A bill with tight limits on use of marijuana as medicine has reached a pivotal Minnesota House vote. Days after the Senate overwhelmingly passed a more-expansive version, House lawmakers planned to debate its own proposal and almost 50 potential amendments Friday.
There will be talk about lawmaker pay at the state Capitol, but the salaries of legislators aren’t budging anytime soon. The House planned to debate a bill Thursday that would dictate the composition and role of a special independent pay council.
Dozens of firefighters from across Minnesota arrived at the State Capitol on Wednesday to talk about the importance of fire sprinklers. According to fire crews, a deadly fire last weekend could have been prevented if the home had fire sprinklers.
New parents would be entitled to longer unpaid leaves. Mothers would find more private space at work to nurse, other than a restroom stall. And large state contractors would have to certify they pay men and women similar salaries for similar jobs.
The Minnesota state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
The Minnesota Lottery’s ability to sell paperless tickets over the Internet and at gas pumps is up for another legislative vote. The House was due Tuesday to consider a measure barring the lottery from continuing virtual games that have been the source of controversy.
Gov. Mark Dayton delivered his last State of the State address Wednesday night as the state’s current leader, urging unity among Minnesotans. He also said over the last four years he’s been in office, Minnesota’s economy is now on the mend.
Minnesota lawmakers are hoping to minimize any lapse in the state’s online voter registration system. A judge ruled Monday that the portal be shut off because Secretary of State Mark Ritchie lacked the power to set it up unilaterally.
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Hundreds of people rallied at the State Capitol Wednesday to legalize marijuana in Minnesota. Supporters say it’s less dangerous than beer, cigarettes, or even peanuts. Only one Minnesota lawmaker, Rep. Rena Moran, publicly expressed support for legal pot — noting that blacks in her Ramsey County district are eight times more likely to be arrested for possession.
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.
Representatives from some of the state’s largest school districts say there are more homeless children now than ever before. Superintendents from St. Paul and Minneapolis schools joined lawmakers on Wednesday to push for $100 million for more affordable housing.
Minnesota lawmakers are on the verge of cracking down on public employees who abuse their access to citizen data. A measure being negotiated in a House-Senate conference committee would do more to expose and punish data snoopers who improperly use government databases.
Supporters of medical marijuana plan to continue their push for its legalization at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The group, Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, says they now have 100 Minnesota doctors, pastors and clergy members who support legal access to medical marijuana.
Minnesota lawmakers are back in action after a week away from the Capitol, but their annual session is rapidly winding down. Fewer than four weeks remain before lawmakers must conclude their work. Democratic majorities are hoping to finalize plans for the remaining budget surplus with a mixture of new spending and additional tax relief.