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Heavy lifting in the House

Posted at 12:23 PM on April 24, 2008 by Michael Marchio

Not one, but two omnibus bills are being taken up by the House today. The first one, which the House spent all morning debating HF3902, was the omnibus agriculture and veterans policy bill.

One of the provisions that drew a lot of ire would allow a licensed chiropractor to practice animal chiropracty if registered by the animal chiropracty board. Some lawmakers didn't think it belonged in an omnibus bill for agriculture and veterans, and some felt that the chiropractor who usually works on people might not have that same expertise on animals, like a cow or horse, cause, you know, they're kind of different. Rep. Joyce Peppin offered an amendment that would require chiropractors to notify their human patients that they also work on animals in their office, but it was not adopted. Drop the horse smell sentence. It will help with length.

How you practice chiropracty on an animal is beyond me, but Rep. Jim Abeler, who last time I checked is the only registered chiropractor at the legislature, said he wouldn't be signing up to take the animal training. Intrepid MPR reported Tom Scheck had a story on it here.

There was some intra-DFL sniping about biofuels too. One of the provisions calls for increasing the amount of biodiesel in diesel fuel from 2 percent, where it is right now, to 20 percent by May 1, 2015. The question that some, mostly metro-DFLers, but not all, including Rep. Ken Tschumper (DFL-La Crecent) raised, was was how much the state wants to lock itself into goals for increasing biofuels, while we keep hearing how its contributing to global warming and sending food prices way up.

I think Rep. Juhnke (DFL-Willmar) got sick of fielding questions as the sponsor of the bill, because after a while, he began each response with how close, and later how much past lunchtime they were. Hopefully, he had a good one, he earned it after this morning.

Rep. Eastlund (R-Isanti) even started channeling Moses, crying out "let my dairy grow" as they made their closing remarks on the bill.

The other omnibus bill, HF3800, the transportation policy bill, is being debated right now. Add in the omnibus energy bill they passed yesterday, that's a pretty good couple days work for the House.

Sen. David Tomassoni and Rep. Tom Rukavina's mesothelioma cancer study gained final passage this morning too, bringing the total on that bill alone to 106 for each one of them. When the governor signs it, as he has indicated he will, they'll have another 50 to brag about.

Right now, Speaker Kelliher is getting some help with the gavel from Rep. Kahn's grandchildren. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.

UPDATE: Here's a story what Tom Scheck referred to as the "Biodiesel food fight."