ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday, March 18, prepared to take up a bill that would ban holding a cell phone while driving. The push for the ban followed unsuccessful efforts a year earlier to pass a similar proposal and after more than a dozen families who'd lost a loved one to distracted driving-related crashes lobbied for a change in the Legislature.
ST. PAUL — A proposal to ban holding a cellphone while behind the wheel is a step away from a floor vote in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division advanced the bill to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday, March 6, likely the last stop before it reaches a vote on the House floor. Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, said he brought the bill to “address the growing epidemic of distracted driving in our state.”
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 - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will have to decide by Tuesday whether to call for the reconsideration of an appeal blocking the construction of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline or let the project move forward. Hours ahead of the deadline, the DFL governor declined to share his decision with reporters. Walz said he would announce a decision before Tuesday morning. And he said he planned to meet with stakeholders and write to legislative leaders before making his plans public. “The reasoning behind that I think is important,” Walz said Monday, Feb. 11.
MINNEAPOLIS - U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., on Sunday, Feb. 10, announced her bid for president surrounded by thousands of supporters bundled up against the winter cold. Against Minneapolis skyline blurred by heavy snowfall, Klobuchar, 58, became the latest to join a crowded Democratic field of candidates vying to win the party's nomination and take on President Donald Trump in 2020. National polls show the third-term senator will have work to do in pulling ahead of the pack. But with a message of unity and Minnesota grit, Klobuchar said she was up to the task.
ST. PAUL — A proposal to make opioid manufacturers and distributors pay $20 million a year to help Minnesotans dealing with painkiller addiction and abuse won't fall victim to a "lobbying blitz" at the end of the legislative session, Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday, Feb. 5. The DFL governor told reporters that he'd discussed the bipartisan legislation with several drug manufacturing and distribution executives on Tuesday and let them know his expectation is that the bill makes it to his desk this year.
ST. PAUL -- Local governments around the state could get a funding boost to the tune of $30.5 million a year if Gov. Tim Walz's state budget gets a green light from the Minnesota Legislature. The DFL governor said Wednesday, Jan. 30, that he'd push to get the extra funds to help cities and towns pay for essential services like fixing streets and providing law enforcement services while keeping property taxes down.
ST. PAUL - Some Minnesota lawmakers think the Labrador Retriever should be the official dog breed of Minnesota. Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, and Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, the House minority leader, are planning a press conference for Tuesday morning to announce “Raven’s Bill” to do just that. The legislation is named after Ron Schara’s pooch Raven. The long-time Minnesota Bound host and his trusty companion plan to be on hand for the media event. Just 13 states have an official canine breed. Maryland was the first, picking the Chesapeake Bay Retriever in 1964.
ST. PAUL - Mental health counselors and farm advocates on Thursday, Jan. 24, urged lawmakers to take swift action in passing bills that would boost funding for farmer support resources. One psychologist has been tasked with traversing the state to offer free mental health services for farmers, and his phone has been ringing off the hook for months. Minnesota farmers withstood the fifth year in a row of low commodity prices, tariff fights, low yields and inclement weather and most recently, a government shutdown that entered its 34th day on Thursday.
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.