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Week in Review: Jan. 23-27

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Another lengthy floor session wrapped up another busy week in the House. Members debated for more than seven hours before passing HF7 that would require utilities in the state to produce electricity from entirely carbon-free sources by 2040.

The House also passed proposed legislation that would require state officials to include inflation on both sides of the ledger when making budget forecasts.

Another controversial bill is scheduled on the Calendar for the Day Monday, meaning another extended floor session could occur. HF4 would allow people to get a driver’s license or state identification card without proof of legal presence in the United States.

Monday’s schedule also includes a morning meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee and afternoon gatherings of the capital investment, human services and veterans panels, as well as a joint hearing of the commerce and health committees

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Recent Dailies

House lawmakers begin path toward MN marijuana legalization with first committee approval
HF100 cleared the first of what may be up to a dozen committee hurdles when the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee approved HF100, as amended, by a voice vote Wednesday and sent it to the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee.
Preregistration proposal an effort to ‘make voting a lifelong habit,’ sponsor says
Committee approval was given to a bill that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to submit a voter registration application, even though they could not cast a ballot until age 18.
House elections panel advances bill to restore ex-offender voting rights
If you are incarcerated you cannot vote, but you can cast a ballot if you’re not behind bars. That is the simple premise of a bill supporters say would make former inmates f...
Workforce panel OKs extended unemployment benefits for iron ore mine workers
HF27 would authorize up to 26 weeks of additional unemployment insurance benefits for recently laid off mine employees.
Housing insecurity disproportionately impacts Minnesotans of color, lawmakers hear
Housing affects every person in every corner of Minnesota yet compromises less than 1% of the state’s budget. Representatives of the Minnesota Housing Agency shared extensiv...
How much will feds help finance Minnesota’s shift to clean energy?
The House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee heard about how much might be coming the state’s way through a couple federal acts.
Judiciary panel approves proposal to boost funding for public defenders
A plan to appropriate $25 million in fiscal year 2023 for the Board of Public Defense to hire more public defense attorneys and boost salaries received committee approval.
Supporters say renewed ‘driver’s license for all’ push about safety, dignity
Proposed legislation to expand access to driver’s licenses in Minnesota has passed the House in the past two sessions without becoming law. But supporters, who say enacting the so-called “driver’s licenses for all” law remains overdue, put the gas pedal down on those efforts again Tuesday.
Bill to ban price gouging during emergencies clears commerce committee
HF6 would penalize retailers who charge an “unconsciously excessive price” for essential goods or services during public emergency situations, such as recent power outages in Texas and the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Florida.
House bonding committee hears of billions in federal funds available for MN capital projects
Minnesota lawmakers are looking at accessing billions of federal dollars for capital improvements to roads, bridges, broadband access and community facilities using monies from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Priority Dailies

Gov. Walz's proposed budget largest in state history, includes $8 billion in tax cuts
Make Minnesota the best state in our country for kids to grow up. It’s a lofty goal but that was Gov. Tim Walz’ mantra Tuesday during the unveiling of his proposed budget fo...
Legislative leaders set 2023 committee deadlines
Legislators and the public now officially know the timeline for getting bills through the committee process during the 2023 session.

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