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Author Archives: Paul Demko

Labor looks forward

During the last two years, organized labor has largely sought to preserve the status quo at the Capitol. Republican legislative leaders repeatedly pushed proposals that were vehemently opposed by unions, most notably “right to work” legislation that would have prohibited requiring individuals to pay union dues as a condition of employment.

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MSOP: A ticking clock, but little legislative urgency

In December, a court-ordered task force directed the Legislature to create “less restrictive alternatives” to civil commitment for potentially dangerous sex offenders. The order stems from a class-action lawsuit contesting the terms of confinement for nearly 700 individuals detained at prison-like facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter.

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Exchange advances despite controversy

January is generally not the time of year for four-hour committee hearings at the Capitol. But Wednesday’s gathering of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee nearly reached that dubious mark.

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Pent-up demand will dog HHS budget

On New Year’s Eve day, a group of experts on mental health issues gathered to discuss goals for the looming legislative session. The meeting was spurred in part by urging from DFL legislators to draw up ideas for tackling the issue in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

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Exchange bill clears first committee hurdle

Legislation to establish an insurance marketplace for an estimated 1.3 million state residents cleared its first hurdle on Wednesday. The health care exchange bill passed out of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government on a 7-5 party-line vote.

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