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Session 2004

Session 2004

Dozens of lawmakers are prepared to stand behind a bill that would deny public money to institutions that conduct research on human embryos. The bill is a threat to the University of Minnesota, where officials announced that they will pursue embryonic stem cell research. (02/12/2004)
The top Senate Republican criticized Gov. Tim Pawlenty's stadium commission Wednesday for ruling out expanded gambling as a funding source for new Twins and Vikings stadiums. (02/11/2004)
On Tuesday, the "Initiative and Referendum" bill--which would let Minnesotans add legislation to statewide ballot--sailed through the House Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee. Host Gary Eichten and his guests discuss the bill and what it would mean for Minnesota voters. ( 02/11/2004)
A judge on Monday dismissed a challenge to Gov. Pawlenty's executive order preventing anyone from being released from Minnesota's sex offender treatment program unless through a court order. Pawlenty issued his order last July, after a newspaper report said the state was considering releasing some of the 200 offenders in the state's two secure psychiatric hospitals. Meanwhile, Minnesota lawmakers began debating longer prison sentences for sex offenders. (02/09/2004)
Minnesota residents talk a lot about the great quality of life they have. The state has enjoyed a national reputation for good schools and supportive children's programs. But that image has taken a hit lately. Funding for low income daycare has been chopped. Lawmakers will struggle again this year to make up a deficit that could total $500 million. It's a situation that may leave some families, scrambling to pay the daycare bill. (02/09/2004)
Minnesota lawmakers are back at the Capitol for the second week of the legislative session. After struggling with a $4.5 billion projected deficit last year, their main job this session is to agree on a bonding bill to fund capital projects around the state. But other issues are already getting attention at the Capitol. <I>Morning Edition</I> substitute host Perry Finelli talked with Minnesota Public Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief Laura McCallum for a look at the week ahead. (02/09/2004)
Gov. Pawlenty's health care task force, chaired by former Sen. Dave Durenberger, Friday released part of its proposal for improving health care costs in the state. The task force has held town hall meetings across the state to seek citizen input on providing quality, affordable health care. While some say the recommendations are a good first step in improving the system, some are withholding judgement until the entire report is released. (02/06/2004)
Gov. Pawlenty in his speech Thursday called for a re-examination of the 15-year-old gaming compacts that authorize the state's 11 American Indian tribes to operate casinos. The governor has long been an opponent of sanctioning new gambling facilities, but he's suggesting that a &quot;better deal&quot; could be negotiated with the tribes based on their current operations, perhaps one that requires them to share a portion of their gaming revenues with the state. (02/05/2004)
Gov. Pawlenty delivered a State of the State address Thursday that was more upbeat than his first one. Pawlenty says Minnesotans have reason to be optimistic. He noted the state has largely overcome a historic budget deficit without raising taxes, and he highlighted several reforms he's already proposed over the last few months. DFL leaders object to Pawlenty's description of his first year, and disagree with his vision for the future. (02/05/2004)
Preceeding live coverage of Gov. Pawlenty's State of the State address, host Gary Eichten talks with political analysts about what to expect and public opinion concerning Pawlenty's actions in office. ( 02/05/2004)
A new Minnesota Public Radio - St. Paul Pioneer Press poll says a majority of Minnesotans are opposed to legalizing gay marriage, but the poll also shows Minnesotans are split on whether they want to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage. (02/05/2004)
The debate over health care costs began in earnest at the Capitol on Wednesday. A couple of doctors urged a House committee to pass medical malpractice reform. Caps on malpractice awards are part of a Republican bill designed to control rising health care costs. Testimony also focused on pain inflicted by the 2003 Legislature when it raised the fees paid for services by parents of disabled children. (02/04/2004)
State lawmakers this session will again be asked to extend the statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. During last year's session, lawmakers were poised to adopt an extension but it didn't satisfy some abuse victims. But now the victims are heading back to the Legislature to push, once again, for more time to file civil lawsuits over sexual abuse. (02/04/2004)
A new poll shows Minnesotans evenly divided over Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to re-introduce the state death penalty. But the same poll also shows Minnesotans are fairly unified in their desire to crack down on the state's sexual offenders. (02/04/2004)
Governor Pawlenty has outlined a series of proposals to help Minnesota's emerging biotech industry. Pawlenty has made biotech a top priority of his administration. But the governor's recommendations don't go as far as the proposals from the biosciences council he created last year. Industry experts say even if Pawlenty's package passes in its entirety, Minnesota will have to do more down the road to be a major player in the biotech industry. (02/03/2004)

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