance Committee. The committee passed the bill 14-7 on Monday after adding a few wrinkles to the legislation.

05/05/2014

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Talking Points: Differences In House & Senate Medical Marijuana Bills

Bills legalizing medical marijuana could be voted on in both the Minnesota House and Senate this week, but the House and Senate versions are significantly different. That has led to disagreements among supporters that some say threaten passage of any type of bill.

05/04/2014

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Minnesota Medical Pot Rift Could Threaten Bill

A rift among Minnesota supporters of allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes could make it harder to push legalization through the legislature this year. Committees in both the House and Senate were debating competing legislation Friday. A Senate panel stripped the option of smoking marijuana as medication from its bill on Thursday. But the House version is even more limited in how the drug may be accessed.

05/02/2014

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Minnesota Senate Passes Newborn Blood Sample Bill

The Minnesota Senate has passed a bill allowing the state to retain blood samples from newborn babies indefinitely. Senators voted 36 to 20 to send the proposal to Gov. Mark Dayton.

05/02/2014

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Top Lawmakers Strive For Session-Ending Bargain

Top Minnesota lawmakers are working to set the terms of a deal on tax cuts, new state spending and borrowing for construction that would enable them to end their session. Democratic leaders of the House and Senate said Thursday that they were closing in on a framework.

05/01/2014

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Medical Pot Clears Another Senate Panel

One more Minnesota Senate panel has approved legislation that would legalize medical marijuana. The Senate Judiciary Committee gave the OK Wednesday despite opposition from law enforcement including Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman.

04/30/2014

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Minn. Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

A Minnesota Senate panel has approved legislation that would legalize medical marijuana. The chamber’s Committee on State and Local Government advanced the legislation after questions on how a program would be set up and run.

04/29/2014

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Senate Votes To Outlaw Online Lottery Tickets

The Minnesota Senate has taken a stand against the sale of lottery tickets through a website or gas-pump terminals. By a voice vote Friday, senators moved to outlaw the practice that the Minnesota Lottery had already begun. It was as an amendment to a separate gambling regulation bill.

04/25/2014

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Senate Approves Added Job Protections For Women

The Minnesota Senate approved wide-ranging legislation Wednesday to expand workplace protections for women including provisions aimed at leveling pay and accommodating pregnancies. The 51-14 vote sets up a likely negotiation with the House, which passed legislation that goes even further.

04/23/2014

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Former MN Senator Nancy Brataas Dies At 86

One of the first women to be elected to the Minnesota Senate has died, according to reports. Former Republican state senator Nancy Brataas died Thursday night after a long battle with emphysema.

04/18/2014

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Minnesota Senate Rivals Tied To Investment Firm

Democrats fighting to protect Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken’s seat want to replicate the last presidential campaign playbook by casting a well-funded GOP challenger as a corporate raider who put profit over people.

04/11/2014

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Minn. Senate Passes Tax Bill With Additional Cuts

The Minnesota Senate has given approval to another $101 million in tax breaks, but the array of relief differs from a House version. Thursday’s 57-6 vote sets up final tax negotiations with House tax writers. Both chambers are led by Democrats.

04/10/2014

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Minn. Senate Panel Approves $77M Senate Building

A plan to construct a $77 million building to house Minnesota’s 67 state senators is moving forward after the Senate Rules Committee approved the proposal on Monday. The project matches one that the House Rules Committee approved Friday by a single vote. It would cost $13 million less than the original proposal the Senate Rules Committee approved earlier this year.

04/07/2014

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House Dems Approve Scaled-Back Senate Building

Top Democrats in the State House Friday approved a scaled-back version of a major new office building next to the Capitol, dedicated to the Minnesota Senate. The building’s original design had a soaring glass front, with a fitness center and reflecting pool. The scaled back version is slightly more modest, but no less controversial.

04/04/2014

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Minn. Senate Passes Anti-Bullying Bill

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill Thursday to prevent bullying in Minnesota schools. But even though lawmakers support the idea of the Safe and Supportive Schools Act, it is still among the most controversial bills of the year at the Capitol. Minnesota has been in the national spotlight because of a rash of students committing suicides because of bullying.

04/03/2014

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Talking Points: Democrats Fight Themselves Over New Senate Building

This legislative session has stalled out with battles over a proposed $90 million Senate office building and a proposed minimum wage increase. But the battle is not between Republicans and Democrats – it’s the Democrats who are fighting amongst themselves. With Democrats controlling the Minnesota House and Senate as well as the governor’s office, it’s the Democrats who are battling with each other over key issues.

03/30/2014

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Ballot Plan For Minimum Wage Battered Yet Advances

Despite a collection of traditional adversaries aligning in opposition Friday, Democratic senators advanced a proposed ballot measure to let voters resolve a legislative deadlock over the minimum wage. A Senate jobs panel endorsed a constitutional amendment on a party-line vote over the objections of business, labor, faith and other advocacy groups. The measure would let voters decide if increases in the minimum wage should be automatically tied to inflation starting in 2017.

03/28/2014

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United Against Building, GOP Hopefuls Split On Pot

Five Republicans running for Minnesota governor are leaving no doubt they are united in their opposition to a planned Senate Office Building. The candidates held a joint news conference Thursday at the Capitol to showcase their distaste.

03/27/2014

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Voters Could Get Say On Auto-Hikes To Minimum Wage

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says voters should decide whether Minnesota’s minimum wage climbs automatically. A constitutional amendment that he and another prominent senator put in play Thursday would ask voters this fall if they think the wage should be forever linked to inflation.

03/27/2014

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GOP Presses For Resolution On Building Controversy

Legislative Republicans pressed Monday for a speedy resolution to a controversy over a proposed Senate office building, making clear they oppose its construction. Several GOP lawmakers said the state should make do with the space it has, and reconfigure Capitol renovation plans if necessary.

03/24/2014

Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul, st paul, generic, government

Tax Vote Delayed As Time Crunch Looms

Minnesota legislators planned quick and possibly final votes Thursday on a measure that would provide income tax breaks and repeal some controversial new business taxes. The Minnesota Senate prepared to debate a $434 million tax relief plan that also puts $150 million into a state budget reserve.

03/20/2014

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Minn. Tax-Relief Bill Put In Higher Gear; Vote Due Soon

A tax relief measure put on a fast track in the Minnesota Senate on Wednesday could mean immediate breaks for at least 300,000 people. The Democratic-crafted proposal was unveiled a day after Gov. Mark Dayton implored lawmakers to speed up. The bill could get a floor vote as soon as Thursday.

03/19/2014

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Minn. Senate Panel Approves Gift-Ban Restoration

A Minnesota Senate subcommittee on elections unanimously approved a bill Monday to reinforce a gift ban that was softened last year. The exception passed last spring allowed lawmakers to get lobbyist-purchased meals at receptions as long as all legislators were invited.

03/17/2014

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