A House committee approved the surcharge on a 10-5 vote. The money it would raise each year --
almost $500,000 -- would repay meat processors who turn donated deer into venison for food shelves.
Minnesota has a new law establishing one of the most aggressive standards for renewable energy in the country. The governor and lawmakers say it's just the first of several energy-related proposals they hope to pass this session.
Supporters say the requirement means Minnesota would have the strongest renewable energy standard in the nation. But critics worry the proposal could mean a hike in utility bills for consumers.
Minnesota's plan to pump more hydrogen, solar
and wind electricity through its powerlines got overwhelming
backing from the state Senate, where advocates touted it as the
most aggressive renewable energy standard in the country.
A committee in the Minnesota Senate unanimously approved a bill that would require utility companies to get at least a quarter of their energy from renewable sources after a wide variety of interests reached an agreement on the bill late Thursday.
In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Bush called for America to produce 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017. Much of that fuel may well come from Minnesota's farm fields.
The prospects of the state lawmakers taking up a constitutional amendment on natural resources during a summer special session are over.
DFL Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson Thursday rejected the latest Republican House offer to raise the state sales tax by one-eighth of 1 percent for hunting and fishing habitats.