Minnesota lawmakers moved closer to adjourning the 2014 legislative session on Friday with a last-minute work list that included a final Senate vote the $1.1 billion package of public construction projects the House passed about six hours earlier.
The combination of borrowing and cash pays for dozens of projects, including the state Capitol renovation, civic centers in several cities around the state, and part of the Lewis and Clark water pipeline in southwestern Minnesota.
Minnesota is now poised to become the 22nd state to legalize medical marijuana. But the compromise legislation would create the strictest law of the bunch.
By a vote of 40-25, state senators approved an amendment to a proposed constitutional amendment on legislative salaries that lawmakers have set for the for the 2016 ballot.
Dayton said the Senate bill is much weaker and might not receive a vote. With a week left before the Legislature adjourns, the governor said Monday that the measure is a priority that he doesn't want overlooked.
Gov. Mark Dayton has made it clear that he favors the more restrictive version passed by the Minnesota House last week. Dayton said Monday that he's concerned about the Senate provision on to authorize patients to vaporize marijuana.
State lawmakers have just one week left to finish their work and adjourn the 2014 session. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire, who covers the Capitol.
The legislation, known as the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Act, would authorize a limited observational study of medical cannabis in liquid and pill form, but not smoking. Vaporized delivery would be allowed only with the in-person supervision of a physician.
In a bipartisan vote, the state Senate voted 48 to 18 Tuesday for a bill that allows approved patients access to cannabis in pill and liquid form, but not smoking. The Senate measure does not have the blessing of law enforcement or DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
Senators voted 48 to 18 Tuesday for the measure, which would allow qualified patients legal access to cannabis in pill and liquid form. They could vaporize cannabis, but smoking would be prohibited.
The Minnesota Senate on Monday approved a bill that would allow judges to order people served with domestic abuse protection orders to surrender their guns. The vote was 60 to 4.
The list includes improvements to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter and a section of the Lewis and Clark water pipeline project in southwestern Minnesota. The final $126 million needed for the state Capitol renovation is part of the separate cash measure.
The Minnesota Senate now has a bonding bill proposal to compete with earlier plans from the House and Gov. Mark Dayton.
DFL leaders have been trying unsuccessfully to persuade Republicans to back a bigger bill. They could still fall short of the GOP votes they need to pass a bonding bill, if Republicans don't like the final list of projects.
Most of Dayton's 2014 agenda is already passed or moving toward passage. One key exception is the still unresolved funding measure for public construction projects. The governor's State of the State speech was about three months late due to his recent hip surgery.