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Scott Dibble

May 17, 2013

Bell tolls for the gas tax

DFL legislative leaders have taken a proposed increase in the state’s per gallon gasoline tax off the table. Although nothing at the Legislature is ever truly dead until adjournment, the fate of the gasoline tax appears to be sealed, according to news reports and the House and Senate transportation chairs.

May 16, 2013

Zelle floats bonding for transportation

Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration on Thursday for the first time floated an idea to House and Senate transportation negotiators for funding highway construction. Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle told the House and Senate transportation conferees that $300 million in trunk highway bonding would be a way to pick up the pace on improving the state’s transportation[...]

May 15, 2013

Dayton signs marriage bill

With a quick swipe of his pen, Gov. Mark Dayton made Minnesota the 12th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriages as a crowd of more than a thousand watched on the front steps of the Capitol Tuesday.

May 14, 2013

Dayton signs historic bill to legalize same-sex marriage

The ceremony marked a dramatic shift in Minnesota, where two years ago lawmakers voted to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban gay marriages. Six months ago, voters rejected that amendment by a more than 5 point margin. Come August 1, same-sex couples in the state will be able to apply for wedding licenses and couples married in other states will have their union recognized in Minne[...]

May 13, 2013

Minnesota Senate passes gay marriage 37-30

All but three members of the Senate DFL caucus voted in favor of the bill -- Dan Sparks of Austin, LeRoy Stumpf of Plummer and Lyle Koenen of Clara City -- while only one Republican senator, bill co-sponsor Branden Petersen, voted in favor of the bill.

May 10, 2013

Senate revives gas tax during floor session

In the latest in a number of about-faces on transportation this session, the Senate cracked open the omnibus transportation bill on the floor and inserted a gas tax increase to pay for road and bridge projects and a sales tax increase in the seven-county metro area for transit projects.

May 9, 2013

Gas tax proposal fizzles in Senate committee (updated)

A move to increase the state’s gas tax was dashed on Wednesday in the Senate Taxes Committee. Gas tax proposals have hit a roadblock this session from Gov. Mark Dayton's opposition.

May 7, 2013

Rep. Karen Clark on the front lines of the marriage battle

Rep. Karen Clark has authored a House bill to legalize gay marriage — a bill that DFL caucus leaders now believe has votes enough to pass. In her three decades in office, Clark has driven many changes in the state, and not just in the realm of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues.

May 1, 2013

Medical marijuana bill attracts 40 co-sponsors

DFL Rep. Carly Melin Advocates of legalizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes claim that they have 40 co-sponsors for legislation that will be introduced on Thursday.

Apr 22, 2013

Anti-bullying proposal revised to answer free speech concerns; cost to districts still an issue

On April 4, Sen. Julianne Ortman sent a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson asking the state's top lawyer to review the constitutionality of legislation designed to prevent bullying in schools. It was signed by every member of the Senate GOP caucus.

Apr 18, 2013

Fiscal note: bullying legislation will cost school districts $26 million annually

Legislation that would bolster Minnesota's anti-bullying statute would cost school districts roughly $26 million annually, according to a fiscal note released Wednesday by the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget. It found that the bullying bill, formally known as the "Safe & Supportive Schools Act," will cost school districts, on average, $30.80 per pupil to implement.

Apr 17, 2013

Senate changes gears on transportation funding bill

A week after the Senate Transportation Committee tabled its budget bill due to lack of support, the committee on Wednesday evening passed a bill that increases funding for highways and transit. The bill reduces the gas tax by 6 cents per gallon and increases the sales tax on gas at the wholesale level by 5.5 percent.

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