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Minnesota Legislature

Precinct caucus changes vetoed (vetoed bill)

Published (5/29/2009)
By Nick Busse
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When political parties in cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul hold precinct caucuses in odd years to nominate mayoral candidates, they don’t have all the same privileges that caucuses receive in even years.

Sponsored by Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls), a bill vetoed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty would have allowed major political parties in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth to hold odd-year caucuses using the same privileges as even-year caucuses, including:

• pre-empting certain school and government activities after 6 p.m. on caucus nights;

• allowing employees to be absent from work to attend political caucuses;

• prohibiting school officials from denying use of public school buildings for caucuses; and

• requiring public agencies to make their facilities available for holding a precinct caucus.

In a veto message, Pawlenty objected to granting “special privileges” for caucus attendees in three cities. He also wrote that the state “should not dictate additional mandates on businesses for what is a local issue.”

HF300/SF284*/CH99

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