Capping a battle between urban and rural legislators, the Minnesota Senate revived last week's failed wolf-management bill and passed it Tuesday along with a funding increase for the Department of Natural Resources.
Lawmakers who support legalized abortion worry Governor Ventura has changed his stance on abortion. But just where Ventura stands on the issue, and why he entered the most recent fray atthe Legislature all, are still unclear.
An alliance between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Episcopal Church is hitting some snags, and Minnesota has become home base for a national Lutheran group protesting the union.
A House panel examined the allegations of a conflict of interest surrounding theMinneapolis light-rail project Tuesday, and added what critics say are more troubling details to the picture.
After a marathon 13 hours of debate, the Minnesota House approved a 300-page bill Monday containing a multitude of policy and spending provisions. Among its most controversial items are a total benefit cutoff for welfare recipients who don't comply with the program, and the "women's right to know" bill, which requires that specific information be presented to a woman seeking an abortion. House leaders say they folded many bills into one to save time, but they concede the bill will be a tough sell in a House-Senate conference committee.
Wolf advocates won a victory in the Minnesota Senate, which voted more than two-to-one to pass a bill granting strong protections to wolves statewide. The Legislature must pass a management plan to take effect when wolves are removed from the federal endangered-species list and returned to state control. The vote sets the stage for House-Senate negotiations, and creates a wide gulf between the two chambers, since the House passed a bill allowing wolf hunting and trapping.
House Republicans have introduced legislation to kill funding for the Twin Cities' light-rail line from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America and the airport. They accuse the state transportation department of making misleading cost predictions last year when money was first allocated. But other legislators, say having taken the plunge, they should see the project through, especially considering the Senate and Governor Jesse Ventura both support the project.
Now that Minnesota members of the Reform Party have voted to leave the national party and form the Minnesota Independence Party, they're scrambling to retain major-party designation, and the power and money that goes with it.
A Minnesota Pubic Radio - St. Paul Pioneer Press poll shows Minnesotans have no clear favorite for president. If the presidential election were held today, Republican John McCain would likely defeat Democrat Al Gore in Minnesota by a narrow margin. But Gore would edge out George W. Bush if the Texas governor were the Republican nominee.
U.S. Senator Rod Grams has officially announced, he'll seek re-election to Congress in November. Grams has been mostly in the background as nine Democrats and one Reform Party candidate announced their intentions to seek the seat he has held since 1994.
The Senate Transportation Committee has voted to shut down Twin Cities' ramp meters for a one-month study of their effectiveness. The measure is part of a so-called "Freedom to Drive" agenda pushed by Republican Minority Leader Dick Day. A measure to ticket drivers who hold up traffic in the left lane of Minnesota freeways also won committee approval.
Northern Minnesota business owners say a lack of snow for a third winter in a row is threatening their economic survival, and some say it warrants a disaster declaration. State legislators from the area will try to develop a $10 million low-interest loan fund, while Congressman James Oberstar says he'll seek federal funds through a presidential disaster declaration.
David and Johanna Hecker are devout Christians who have been living for 22 years in northeast Minnesota, on land they call God's Wilderness. When they heard about the anticipated problems with Y2K, they advertised; offering to sell land to other Christian, home-schooling families and help build cabins to avoid any millennial disruptions. Visitors arrived from all over the country. But things haven't quite worked out as the Heckers hoped.