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Minnesota House Republicans block $2 billion bonding bill

Plus: Minneapolis man charged with assaulting KSTP-TV anchor; Minnesota GOP postpones state convention after technical problems; Twin Cities restauranteurs say industry may never recover; and more.

For MPR, Tim Pugmire reports: “Republicans in the Minnesota House followed through on their threat to block a bonding bill Saturday when the $2 billion measure was put to a vote. The House vote was 75 to 58 in favor — but that was short of the three-fifths supermajority needed for passage. Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt had previously said there wouldn’t be GOP support unless Democratic Gov. Tim Walz ended the peacetime emergency he declared to fight COVID-19. Daudt’s complaint now is the size of the bill.”

In the Star Tribune, Ryan Faircloth writes: “A Minneapolis man has been charged in what authorities say was a random and unprovoked assault on KSTP-TV anchor Matt Belanger. Vennie Williams, 39, is charged with third-degree assault and harassment with intent to injure, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday. The assault happened Tuesday at the Nicollet Mall light-rail platform in downtown Minneapolis.”

MPR’s Mark Zdechlik writes: “Minnesota Republican Party leaders postponed their online state convention Saturday after problems with voting software. Republican delegates — gathered online instead of in-person because of the coronavirus pandemic — were set to endorse former Congressman Jason Lewis’ campaign against incumbent DFL Sen. Tina Smith. But after several hours of delays, state party Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan announced the decision.”

KSTP-TV’s Richard Reeve reports: “The parking lots at Rosedale Center are quiet; only a few cars are in place. But beginning Monday, shoppers will be permitted back inside as Minnesota joins other states that have allowed malls to reopen — with restrictions. ‘Hopefully, people can kind of try and take awareness of their space,’ said Kaiden Kuhlman of St. Paul. ‘I want people to try to be as safe as possible.’ Rosedale is planning to operate at 50% capacity.”

The Star Tribune’s John Ewoldt and Rick Nelson write: “The Twin Cities’ nationally recognized food scene contributes as much to the region’s reputation as its vaunted assets in the arts, education, corporate diversity and other livability measures. Many of those working in this vital segment are saying that their industry is in big trouble and may never recover. Hospitality Minnesota — a trade group representing 2,000 restaurants, hotels, resorts, campgrounds and outfitters — expects more than 50% of those businesses to close by July, according to a survey of 300 of its members.”