Democrats Hope To Wedge Road Funding Into Special SessionSome top Minnesota Democrats are ditching a call for a wholesale gasoline tax in an effort to force action on transportation funding this year. Ambitious plans to increase funds for the state's ailing network of roads and bridges were stymied this legislative session by disagreement over how to pay for it.
Sen. Dibble Optimistic Lawmakers Can Reach A Budget DealWhile Gov. Mark Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt proved they could fish together during the weekend opener, it remains to be seen if they can agree on a budget deal.
In Session's Final Push, Minnesota Budget Deal Still ElusiveMinnesota's legislative session is moving into its final, frantic week with the full outline of a new state budget still a blur but some potential elements of an agreement coming into focus. The few people in on private negotiations are saying almost nothing, but the Capitol has turned into its usual hothouse of rumors and compromise scenarios.
Senator's Bill Allows Business Owners 'Of Faith' To Deny Gay Couples Wedding ServicesIt was against Minnesota law to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples even before Minnesota legalized gay marriage in 2013. But a Republican State Senator says businesses should not be forced to provide commercial service if it violates their religious beliefs.
Rules For Law Enforcement Drones Fly To Senate FloorA bill barring warrantless aerial drone use by Minnesota law enforcement except in certain emergency situations is headed to the Senate floor. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday endorsed a bill that has been the subject of intense negotiations with civil liberties groups and law enforcement agencies.
Study: Workers Aren't Prepared To Handle Oil AccidentA new report says Minnesota's firefighters and first responders aren't adequately prepared to handle an oil spill or fiery accident. Most local governments don't have the equipment to respond to an oil accident, according to a Department of Public Safety report released this week. More than half of the workers surveyed said they need more training.
Big Gap In Road-Fixing Plans Means Bigger Fight At CapitolA wide gulf between how Republicans, Democrats and business groups want to tackle the state's multibillion-dollar backlog of road and bridge repairs all but guarantees that what's been billed as the biggest fight of the 2015 legislative session will live up to the hype. House Republicans unveiled a proposal Thursday that would tap a projected budget surplus and shave spending at the Department of Transportation to fund $750 million in repairs over the next four years.
Minnesota Lawmakers Search For Way Out Of Road JamIf Minnesota lawmakers can come up with the green, drivers will be seeing many more orange cones in years to come.
Dayton Says He Will Sign House Medical Pot BillMinnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has sent a letter to House and Senate sponsors of their respective medical-marijuana bills. Dayton said he would sign the bill into law if legislators adopted the House version as is. Dayton sent the letter to Minneapolis Democratic Sen. Scott Dibble and Hibbing Democratic Rep. Carly Melin soon after the House passed a medical-marijuana proposal on Friday.
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.
Minn. Senate Panel Approves Medical Marijuana BillWith just three weeks left in this year's session, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed a new version of the bill that includes a state study on how medical marijuana availability would impact Minnesota.
Minn. Senate Passes Anti-Bullying BillThe 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.