Hot-button Issues Surface

Abortion. Transportation. Exploding trains and pipelines. Thursday brought a potpourri of hot-button issues to Minnesota legislative debate. Lawmakers often avoided dry money talk in spending hours debating tweaks to the current two-year, $42 billion budget. Instead, they fell back on tried and true controversies and attention-grabbing issues as they prepare for the final three weeks…
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IRRRB Change Advances In House

Replacing the Iron Range’s long time economic development board with a panel wielding less power on Thursday passed its first Minnesota House test. But opposition arose on issues including whether information the new board creates would be public and if there really is a need for change. The measure passed on a split voice vote,…
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GOP Pushes ‘smarter Government’ Spending Plan

Republicans want to finish a southwest Minnesota water project, kill the state film board, fund a tractor safety program, get rid of two business economic development programs and help Mille Lacs Lake-area businesses suffering from walleye fishing restrictions. All of that is part of what the GOP says would come without raising overall state spending.…
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Political Chatter: Legislators Look For Investigations

Minnesota lawmakers do more than legislate; they also sometimes ask people to investigate, and they want to see those reports. Such is the case in a couple of recent issues: a state worker who seemingly emailed opposition to a northern Minnesota oil pipeline and a Commerce Department official accused of improperly ordering destruction of documents.…
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Senate Votes To Eliminate Buffer Confusion

The Minnesota Legislature is close to cleaning up misunderstandings in a law meant to clean up the state’s water. Senators on Thursday passed legislation 61-0 making it clear that vegetative buffers will not be required along private ditches. The measure also clears up other issues that raised questions about the nearly year-old buffer law, many…
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