High-profile bills high and dry as Capitol session concludes?

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9)The clock is ticking on Minnesota Democrats trying to pass bills addressing sports betting, Uber and Lyft, and a lot more.

A Republican strategy to slow things down shifted to the Senate Wednesday and time could just run out on some bills soon.

It’s still pretty unclear whether some of the high-profile bills will cross the finish line.

The Senate started Wednesday with seven bills on the calendar, but they spent several hours discussing just the first bill of the day, so finishing the agenda became impossible.

Republicans say they have the voices to drown out some bills, even though Democrats have the votes to pass them.

GOP Senators are also using amendments to slow things down.

“Senator Rarick, he’s going to be the last one to speak unless he has an amendment to the amendment,” said Senate President Bobby Joe Champion, (DFL-Minneapolis) as the energy drained from his voice during that long bill discussion. “Senator Lucero.”

“Thank you, Mr. President,” said Sen. Eric Lucero, (R)-St. Michael. “In this time of great conversation, I appreciate that. I do have a new amendment that was drafted.”

The Senate is moving at a snail’s pace, just as the House did Monday.

But there were signs of movement on Wednesday.

A conference committee passed a cannabis agreement including early cultivation for social equity applicants.

It kept a license lottery and rejected an idea to give two lottery entries to hemp businesses or others that have already shown they can function within the state’s laws.

“That is a way you can take a lottery system and truly make it somewhat evaluate on competence rather than drawing names out of a hat,” said Rep. Nolan West, (R-Blaine), of his failed amendment.

The bill now heads back for votes in the House and Senate in the next few days.

House Democrats again teed up the bill sending an Equal Rights Amendment to voters. And they scheduled a vote Wednesday on a version of the bill to legalize sports betting. Whether there’s time for them is still in question. They hadn’t gotten to either by 6 p.m.

But they did pass a few bills, including a labor bill setting a $10.85 minimum wage statewide for all employers and a requirement for employers to list salary ranges with job postings.

The House also approved an education bill with a ban on book bans and extra funding and guidance for the READ Act.

“Mostly, what we have right now is giving more flexibility for schools,” said Rep. Laurie Pryor, (DFL-Minnetonka), the bill’s author.

Both of those bills now head to the governor for a signature, so it’s still possible to get some things done.

But after Wednesday, there are only three more legislative days left in this session, which ends on Sunday night.

Read More:High-profile bills high and dry as Capitol session concludes?

2024-05-16 03:28:59

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