Some 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.
While 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.
Minnesota’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.
It 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.
A 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.
A 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.
A 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.
If Minnesota lawmakers can come up with the green, drivers will be seeing many more orange cones in years to come.
Minnesota 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.
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.
With 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.
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.
Those for and against an anti-bullying bill gave emotional and passionate testimony Tuesday at the Senate Education Hearing at the State Capitol. Critics say language in the bill which protects specific group, including gays, threatens religious freedom. But supporters say the bill protects all students. Two-hundred people waited in line to get into the hearing. Many, like the Ross family of Forest Lake, were forced to watch in an overflow room. They support the bill because sixth-grader Jake Ross was bullied while in second grade.
In a sudden shift Friday, the Minnesota Senate revived the possibility of raising the gas tax for roadwork and a metropolitan area sales tax for mass transit projects by making over what had been a stand-pat transportation finance plan.
Minnesotans are known for being active, so it’s no surprise that out of about 27 thousand runners at Monday’s Boston Marathon, 539 of those registered to run are from right here in Minnesota.
Some Minnesota Catholic schools are now urging parents not to support an anti-bullying bill at the State Capitol, concerned over the cost of it, and the bill’s apparent lack of input from private schools.
The most talked about, expensive and historic vote was the one for the marriage amendment, which for the first time in any state did not receive enough votes to pass.
Minnesota Lawmkers Scott Dibble, Betty McCollum and Geoff Michel stopped by WCCO 4 News Sunday Morning to talk with Esme Murphy about various aspects of the state government shutdown, which is in its record 10th day.