The bill sponsors said they think they still have enough DFL votes to approve the final bill and expect some Republicans to support it.
While 22 states have legalized growing the plant for medical or recreational uses, it remains illegal federally, and moving marijuana products across state lines is banned in most states.
It would seem that DFL control of the House, Senate and governor’s office would improve chances for an early finish. But as one longtime observer points out, “Nobody fights like family.”
The tax hike, which would raise $200 million a year for housing projects and programs in the seven-county area, is part of a $1 billion investment in affordability that sponsors and advocates are calling historic. It would be the first-ever tax dedicated to affordable housing.
With two DFL senators opposed to legalized sports betting, sponsors have tried to get a few Republicans on board. It’s a tough sell without support from the horse racing tracks.
The governor has cited disturbing test scores — 58% reading proficiency for white students in Minnesota, with a 30-percentage-point disparity between white students and some racial groups — in arguing that the state must transform reading curricula used in Minnesota schools.
A proposal earlier in the legislative session called for stateside ranked choice voting in time for the 2026 election. What’s still alive now is a task force that would consider it among a variety of election issues.
Experts say Minnesota would be the only state to adopt a measure targeting corporations that have subsidiaries overseas.
House and Senate leaders also agree on a partial rollback of the state’s tax on Social Security benefits.
Senate DFLers are touting their new proposal as more “elegant” than a House proposal to require 10% of the vote on a statewide ballot to achieve “major party” status.
At each committee stop, a small group of people representing themselves or organizations like the trucking industry, traffic safety watchdogs, law enforcement, addiction advocates, and religious groups squeeze in concerns among the more-numerous supporters.
“Here in Minnesota, when we talk about freedom, we talk about having your children be free to go to school without worrying about being shot dead in their schools,” Walz said during his State of the State speech.
The program, which has an overall cap of $2 million, is modeled after similar e-bike incentive programs in Colorado that have been popular among consumers.
The House tax bill released Monday represents House Democrats’ view that wealthy individuals and corporations don’t pay their fair share and that any tax relief should be aimed at those at the lowest incomes.
The 75-cent fee would have raised more than $150 million a year and was seen as an alternative to higher gas taxes, which have been politically unpopular and not increased since 2008.
The Metropolitan Council has been mired in controversy and criticism, much of it resulting from the lengthy, pricey and troubled Southwest Light Rail Transit project.
Democrats in control of all three branches of government have plenty of unanswered questions left to address, starting with the Big One: how, exactly, they plan to spend a Paul Bunyan-sized $17.5 billion surplus.
The program would put Minnesota in league with 11 other states that have pioneered the coverage. It is important to the DFL majorities in the House and Senate, as indicated by the bill numbers assigned — Senate File 2 and House File 2. Only the bill codifying abortion rights received a lower number.
Estimates are that between 100,000 and 300,000 Minnesota recipients of medical assistance will lose coverage over the next year.
The proposed quarter-cent sales tax would raise around $200 million a year with the money being sent in three directions: seven counties, cities and a state rental assistance program.