The Minnesota House voted overwhelmingly on Monday to repeal the Profile of Learning graduation standards. It's the fifth straight year the House has voted to repeal the profile. Supporters are more confident than ever that this is the year the standards will be scrapped. The Pawlenty administration has indicated its support of new standards by creating a task force to make new ones. The Minnesota Senate, which has voted to preserve the Profile in the past, is also inclined to make major changes. Several senators, however, say they don't want to move too quickly until they know what they're going to replace it with.
Independent Dean Barkley of Minnesota is the newest member of the U.S. Senate. Vice President Cheney administered the oath on the Senate floor Tuesday.
As Congress and the White House move toward passage of a homeland security
bill, Minnesota's interim senator, Dean Barkley, says he plans to vote for something that the White House will support. Vice President Dick Chaney swore in Barkley on the floor of the Senate on Nov. 12. Following that brief ceremony, Republican and Democratic senators
praised Wellstone for hours with eulogies.
Legislative leaders say they want to be judged on the results of their work rather than the admittedly messy process they used to get them. The results include tax cuts and another rebate, higher spending for education, and about $600 million for building projects around the state.
Lawmakers agree to split more than $500 million of on-going budget surplus money three ways; between the House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Governor Ventura. Top lawmakers say the process wasn't pretty, but the results will be good for Minnesota.
Another DFLer has entered the race against incumbent Republican Senator Rod Grams. Department store heir and former state auditor Mark Dayton surprised officials from his own party by saying he intends to run.
Republican leaders of the Minnesota House are trying to decide what to do about one of their members after he was charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct. Republican Jim Rostberg is accused of repeated sexual assaults on a juvenile.
The governor is still at loggerheads with the Republican majority in the House and DFL majority in the Senate over what to do with the $1.8 billion projected budget surplus. While some at the Capitol say the impasse could delay the end of the legislative session, there are at least some signs that all sides are willing to deal.
Just one day before he was scheduled to announce his candidacy, former DFL congressman Tim Penny did an about face and said he will <i>not</i> run for U.S. Senate. Penny cited personal reasons for his decision, and the other DFL candidates hoping to run against incumbent Republican Rod Grams rushed to try to convince his supporters to join their camps.
The Minnesota Senate jumps to the head of the line among those at the Capitol trying to give your money back. The Senate approved a bill that would rebate $453 million of sales tax money to taxpayers. DFL leaders say this rebate would be more fair than last year's because it would go to more people. Republicans say some of the money would go to people who don't deserve it.
MPR - St. Paul Pioneer Press poll shows public support for Ventura and his policies is overwhelming.