1) Lawmakers finished out the 2014 legislative session Friday evening with the passage of three major finance and spending bills and a restrictive medical marijuana proposal. Those four pieces were seen as the last major measures necessary to pass this year.
In addition to the medical marijuana plan, lawmakers in the DFL-held Legislature passed a supplemental budget proposal worth nearly $300 million, roughly $100 million in tax relief and $850 million in borrowing for public infrastructure, plus $200 million in cash spending on building projects. The Friday marathon that ended the session rolled along much more smoothly than a Thursday session that was punctuated by frequent, long pauses for negotiation.
The restrictive medical marijuana proposal passed with bipartisan support 89 to 40 in the House and 46 to 16 in the Senate. The tax cuts passed 131 to 0 in the House and 59 to 1 in the Senate. The supplemental budget received the least bipartisan support, passing 75 to 55 from the House and the Senate 37 to 22.
Gov. Mark Dayton hasn’t said how he’ll act on the proposals.
2) Jim Hagedorn, a GOP candidate who dropped out of the race to challenge Rep. Tim Walz in the First Congressional District, has re-entered the contest. Hagedorn, who stepped aside to allow Aaron Miller to receive the party’s endorsement to challenge Walz, the Associated Press reports.
Hagedorn had previously said he wouldn’t send the race to a primary. Now, though, he says its necessary because Miller isn’t mounting a strong enough campaign against Walz.
3) The Independence Party of Minnesota has a full slate of candidates heading into the 2014 mid-term elections, Minnesota Public Radio reports. It’s the first time since 2006 that the party has a candidate for every major statewide elected office after Saturday’s state convention in Mankato.
“We anticipated we were going to have a Senate endorsement battle, but Hannah Nicollet recognizing that we did not have a candidate who was up for endorsement for governor talked to her family, talked to advisors and came to the leadership before the endorsement started and asked if she could seek the endorsement for governor,” Mark Jenkins, the party’s chair, told the radio station.
COMINGS & GOINGS
- The Minnesota Budget Project is hiring for a senior policy advocate. The position calls for a combination of analysis and advocacy, with a focus on addressing issues related to poverty. Salary range $44,800-$67,200; applications due June 5. Apply here.
- Progressive advocacy group TakeAction Minnesota is organizing a meeting in Duluth to discuss economic issues relating to women and families this Thursday. The event starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, and ends at 4:00 p.m. More information and RSVP form available here.
- Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. has added Nebraska-based lobbyist Kate Kulesher Jarecke to its advocacy team in this state, bringing its Minnesota lobbyist count up to three.
- The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf fundraiser will be held on June 16 at the Dacotah Ridge Golf Club in Morton. The event starts with a registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m., and ends at 7:00 p.m., following a reception event. Sponsorship deals, foursomes and individual registrations available; more information here.
- Vernae Hasbargen terminated her registration to lobby for the Minnesota Rural Education Association. It was Hasbargen’s only advocacy role, and her change takes that organization down to one current lobbyist on record.