The House dealt a major setback Tuesday to Gov.
Tim Pawlenty's plan to pad the state budget with gambling money,
sending a bill that would establish two casinos at Canterbury Park
back to a committee seen as hostile.
In what's just about become an annual tradition, the Twins ballpark debate is poised to return to the state Capitol. The deal announced on Monday between the team and Hennepin County doesn't require any state dollars. But it does require legislative permission for the county to levy a proposed new sales tax to help finance the package. The proposal won praise from many key lawmakers, but significant hurdles remain.
Minnesota House Republicans have merged two casino proposals in an effort to keep gambling revenues on the table for end-of-session budget negotiations.
A debate in the Minnesota House started as an attempt to place certain cold remedies behind pharmacy counters, to make it harder for meth manufacturers to obtain the pseudoephedrine crucial to making their drugs. It ended with a sweeping ban on many everyday medications.
Several thousand supporters of a constitutional
ban on gay marriage rallied Wednesday at the Capitol, saying all
they want is a chance to vote on the issue.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe says it will reject any attempt to merge a proposed state-tribal casino with a separate plan to put slot machines at the Canterbury Park race track. A merger is being floated since both gambling initiatives are stalled at the State Capitol.
Amid a contentious fight over gay marriage, a
Republican state senator said Thursday that he was no longer able
to keep his own sexuality a secret.
A House committee has adopted spending targets for the next budget that underscore the shaky state of gambling proposals at the state Capitol. The Ways and Means Committee spending resolution outlines two sets of spending levels -- one with casino revenues and one without.
The Minnesota Senate has beaten back an attempt to force a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages. The failed tactic came as thousands of gays, lesbians, and their supporters rallied on the Capitol grounds in opposition to the gay marriage ban.
The House and Senate have voted overwhelmingly to approve almost $1 billion worth of building and maintenance projects. The capital improvements bill is the most significant piece of legislation to pass both bodies in the 2005 session. It comes almost a year after lawmakers hit an impasse during a similar debate in the last legislative session.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty says prospects don't look good for his plans to use casino revenue to fill out the state budget, and he says legislative attempts to bury the proposal are a backdoor push for new state tax increases by Senate Democrats. DFLers haven't released their own budget blueprint, but there's a growing consensus at the Capitol that the Democrats' plan will ultimately rely on new tax revenue.
Plans to expand gambling options in Minnesota have hit a snag in the Senate. Last night, a Senate committee voted down a proposal to open a state-run casino in partnership with three northern Ojibwe tribes. The same committee also rejected a separate plan to authorize slot machines at the Canterbury Park Racetrack in Shakopee.
The Minnesota House has agreed to put a ban on same-sex marriages to voters next year. If the Senate concurs, Minnesotans would face a ballot question to restrict marriage to relationships between one man and one woman. Supporters of the measure argue such a constitutional change would preserve the traditional notion of marriage. Opponents say it's discriminatory and unnecessary.
Attorney General Mike Hatch says that Gov. Pawlenty's plan to open a new Twin Cities casino with three northern Minnesota Indian tribes is probably unconstitutional
the way it's written, because it calls for the state lottery to run the casino.
The Red Lake shooting has led to a culture clash between the close-knit tribal community and outside media. Some reporters complained about limited access they had to tribal members. But tribal members say they've been overwhelmed by the arrival of pushy and demanding outsiders.