ST. PAUL -- A pair of gun control bills is scheduled for another primetime hearing Wednesday night at the Capitol. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division is set to take up the proposals that would require universal background checks at the point of sale or transfer of a firearm and allow law enforcement officers to remove a person's weapons if they're believed to pose a threat.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers need to approve emergency funding or risk losing contractors that know how to fix the state's troubled drivers licensing and vehicle registration computer system. Ahead of a Tuesday deadline, lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives were preparing to pass proposals Monday, March 4, that would green light $13.3 million in one-time money for the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, known as MNLARS. The funds would keep the outside contract workers employed and continue fixes and improvements of the computer system.
ST. PAUL — Hundreds of gun control supporters and opponents packed into a Minnesota Capitol hearing room and overflow spaces Wednesday, Feb. 27, ahead of scheduled testimony on a pair of bills aimed at adding background checks for firearm purchases and allowing "red flag" removal provisions. Tensions were high and testimony was expected to run late into the night as the proposals came up for consideration in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Division.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Feb. 19, presented his first budget proposal which came with a $49.5 billion price tag for the next two years. It includes a boost for Minnesota schools, local communities and health care programs. And to fund those programs, as well as a transportation and infrastructure package, the DFL governor planned to use a projected $1.5 billion surplus and new taxes. Democratic lawmakers were largely supportive of the proposal while Republicans, who hold a key two-seat advantage in the Senate, said they'd oppose several pieces.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Feb. 12, advanced a proposal to ban the sale of tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes, to those younger than 21. The House Health and Human Services Policy Committee approved House File 331, which would bar the sale, lending or giving of tobacco products to Minnesotans younger than 21. Currently, Minnesotans can buy and use tobacco products beginning at age 18.
ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers is hopeful that data illustrating the state is one of the worst in the nation when it comes to the achievement gap for students of color will ensure the approval of a proposal to recruit more teachers of color and American Indian teachers to Minnesota classrooms.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers agree that scientists should get nearly $2 million to create a test that would detect a fatal disease in deer. But some want to take a tougher tack in the months before scientists release the test, setting a moratorium on new deer farms that can open in Minnesota and offering buyouts for existing ones.
ST. PAUL -- The leaders of Minnesota's divided Legislature and Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, Feb. 11, set public deadlines for writing a nearly $47 billion spending plan. At a news conference at the Capitol, Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa pledged to hit the spending targets and said making the dates public would let Minnesotans hold them accountable to those deadlines.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to ban drivers from holding cell phones behind the wheel took its first step forward on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The bill, House File 50, passed through the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee on a voice vote following emotional testimony from family members of people who'd died in texting and driving related accidents. The bill moves now to the House Ways and Means Committee. A twin bill introduced in the Senate is set to have its first hearing Wednesday in the Senate Committee on Transportation Finance and Policy.
ST. PAUL -- A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday, Jan. 22, said it would bring legislation aimed at cracking down on the rising price of insulin. At a news conference, legislators said they'd aim to require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about their reasons for boosting insulin prices and set up a system that would allow those with diabetes to access refills if they can't afford the drug.