Party-line votes on same-sex marriage; 'Spunk' fires up Penumbraby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today on the MPR News Update: The next stop for the same-sex marriage bill, the Wilder Foundation's new CEO targets racial disparities, a former boarding school teachers says he's not guilty of sex crimes, Penumbra Theatre is reborn, and more.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota has survived two committees on party-line votes, and the bills are now headed to the full House and Senate. Democrats on both panels approved the measure Tuesday, while Republicans opposed it. The votes came after a full day of passionate public testimony from both sides of the issue.
WILDER'S NEW CEO: MayKao Hang doesn't look like the average Minnesota CEO, especially when she's mingling with other executives. "I would venture to guess that maybe for a lot of people, I'm the first Asian person they've actually had a relationship with," Hang said with a laugh. " About three years ago, Hang became president and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation.
'INNOCENT,' SEIBEL SAYS: In a jailhouse interview, former Shattuck-St. Mary's teacher Lynn Seibel tells MPR News he is not guilty of sexually abusing students at the Faribault boarding school, and that he prays he will be acquitted so he can return to his life as an actor in California.
PENUMBRA'S SPUNK: Last year, Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul seemed to be in a financial freefall, appearing as though it may have played its last show. After an outpouring of public support, including 1,400 donations, the lauded African American company is back in business. The mood at Penumbra is reflected in the play opening this week: "Spunk."
MAYO MONEY DOUBTS: The chair of a key legislative committee said supporters of a plan that relies on more than $500 million to help the Mayo Clinic expand in Rochester should go back to the drawing table. In a hearing Tuesday, House Taxes Committee chair Ann Lenczewski said she has deep concerns about the plan's financing.
ADOPTION HANG-UP: A bill aiming to boost Minnesota's adoption rate from foster care, currently the second-lowest in the nation, will get a Senate committee hearing Wednesday. Adoption advocates say the state's ranking is so low partly because of a subsidy disparity: If you're raising a foster child and want to adopt that child, the state will cut assistance payments to you by half.
BALANCING BUDGET: Gov. Dayton is scheduled to propose his revised budget plan later this week. In recent days, he's discussed some of his plans and hinted at others. Here's a handy cheat sheet for those wondering what he'll continue to back and what's either getting dropped or likely will be dropped.
GUN POSSESSION: Community and religious leaders from north Minneapolis spoke out Tuesday against a proposed gun bill at the Capitol. They say DFL Rep. Debra Hilstrom's bill would hurt communities of color by creating mandatory minimum sentences for gun possession by those who shouldn't have them.
FRAC FACILITY REJECTION: The frac sand mining boom has been silenced for now in St. Charles, where the City Council has rejected a land annexation request that could have made way for a major silica sand processing facility within city limits. A local township had already rejected Minnesota Proppant's plans, so three landowners working with the company tried to get the St. Charles City Council to annex their land. The council voted 5-0 to reject the plan. "It just comes to a point where you have to look at what's in the best interest for the community," Mayor Bill Spitzer said.
TRAUMATIZED DOGS: For years, PTSD -- or post-traumatic stress disorder -- has been an issue for military members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. But humans aren't the only ones with problems. Military dogs returning from war zones are also showing signs of PTSD. And there's evidence that these canines need some extra tender loving care after their tours of duty.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.