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Session 2004

Session 2004

While the bus strike may soon be over, the debate over transit funding is heating up at the Capitol. Gov, Pawlenty and House Republicans have proposed cutting the Metro Transit budget, while Senate Democrats want to increase transit funding. Transit advocates say Metro Transit will need more money to regain riders after the strike, and further cuts will cripple the agency. (04/14/2004)
When University of Minnesota officials announced recently they would pursue human embryonic stem cell research, they made a pledge to keep the controversial process open to public scrutiny. To that end, the university held a public forum Tuesday night to discuss the science and ethical issues behind the new research policy. (04/14/2004)
Minneapolis and St. Paul school district officials are blasting legislation that would take away some of the state funding they get for keeping their schools racially balanced. (04/12/2004)
A look ahead to the end of the Minnesota Legislative session, and at the issues that need to be resolved before then. ( 04/12/2004)
Minnesota lawmakers have five weeks left before the state Constitution forces them to adjourn the legislative session, and most of their work is still unfinished. The House and Senate have passed markedly different plans for fixing a projected shortfall of $160 million in the state budget, and neither body has passed a bonding bill to fund capital projects around the state, and both are still considering legislation for a new stadium. <I>Morning Edition</I> host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Laura McCallum, Minnesota Public Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief. (04/12/2004)
Host Gary Eichten talks with Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty about national and local current events. Pawlenty also takes questions and comments from MPR listeners. ( 04/09/2004)
A future dairy farmer came up with a proposal that would make it easier for him to start his own dairy farm. The idea has piqued the interest of some Minnesota legislators. (04/09/2004)
The Minnesota Senate completed work on a budget package in a marathon floor session that began Wednesday morning and ended early Thursday. The plan arrived in two pieces: one that erases a $160 million projected deficit and a second that provides more than $40 million for a wide spectrum of new or restored initiatives. The Republican minority criticized DFLers for loading their new spending and policy changes into one comprehensive plan, arguing the process overwhelmed any chance for careful consideration or debate. (04/08/2004)
An environment and natural resources bill passed the House 81-50 Wednesday after a provision involving changes to all-terrain vehicle rules was removed. (04/07/2004)
A recent poll from the Minneapolis Star Tribune suggests that civil unions for same sex couples could be more acceptable than marriage to a majority of voting-eligible Minnesotans. Are there other commitments that don't go so far as marriage, but are just as good? And how do same sex couples view the differences? ( 04/07/2004)
In the Minnesota House, lawmakers are expected to debate an amendment that would require drivers license tests be given only in English. The amendment was proposed earlier this week as an addition to a larger transportation bill. The written portion of the Minnesota drivers license exam is currently given in several languages, including Hmong, Somali, and Spanish. <I>Morning Edition</I> host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Republican Representative Marty Siefert, sponsor of the amendment. (04/07/2004)
As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, state Department of Transportation officials had a message for motorists: Prepare to spend some time idling in traffic. &quot;It's not something we're doing to them - it's something we're doing for them,&quot; said Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau, also the state's lieutenant governor. (04/06/2004)
Everyone's talking about marriage these days. The debate rages from pulpits to the Legislature. Most of the discussion centers on who can get married -- whether gays and lesbians should have that right. We wanted to back up a step and ask, What <b>is</b> marriage? We put that question to some married couples. (04/06/2004)
Republican women legislators and state officials are calling on Senate Democrats to confirm Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau and Education Commissioner Cheri Pierson Yecke. (04/05/2004)
Advocates say the region's lack of transit isolates people without cars. Business leaders predict growing roadway congestion will stall the Twin Cities economy. A rising chorus of voices is clamoring for a comprehensive Twin Cities transportation plan to address the problems. But there's little agreement on what to build and how to pay for it. (04/04/2004)

Video from the Capitol

Audio Live House video
(Windows Media)
Audio Live Senate video
All times approximate and subject to change.

Audio Highlights

Audio How K-12 education fared in the session
Rep. Barb Sykora, chair of the House Education Policy Committee, and Sen. Steve Kelley, chair of the Senate Education Committee discuss education issues that were debated this session. (Midday - 5/20/04)
Audio The governor's point man
Gov. Pawlenty's chief of staff, Dan McElroy, discusses what's next in the wake of the legislative session ( Midday - 5/18/04)
Audio The effect of the U of M
University of Minnesota President Robert Bruininks ( Midmorning - 5/18/04)
Audio Sviggum and Johnson square off
House Speaker Steve Sviggum and Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson exchange barbs as the session ends ( Midday - 5/14/04)
Audio The governor's view
Gov. Tim Pawlenty reacts to the end of the legislative session and the ousting of his education commissioner.
( 5/17/04)
Audio The gay marriage debate
Ann DeGroot, executive director of OutFront Minnesota; Tom Prichard, president of the Minnesota Family Council. ( Midday - 3/9/04)
Audio Health care task force makes recommendations
Dave Durenberger, head of the Minnesota Citizens Forum on Health Care Costs ( Midday- 2/24/04)

State of the State (2/5/04)
Gov. Pawlenty's address to a joint session of the Legislature