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House, Senate differ on key Legacy measures

Republican lawmakers are wrangling on several fronts as they move Legacy funding bills to the floor. The Legacy amendment, which was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008, provides roughly $550 million in dedicated sales tax dollars for arts and culture, parks and trails, water cleanup and habitat acquisition.

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Dayton and GOP agree on alternative licensure bill

Gov. Mark Dayton says he will sign a bill into law that opens up alternative pathways to teacher licensure. In a letter addressed to Education Senate and House Committee chairs, Rep. Pat Garofalo and Sen. Gen Olson, Dayton said he and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius do not agree with every provision in the legislation, but have worked out a bill he is willing to sign in hopes to close the achievement gap.

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One-time budget fixes still popular at Capitol

Republicans originally planned to make their first round of cuts stick. As introduced, their $1 billion budget cutting bill made permanent reductions to programs like local government aid (LGA), health and human services and higher education that had been temporarily cut as part of the state's 2010 budget agreement. But in the first House committee hearing on the proposal, an amendment brought by House Taxes Chairman Greg Davids changed the bill to make the $480 million-plus in LGA cuts a one-time reduction, reverting back to previous levels starting in fiscal year 2014.

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