Not everything in Legislature is about the budget

While most legislative attention is focused on budget bills, several smaller measures also have passed the House, including:

  • A bill giving local governments the option to approve zoning variances. Negotiations are to continue, even after the House approved the bill. The House passed the bill 79-52, but sponsor Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, said work is needed before the Senate passes its version. The Minnesota Supreme Court last year limited cities’ ability to grant variances.
  • A provision expanding what emergency medical technicians can do. Under the bill EMTs could monitor and provide some treatment to people with chronic diseases and to perform minor medical procedures. The bill already passed the Senate, so it heads to the governor’s desk.
  • A measure Willmar’s two legislators want to allow beer and wine to be sold at small-town baseball games. Rep. Bruce Vogel and Sen. Joe Gimse, both Republicans, want to bill to pass it soon so Willmar’s team can order beer for the upcoming season. The Senate has passed the measure, which awaits a House vote.

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