Could the 2007 Legislature be just about done? Right on time?
Well, maybe. Friday was seen as a critical day for settling the state's two-year budget without requiring a special session after Monday's adjournment deadline. Closed-door talks were set to continue into the evening as top lawmakers came and went from the governor's office.
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher said the agreement would include all-day kindergarten for more Minnesota schools, more health coverage for uninsured children and a funding stream to preserve wildlife habitats.
- A statewide smoking ban has been passed and signed by Governor Pawlenty. Good!Governor Pawlenty signs the "Freedom to Breathe Act," a new law that bans smoking in bars and restaurants statewide starting October 1
- The 5 cents gas tax has passed both houses by more than 2/3, but the Governor has promised to veto it. Will the Legislature have the votes to override? I personally favor raising the gas tax with the monies going to highway improvements (eg. Hwy 610, and the Hwy 169 improvements in Osseo / Brooklyn Park)
- The Governor has promised to veto all tax increases. With the exception of the possibility of the gas tax (I doubt that the Legislature will override Governor Pawlenty's veto), no other tax increase will make it into law this session!
- The Viking's Stadium plan was dead on arrival!
- The question is this: Will the Legislature wrap it up by Monday at midnight? Stay tuned!
Governor signs statewide smoking ban into law
Minnesota will outlaw smoking in bars, restaurants and other establishments starting Oct. 1, 2007.
Outdoor smoking is still permitted under the statewide smoking ban, unless local ordinances restrict it.
Smoking is also allowed in private homes and vehicles, hotel and motel rooms, truck cabs, farm vehicles and buildings, locked psychiatric wards, tobacco shops, Indian ceremonies and on stage for actors performing in plays.