ST. PAUL -- A proposal to hike Minnesota's tax on gasoline took a step forward Monday, April 29, in the state Capitol. The Minnesota House of Representatives on a 74-58 vote approved a plan to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon gas tax increase over the next four years as part of the body's $7.2 billion transportation spending plan.
ST. PAUL -- Those who enter an oil pipeline worksite with the intent to disrupt services could face felony charges under an amendment added to a Minnesota Senate Jobs, Commerce and Energy spending bill Monday, April 29.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said he'd be willing to hold hearings for a pair of gun control bills this year if they pass the House of Representatives. The decision comes weeks after Gazelka and the chair of the Senate panel that would weigh the proposals said they would skip them this year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers started a conversation about combatting fraud in the state's child care assistance program then abruptly set it aside. The House Government Operations Committee on Tuesday, March 26, took up a bill that would call on the Department of Human Services to develop software that tracks the number of children a child care provider can care for and blocks attempts to overbill.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives said the state needs to do more to detect, prevent and investigate fraud in the state's child care assistance program. At a news conference on Monday, March 25, GOP lawmakers presented a package of bills they plan to move forward that would increase penalties for committing fraud and block those who've abused the program from re-enrolling.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota House Democrats want to grow the state budget to boost funding for education, health care and road and bridge repairs. The plan will require an "aggressive" change to the state's tax laws, a 20 cent per gallon increase on the tax on gasoline and the retention of a 2 percent tax on medical providers, Democratic leaders said Monday, March 25.
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to ban holding a cell phone while driving in Minnesota remains on track to become law. The Minnesota Senate on Monday, March 25 voted 56-10 to advance House File 50 with an amendment that would exempt those who place a phone to their ear using a scarf, hijab or another article of clothing from the penalty. Families who'd lost loved ones to distracted-driving-related crashes cheered from the Senate galleries at the result. The group spent years urging change at the Capitol.
ST. PAUL -- Members of the Minnesota Senate re-wrote their rules on harassment and discrimination for the first time in almost two decades. The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Monday, March 25, voted unanimously to advance changes to the body's non-discrimination and harassment policies. The vote allowed the rules to take effect immediately, replacing ones in place since 1990.
ST. PAUL -- An evaluation of the potential environmental impact of an Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline construction project left out "the elephant in the room," the potential damage it could cause to the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. That's according to attorneys that appealed the impact statement, arguing it's inaccurate. They, along with attorneys defending Enbridge's assessment and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission's process, presented their oral arguments to the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Wednesday, March 20.
ST. PAUL — Spring flooding across the state is imminent and potential damage could rival that caused by historic 1965 floods, which are remembered as the worst in a century in Minnesota. Warming weather and resulting snowmelt along with possible snow and rain in the next several weeks will determine just how vast the damage could be, national weather experts said Friday, March 15. And in the meantime, state and federal officials said they're preparing to get ahead of possible overflows.