Final Thursday of Session finds Lawmakers at a Draw

No budget talks for Republicans and the Governor's office Thursday.

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House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka speak with press after meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton (Preya Samsundar/Alpha News MN)

It’s a Touchdown for the Liquor Omnibus Bill

The members of the Minnesota House made it easier for alcohol to flow during the Super Bowl. On Thursday, the House passed Liquor Omnibus Bill, HF 68, authored by Rep. Joe Hoppe (R-Chaska) by a vote of 79-54.

Minnesota’s honor of hosting the 2018 Super Bowl has Minnesota lawmakers changing some important liquor laws in the State.

Vikings fans will be able to drink alcohol at the new training facility in Eagan, which is scheduled to open in 2018. Super Bowl attendees will also be able to party through the streets of Downtown Minneapolis well into the morning, as legislation would extend last call to 4:00 a.m.

Lawmakers also voted against an amendment proposed by Rep. Debra Hilstrom (D-Brooklyn Park) to reject increasing the amount of alcohol local breweries could sell on site. Hilstrom originally proposed the amendment on Monday, but the debate over growler sizes led to a tabling of the bill all together.

The amendment was rejected 74-57.

Licensure Overhaul is Last in, First Out  

Republicans were “blindsided” by Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to veto HF 140, teacher licensure overhaul legislation.

“We delivered a personal letter to the Governor’s office asking if he were planning to veto, that he would meet with us,” Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) told press on Thursday. “Well that did not happen.”

Describing the legislation as a “nonpartisan bill,” Sen. Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake) said Republicans made compromises to help Minnesota kids.

Pratt described Dayton’s decision to veto “unconscionable,”  stating that there had been multiple commitments to fully fund the required transitions of the bill.

As Alpha News reported, the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor deemed the teacher licensing system broken last March.

Erickson accused Dayton of siding with education groups like Education Minnesota.

While Education Minnesota did not issue a formal response to the veto, their twitter page shows the group retweeting others who thanked the Governor for vetoing the bill.

It’s a Stalemate for Budget Talks

Minnesota’s lawmakers wasted a day yesterday with both political parties blaming each other as to why budget talks did not commence.

Neither side dispensed in talks as both parties were frustrated over the last offer made by Republicans.

Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud) told reporters that the Governor’s offer was not half-way. Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office posted a tweet that quotes Dayton as saying, “All these things they are going to cut, for them they’re numbers of a piece of paper. For us, they’re real people. They’re real Minnesotans.” The tweet has been retweeted more than 150 times.

As both sides held a stalemate, Dayton remained adamant that he would not make a counteroffer to Republicans. Daudt told Tom Hauser of KSTP that, “the ball is in the governor’s court.”

 

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