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Abuse of prescription painkillers called ‘full-scale crisis’
By Tory Cooney
Cindy Woldstad delivers emotional testimony about her battle with opioid addiction during discussion by the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee of bills sponsored by Rep. Dave Baker, right, dealing with opioid drugs. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Cindy Woldstad suffered from an opioid addiction for more than seven years after her doctors began prescribing painkillers to manage the effects of chronic pain, arthritis and migraines.

She began inpatient treatment two years ago and has been completely opiate, drug, and alcohol-free for more than two months. But she has organ damage, is missing teeth because of the addiction and requires medication to manage the withdrawal symptoms, she told the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee Tuesday.

“I will be fighting this the rest of my life,” she said. “I feel human again. … I can wake up every morning now at 8 a.m. and live my day and do things I was not able to do three months ago because I was so high off of pain meds.”

Woldstad is one of many advocates who visited the Capitol Complex Tuesday for “Opioid Awareness Day on the Hill” to support legislation intended to address different aspects of opioid addiction and treatment.

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Republicans propose redirecting General Fund revenues to roads, bridges
By Jonathan Avise

House Republicans have renewed their push to increase state funding for road and bridge projects by redirecting motor vehicle-related sales taxes from Minnesota’s General Fund.

Nonpartisan office proposed to estimate bill costs
By Chris Steller

Fiscal notes are estimates of how much a bill would cost the state. An executive branch agency prepares them at legislators’ request. That would change under Vogel bill proposal.

Fireworks expansion bill blasts forward to next committee
By Mike Cook

List of legal fireworks in Minnesota could expand to include bottle rockets and Roman candles; however, local units of government could prevent such sales.

Point-of-sale skimming sanctions approved by public safety committee
By Mike Cook

Committee approval was given to a bill that would expand the state’s unauthorized computer access crime to include interference with point-of-sale terminals to collect information from debit, credit or similar cards.

Keeping meds out of waterways, away from others prompts call for safe disposal
By Mike Cook

Residents of many counties are able to safely rid themselves of medication they no longer need. Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) wants to ensure the disposal is available in all 87 counties.

Stink over farm odors has some doing more than plugging their nose
By Jonathan Mohr

The House Agriculture Policy Committee learned Tuesday the best way to measure farm odor is not with the nose, but with the ears.

Capping attorney fees seen as path to early court settlements
By Chris Steller

Judges could be prohibited from making defendants pay attorney fees the plaintiff incurred after the settlement offer.

Local elected officials would fill Met Council under proposed overhaul
By Jonathan Avise

A Republican plan to reshape the metropolitan planning organization would see it comprised of local elected officials in place of gubernatorial appointees.

Minnesota Index: Early education participation
By Nick Longworth

Total 2015 state kindergarten enrollment Total 2015 early education child care enrollment                Total number of 4-year-old not enrolled in publicly funded pro...

History: House easily passes bill allowing off-sale Sunday liquor sales
By Ricky Campbell

After years of attempts, a bill that would allow Minnesotans to buy liquor on Sundays passed the House Monday by a bipartisan 85-45 vote.

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Priority Dailies

Dayton’s budget proposal prioritizes health, education and transportation
By Ricky Campbell

Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday released a two-year, $45.8 billion biennial budget proposal that includes an expansion of MinnesotaCare, increased education spending and an increase...

Dayton proposes $1.5 billion bonding bill
By Jonathan Avise

Governor urges lawmakers to pass a big capital investment bill during budget-setting year; House Speaker has expressed doubt over bonding this session

Session opens with a number of unresolved issues
By HPIS Staff

It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017­-18 biennial session Tuesday.

Committee assignments announced for 2017-18 session
By Jonathan Avise

The 27 committees, subcommittees and divisions that House Republican leadership named in late November are at the core of the legislative process.

House committee structure and chairs named for upcoming biennium
By Mike Cook

House Republican leadership has announced the committee structure and chairs for the 90th legislative biennium scheduled to convene Jan. 3, 2017. The plan is for 27 committe...

Republicans affirm Daudt, Peppin leadership; DFL chooses Hortman
By Lee Ann Schutz

Current House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin retained their leadership positions Friday for the 90th legislative session scheduled to begin Jan. 3, 2017. DFLers chose Rep. Melissa Hortman as minority leader.

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