“The rest of the month is setting up to be pretty dramatic in the Senate,” writes NPR’s Eyder Peralta.
A key section of the Patriot Act — the part of law the White House uses to conduct mass surveillance on the call records of Americans — is set to expire June 1. That leaves legislators with a big decision to make: Rewrite the statute to outlaw or modify the practice or extend the statute and let the National Security Agency continue with its work.
More: 6 questions about the Patriot Act answered
Today’s Question: Should mass surveillance of American call records continue?
“The Minnesota Legislature made its midnight deadline to pass a two-year $42 billion state budget, but only by rushing a vote on a jobs bill that most lawmakers had no time to read,” writes MPR News reporter Tim Pugmire.
The House passed the bill with no debate, with Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, ignoring the objections of Democrats who wished to be heard. The House then adjourned the session a minute before the clock struck 12.
The hurried House vote followed a longer debate in the Senate, where members complained they were being asked to vote on amendments they hadn’t seen to a bill they hadn’t read.
The chaotic finish capped a long last week of closed-door negotiations that resulted in a deal between Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, on a budget that left Gov. Mark Dayton on the sidelines saying the two had ignored his top session priority, statewide universal pre-kindergarten for 4-year-olds.
Dayton said repeatedly that he would veto a school funding bill that didn’t include the pre-K funding, but the Legislature passed the bill anyway. When Dayton vetoes the bill, a special session will be required to pass a replacement.
Today’s Question: Are you pleased with the outcome of the legislative session?
“The final lap in a five-month session proved as messy as ever. Much of it stemmed from a tussle over an ample surplus and the return of split-party control — Republicans run the House and Democrats hold the Senate and governor’s office,” reports the Associated Press.
After working through the night, the House voted along party lines for a $17 billion education plan with $400 million in new school spending. The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to follow suit later Monday. But Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton insists he’ll veto the bill because it leaves out money for a preschool expansion initiative at the core of his agenda.
Today’s Question: Should the legislature earmark funding for pre-kindergarten before adjournment?
After a couple of years in France, Elanor Beardsley began to realize that there actually is such a thing as “too much vacation.” Read more →
State lawmakers have reached a compromise with Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration on legislation over wild rice protection. Read more →
Americans use an estimated 100 billion plastic bags every year. Although most plastic bags can be recycled, the vast majority of lightweight plastic bags end up in landfills or are set adrift in the environment, where they can wreak havoc on wildlife or infrastructure. Read more →
U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) says the tributes are an “egregious and unnecessary waste of taxpayer dollars.” Do you agree? Read more →
What do you think of the new account of bin Laden’s death?
Most of what we know about the killing of Osama bin Laden isn’t true writes Seymor Hersh. Read more →
Welcome to “a fight that could pit proponents of gun control and defenders of free speech against each other in an age when the line between a lethal weapon and a collection of bits is blurrier than ever before.” Read more →
Is Minnesota taking the right approach to medical marijuana?
About 40 minutes northwest of downtown Minneapolis, there’s a well-guarded greenhouse brimming with marijuana plants. Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of two manufacturers picked by the state to produce medical cannabis, will turn the plants into pills, oils and sprays for patients who qualify for a prescription — only smoke-free derivatives of marijuana are allowed by Read more →