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Minnesota representatives voted Monday to eliminate a plan calling for a doctor's order before a daycare provider places an infant on its back or stomach for sleep. Opponents of the measure said it strips parental rights; supporters said it was aimed at reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The House voted 88-42 to remove the provision from a welfare and child assistance bill, which was approved 104-27.
Representatives decided Minnesota welfare recipients should be prohibited from using state-funded cash assistance to buy alcohol, tobacco or lottery tickets. House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, and others said on Monday that taxpayer dollars that go toward welfare should not be spent on those products. Seifert's amendment to a welfare and child assistance bill passed 101-28. The full bill then was passed by the House. Democrats who opposed the amendment said it was a partisan "gotcha" vote and that more should be done to help Minnesotans avoid needing welfare.
School districts would be required to offer a comprehensive sexual education program to students in grades 7 to 12 under a bill the Minnesota House passed after an hours-long debate stretched into late Monday. Representatives voted 79-53 to include the sex education provision in an education policy bill after a sometimes emotional debate. Supporters said schools should teach students about abstinence and provide information youth need to make responsible decisions about sexuality. Some opponents said a full-fledged sex education program does not belong in classrooms.
Minnesota schools should be allowed to shorten their school days, representatives decided Monday while debating an education policy bill. House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, wanted to prohibit schools from shortening their school days in future academic years. He said school days are getting shorter, but there is even more students must learn. "For goodness sakes," Seifert said during a floor debate, "could we at least agree that the school day shouldn't be any shorter?" Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Though it's been branded the "dismal science," economics brings nothing but joy to the heart of one Minnesota man. Meet Tom Stinson. Economics is his game. As Minnesota's top economist, Stinson's main job is to forecast the state's economic health two times a year, in November and February. That forecast is then used by the governor and lawmakers to set the state's spending priorities. This year, Stinson is telling lawmakers to prepare for a $935 million shortfall.
Democratic legislative leaders say they are optimistic that their Republican colleagues and Gov. Tim Pawlenty will deliver an offer today that advances session-ending budget talks. Late in the week, House and Senate staff, along with the governor's office, developed a spreadsheet comparing various budget proposals. Now that they are working off the same page, leaders said it will be easier to reach a compromise. Republicans, led by Pawlenty, plan to deliver a budget compromise proposal on Monday. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St.
MONTEVIDEO -- An environmental group opposed to the proposed $1.6 billion Big Stone II coal-fired plant has put the Minnesota River on its list of the 10 Most Endangered Rivers in America. American Rivers, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., announced Wednesday that it was placing the Minnesota River on its 2008 list due to what it called the threats posed by the power plant. It lists two main threats: - Damage to downstream aquatic life due to water drawdown on Big Stone Lake, the river's source, to supply cooling water for the coal plant.
Kimberly Coulter remembers riding her bike all over St. Paul's east side as a kid, not a worry on her mind.
ST. PAUL - A law firm Minnesota legislators hired to conduct what was dubbed a Watergate-like investigation into the state Department of Transportation is hustling to meet a deadline next month.
The melting ice from Minnesota's shorelines may reveal some dead fish, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. In most cases it is normal winterkill. When snow and ice cover a lake, it limits the sunlight reaching aquatic plants. The plants die, stop producing oxygen, and decompose - a process that consumes oxygen. This oxygen deficit can kill other fish, although it seldom affects all fish. Winterkill is worse in winters with abundant or early snowfall. Lower water levels in the fall and late ice-out dates increase winterkill. Some species of fish are more vulnerable.