In addition to legalizing same-sex marriage, lawmakers raised taxes by $2 billion and passed a bill that will let some child and home care workers vote to unionize.
Session highlights from the last 48 hours:
- Legislature approves budget that increases taxes by $2 billion
- Legislature approves pared down bonding bill
- No minimum wage hike this session
- Minnesota House approves daycare and home care unionization bill, 68-66
- 5 DFLers voted against the bill
- Minnesota Senate won’t take up anti-bullying bill
- House drops measures to increase transparency around campaign donations
- House passes Legacy bill, shifts more parks money to metro area
- Bill that would spend $485 million more for schools, and includes funding for all day kindergarten heads to Gov. Dayton’s desk
- Democrats pushed through plans that they say will help job growth. They include state money to help Rochester handle a planned Mayo Clinic expansion, tax breaks for phase 2 of the Mall of America and subsidies to help a pharmaceutical company expand in Brooklyn Park.
Today’s Question: How did the Minnesota Legislature do this session?
A significant achievement gap exists between white students and students of color: 70 percent of white students graduate in four years, but for African-American and Latino students it’s less than 37 percent. Only a quarter of American Indian students graduate on time.
“In the latest effort to boost student performance, the Minneapolis school district wants to give more autonomy to individual schools,” writes MPR News reporter Tim Post.
“Under the effort schools would have discretion over budgeting, hiring, scheduling and curriculum.
“It’s not exactly a new idea: School districts across the country have experimented with similar systems over the last 15 years, and researchers say the results so far have been mixed.”
“If you’re going to hold principals and teachers accountable for their results, you’ve got to get them the freedom to do what’s right,” said Christine Campbell, a senior research analyst and policy director at the University of Washington’s Center for Reinventing Public Education. “Otherwise, they’re simply implementing the mandates of the district, and somehow it’s their fault that it didn’t work.”
Today’s Question: Should public schools have more autonomy?
MPR Video/Tom Scheck
“Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders have announced a deal on an overall tax bill that would increase roughly $2 billion in new taxes,” writes MPR News reporter Tom Scheck.
“The plan would create a new fourth tier income tax rate of 9.85 percent on couples with an after-tax income of $250,000 a year. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation says Minnesota would have the fourth highest income tax rate in the nation under the new proposal.
“The plan would also increase cigarette taxes by $1.60 a pack and increase some corporate taxes. The plan scraps proposals to raise alcohol taxes and an income tax surcharge on couples earning more than $500 thousand a year. DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen says House Democrats dropped their push for the income tax surcharge to pay back an $800 million K12 school payment delay.”
Today’s Question: What do you make of the tax deal reached by Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders?
Should police be allowed to use drones for crime fighting?
“The Federal Aviation Administration has granted a special permit for the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department and the University of North Dakota to fly drones in 16 North Dakota counties, where they are training officers to use the drones,” reports Dan Gunderson for MPR News. Small drones could save police time and money, but privacy advocates Read more →
What do you think of the design for the new Vikings stadium?
“Stadium builders have unveiled their vision for Minnesota’s new NFL stadium: it’s part fluoroplastic, part Viking sailing ship and an angular nod to other Minneapolis landmarks like the Walker Art Center and the Guthrie Theater,” writes Tim Nelson on Stadium Watch. ”And the roof won’t be opening. That said, the south half of the roof will be Read more →
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Gov. Mark Dayton will sign legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The bill signing comes after two years of debate, at times polarizing, across the state. Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, said he expects life to return to normal soon after Aug. 1 when the new law will take effect. “Hopefully, when we pass this Read more →
Same-sex couples who’ve been together for years will soon have the option of getting married if the Minnesota Senate, as expected, passes legislation Monday legalizing same-sex marriage and recognizing out-of-state marriages, writes MPR News reporter Rupa Shenoy. Many Minnesota couples are trying to understand how their lives will change. One of those couples is Lisa Read more →
Legislation that would prohibit frac sand mining within a mile of a trout stream or spring in southeastern Minnesota would prevent at least 10 proposed frac sand mines in the region from being developed, according to a new analysis. MPR News: Minnesota Sands spokesman Mitch Bublitz said frac sand mining opponents were using trout as Read more →
Last year, in Aitkin in north-central Minnesota, a solid majority of people voted for a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriages. Even so, the first-term representative from the area says he will vote for the bill to legalize same-sex marriage. His constituents are not happy. Read more →