While the Legislature has let employees buy back years of service to correct a mistake, it's never allowed anyone to join a pension after earlier electing to opt out of the plan, said Mary Most Vanek, executive director of the Public Employee Retirement Association of Minnesota.
"For 50 years we have assumed that we have equal pay for equal work," said DFL Sen. Sandy Pappas. "And the whole purpose of this bill is to see if that's the case, if we can get a handle on this stubborn pay gap."
The Minnesota House overwhelmingly passed a bill today extends bar hours during this summer's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, extends alcohol sales at the University of Minnesota's football stadium and allows taprooms to open on Sundays.
The agreement would expand unpaid family leave and require businesses to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant and nursing employees. It would also provide money to help increase the number of women working in high-wage, high-demand jobs.
The chamber voted in favor of allowing craft beer tap rooms to sell growlers for takeaway on Sundays, but then the bill got pulled from debate.
The proposal would include electronic cigarettes under the same rules as smoking. The bill would also ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors and keep e-cigs out of schools.
The measure would have opened the door to allowing a form of Sunday liquor sales in Minnesota.
The Minnesota House unanimously passed a bill Friday that would require police to get a judge's approval before tracking the location of someone's cell phone.
The bill comes after a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that the Minnesota Department of Health's policy of archiving newborn blood samples violated the state's Genetic Information Act.
The deal doesn't allow smoking of marijuana, but would allow for vapor delivery. It also includes the option of a state-based manufacturer of the medication if no federal source is available.
Law enforcement groups told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday that they might not oppose marijuana extracts like oils or pills for treatment, but they don't want to see the creation of 55 marijuana dispensaries.
The annual address typically comes at the beginning, not the end of the legislative session, but Dayton's health problems led him to delay it. As a result, the speech comes as the governor prepares to jumpstart his re-election campaign.
People who run drug treatment programs in Minnesota worry that opening the door to any form of legal marijuana will cause many more problems and could lead to greater abuse.
The nation's top telecoms regulator is proposing to allow a pay-for-priority fast lane for movies, music and other services to get to people's homes. Under the proposal, an access provider could demand that high-traffic services such as Netflix pay for preferential treatment.
The Senate Health, Human Services and Housing Committee followed through on Gov. Mark Dayton's recent suggestion that lawmakers need to "stop hiding behind their desks" on medical marijuana and take a stance.