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Week in Review: Feb. 20-24
By Mike Cook
Assistant Desk Secretary Sean Kittridge adds Rep. Anne Neu’s nameplate to a voting board in the House Chamber Feb. 22. Neu won a Feb. 14 special election in District 32B. Photo by Andrew VonBank

The House began the week with good spirits, passing a bill to approve off-sale Sunday liquor sales during a Monday Floor session. It ended the week on the Floor Thursday by passing a trio of bills, including one to enhance state drivers’ licenses that would enable Minnesotans to board commercial aircraft in the future without problem.

In between, committees were the place to be as myriad issues were discussed. Alphabetically speaking, they include: attorney fees, farm odors, fireworks, foster care, freeway protesters, Met Council reform, prescription painkillers, tax filing, teacher licensure, truck weights, veterans homes and wetlands. TGIF!

You think that’s a lot? Just wait. A handful of committees have already indicated potential night meetings as the first committee deadline, March 10, creeps closer.

But before looking ahead to next week; let’s take a look at what you may have missed this week.

Recent Dailies

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Wetlands bill passes removing construction roadblocks
By Jonathan Mohr

Money for the wetlands replacement program would spur road construction projects currently on hold.

Bill to bar state contractors from boycotting Israel passes House
By Chris Steller

Companies that discriminate against Israel would have to find another state to do business with under legislation passed Thursday in the House. Passed 98-28, HF400, sponsore...

House OKs Real ID
By Chris Steller

Skies could get friendlier for Minnesotans seeking to board future flights on commercial aircraft. The House passed HF3 Thursday, a bill that would let the state comply with...

State employee incentive program needs oversight, lawmakers say
By Ricky Campbell

The state budget office has spent $4.7 million since 2014 on a state employee incentive program intended to find efficiencies in government and improve services. The incentive p...

Not enough training sites for future medical professionals
By Tory Cooney

You want medical professionals to have some experience before you go to see them with a health complaint – that’s why on-the-job training is required for licensing. But Minn...

Harassment restraining order delivery changes proposed
By Mike Cook

Sponsored by Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake), HF1148 would, in part, allow corrections officers to serve a harassment restraining order at any time.

Volkswagen settlement funds create clash of ideas
By Nick Longworth

Federal settlement money could mean new school buses for districts in Minnesota, but some have concerns about spending too much too soon. Under HF1254, sponsored by Rep. Dav...

Environment committee wades into groundwater permitting changes
By Jonathan Mohr

New bill would direct the Department of Natural Resources to make several changes to its permitting process.

Advocates call for more support for foster, adoptive families
By Tory Cooney

When the Martindale family adopted a 6-year-old boy with fetal alcohol syndrome spectrum disorder and a rocky history with the foster care system, they knew it would be difficul...

Legislators elect four to University of Minnesota Board of Regents
By Nick Longworth

A vote by the Legislature Wednesday filled the University of Minnesota’s four vacant Board of Regents positions.

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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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