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Session 2003

Session 2003: Business

Looking for a little more wiggle room than is offered in Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget plan, the House banks on getting $100 million by having the state run a casino at the Canterbury Park horse race track in Shakopee. The Senate doesn't include the plan, and Pawlenty has been ambiguous about whether he'd support it, but if it doesn't become law, the House would have to come up with additional cuts. Another plan would permit two American Indian tribes that have benefited little from the casinos built on their northwest Minnesota reservations to build one in a Twin Cities suburb and share profits with the state.

Although the budget is dominating the 2003 session, other issues are certain to resurface. Several bills changing the state's liquor laws will be introduced, and at least one has a good chance of passing. Those who support a lower drunk driving limit say this is the year it could finally pass. They want the legal limit to drop from .10 to .08 blood-alcohol content. Also this session, Minnesota grocers will renew an effort to allow wine sales in grocery stores. (01/21/2003)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has appointed commissioners for two departments involved in economic and employment policy in Minnesota. (01/13/2003)
Gov. Tim Pawlenty assured a group of business leaders Wednesday night that he won't raise taxes to fix the state's $4.5 billion deficit. Speaking at a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce dinner, Pawlenty said business owners can't afford another tax increase. He said it's important for lawmakers to hold the line on taxes, lower the cost of health care and introduce tort reform. (01/09/2003)

Audio Highlights

Gov. Pawlenty inaugural address
Pawlenty unveils budget cuts Proposes a mix of cuts to close short-term deficit (1/14/03)