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Pat Kessler

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Parents Say Dayton Told Them To Buy Pot Off The Street

Mothers in support of legalizing medical marijuana say Gov. Mark Dayton urged them to buy pot illegally on Minnesota streets to help their severely sick children

03/26/2014

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Minn. House Panel Votes To Strip Abusers Of Guns

A Minnesota House panel has approved a measure that would ban people convicted of domestic abuse from having guns. The public safety committee approved the measure Tuesday on a voice vote. It’s sponsored by Cottage Grove Democrat Dan Schoen.

03/25/2014

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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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Parents Push For Tougher DWI Laws After Infant Son Killed

A Minnesota family whose 5-month-old son was killed by a drunk driver wants tougher state laws for repeat offenders. Southwest Minnesota State University basketball coach Brad Bigler and his wife, Heather, lost their son, Drake, in a car crash in July of 2012.

03/18/2014

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Franken Wants The Federal Gov’t To Cover School Lunch Co-Pay

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken wants the federal government, not the state government, to cover the 40-cent co-pay required if a child can’t come up with the money in the school lunch line.

03/17/2014

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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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Reality Check: Gov. Dayton’s Job Numbers

New Minnesota job numbers are showing steady recovery from the worst days of the recession just a few years ago.

03/14/2014

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Dayton Downgrades Chance Of Medical Pot Passing

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday downgraded the chances of medical marijuana becoming legal in Minnesota this year before he met privately with those who want the drug to be a treatment option for people with debilitating diseases.

03/13/2014

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MNsure Board Approves Preliminary Budget For 2015

Officials with Minnesota’s new health insurance marketplace say their preliminary budget for 2015 will be balanced without seeking new federal or state money. MNsure Interim CEO Scott Leitz told reporters Wednesday that the proposed $39.8 million budget for next year is based on the assumption that the federal government will let the exchange carry over $5 million in federal grants that have already been awarded but not spent.

03/12/2014

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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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Rep. Apologizes For Controversial NBA Tweet

The Minnesota legislator whose tweet about the NBA aroused cries of racism is apologizing Monday. Rep. Pat Garofalo, a fifth-term Republican from Farmington, has faced an avalanche of criticism for suggesting this weekend that pro basketball players had criminal tendencies.

03/10/2014

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Minnesota House Approves $500M Tax-Cut Bill

The Minnesota House has given overwhelming approval to a $500 million package of tax cuts and repeals. Thursday’s 126-2 vote comes just more than a week into the legislative session. The bill heads to the Senate, where leaders haven’t publicly embraced the plan.

03/06/2014

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Controversial DVD Argues Against Anti-Bullying Bill

A controversial DVD delivered to Minnesota lawmakers is raising eyebrows at the Capitol. It’s a 27 minute video making the case against an anti-bullying bill from a group called the Minnesota Child Protection League.

03/05/2014

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Dayton’s ‘Unsession’ Plan Tackles Laws Deemed Old, Outdated

Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is laying out a list of ideas for pruning Minnesota’s statute of duplicative, outdated or problematic laws. The so-called “unsession” agenda is likely to touch most areas of state government. Three Dayton commissioners were planning to roll it out Tuesday.

03/04/2014

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Kaler Asks For $299M For University Construction Projects

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler warned that world-famous research at the U could slow down if the legislature does not approve funding to update its century-old laboratories.

03/03/2014

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