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House Republicans unveil bonding proposal

Plus: the many, many bills of the Minnesota Legislature; American Indian graduation rates; praise for Maria Bamford’s “Lady Dynamite”; and more.

House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin and House Speaker Kurt Daudt
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

Less than a week to go in the legislative session. The Star Tribune’s Maya Rao writes: “The House has finally released a bonding proposal that calls for $947 million in spending. … Nearly a third of the spending would go toward highway improvements. The measure includes an additional $227 million for local road and bridge repairs, $130 million for water infrastructure projects, and $137 million for higher education.”

How many bills is too many bills? City Pages’ Mike Mullen reports on the legislative habits of our representatives in St. Paul: “A couple months ago, a lobbyist came up to Rep. Gene Pelowski (DFL-Winona) and asked him to author a bill. Pelowski was confused. … He’d already introduced the same bill the year before, and it’s still alive. … The lobbyist insisted. That’s when it hit him: The lobbyist doesn’t care. … ‘If I put the bill in again,’ Pelowski says, ‘the lobbyist can report to his client, “I’ve got the bill in for 2016 too.” And the client says, “Excellent work.”’ … Over the last two years, members of the Minnesota House have produced 4,000 bills — and counting. They’re continuing to file legislation now, in the final days of session, long after deadlines. These will never be heard in committee. Or even noticed.”

What’s going on here? MPR’s Brandt Williams reports: “If you’re an American Indian student in Minnesota, your chances of graduating from high school in four years are lower than any other racial and ethnic group. … You’re also less likely to graduate on time than Indian students in nearly every other state in the country. Minnesota ranks 45th in the nation in on time graduation rates for American Indian students. … While there’s been gradual improvement over the last four years, the numbers remain hard to comprehend. Only slightly more than half of American Indian high school seniors in Minnesota graduated on time in 2015. The grad rate for Indian students in Minneapolis is even lower at 36 percent.”

Gonna blow up. At Slate, Willa Paskin writes:Maria Bamford has long been a comedian’s comedian, perpetually on the verge of breaking out, as she does comedy about living on the verge of breaking down. Her new Netflix show, “Lady Dynamite,” aspires to break the rules of the stand-up sitcom, a subgenre that includes shows such as “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Louie,” “Maron,” “Dice,” “Mulaney,” and “The Comedians” — series that mix fiction and autobiography, humor and angst, to explore the persona of the stand-up comic at the show’s center. Lady Dynamite examines Bamford’s life in surreal, wild, fourth wall–shattering, time-hopping ways. It is part showbiz satire, part alt-comedy showcase, part plaintive character sketch, and all ambitious gonzo, a show that feels like nothing else on TV, a cult classic that, in the age of Netflix, may appeal to a horde.”

In other news…

Uh oh: “Male body found in Mississippi River at Minneapolis-St. Paul border” [Pioneer Press]

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MN Republicans could be in for a drubbing of historic proportions: “Minnesota GOP Could Win Just 1 US House Seat for 1st Time Since 1890” [Smart Politics]

Cheesy move: “Minneapolis restaurant owner stole $585K in employee taxes” [Pioneer Press]

Important St. Paul news: “St. Paul’s Bang Brewing adding patio – and the perfect hot dog” [Pioneer Press]

It’d take a miracle: “St. Paul’s Field of Dreams: Baseball hopefuls test their mettle at Saints’ open tryouts” [The Growler]

This may prove popular: “Robert Redford to talk at Walker Art Center retrospective in Minneapolis” [Star Tribune]

Own a piece of history: “Jim Craig Miracle on Ice Collection Now at Auction” [Sports Collectors Daily]

Wow: “Uptown Theatre hits 100 years” [Southwest Journal]