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Representatives voted 129-0 to make it easier for military personnel and others overseas to cast Minnesota ballots. Among other things, the bill allows those overseas to request to cast votes electronically. The bill, similar to one senators earlier passed, would apply to many people overseas, such as Peace Corps members. "It has been a long time coming allowing the military to vote," said Rep. Bernie Lieder, DFL-Crookston, the only World War II veteran in the House. The House also passed other provisions to streamline election procedures.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds snowmobilers that Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trails closed for the season on April 1. Riding these trails without the landowner's permission is trespassing. In addition, the state is no longer grooming snowmobile trails. Caution is urged when riding on the new snow that fell throughout northern Minnesota.
ST. PAUL - A divided Minnesota Senate gave preliminary approval Thursday to a health-care reform package some lawmakers described as bold and necessary and others said moves too fast. The bill aims to bring down health care costs, get more Minnesotans health insurance and lead to better health care results, said author Sen.
ST. PAUL - Democratic education leaders want to bump up education spending by raiding money meant for Gov.
WORTHINGTON -- From growing algae and switchgrass to converting livestock manure and food processing waste into compost, researchers are doing what they can to improve America's energy independence. That was the message during a two-hour session on renewables Thursday afternoon at the fourth annual Bioscience Conference in Worthington.
ST. PAUL - The much-publicized foreclosure crisis affects all of Minnesota, although experts say those outside the Twin Cities area apparently face issues other than the now-famous subprime concern. For counties away from the Twin Cities, the foreclosure situation is a mixed picture, said Chip Halbach, Minnesota Housing Partnership executive director. For instance, Halbach said, Iron Range communities in northeastern Minnesota are seeing a burst of economic activity, and the housing market there is robust.
A House-Senate conference committee could meet soon to negotiate a compromise plan to compensate victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. The Senate on Thursday approved its version of a compensation fund, setting aside $25 million for bridge collapse victims, but limiting an individual's payment to $400,000. A House bill spends $40 million and does not cap what a bridge collapse victim can be paid from the state. In exchange for accepting the state payment, a victim would waive the right to sue the state.
A plan designating March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Minnesota awaits final legislative action. Bill author Sen. Dan Skogen, DFL-Hewitt, recently won approval from the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee, which sent it to the floor for a final vote. A companion bill awaits final passage in the House, where Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, authored the measure. Howes said Vietnam War veterans never received a proper welcome home.
A plan to expand Minnesotans' right to protect themselves by using deadly force suffered a near-fatal blow when it failed to pass a House committee. The so-called Castle Doctrine gives citizens the right to use deadly force in their home if they feel their life is threatened. A bill by Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, expands that to a person's property and vehicle. It fell on a tie vote in the House Public Safety and Civil Justice Committee.
ST. PAUL - Eric Magnuson used to lead a commission that helped pick judges; now he is getting ready to become Minnesota's top judge. Gov.