Updated: 03/26/2014 5:47 PM
Created: 03/26/2014 7:03 AM KSTP.com
By: Leslie Dyste
Here are some highlights from the Minnesota State Capitol on Wednesday, March 26:
Potholes and Roadwork
Potholes have been a big problem this winter, and lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that will provide more funding to fill them. DFL Rep. Frank Hornstein of Minneapolis says the money will go to local communities. The bill will also provide more money for rail safety and other highway projects.
A bill banning people convicted of domestic abuse from having guns passed a House panel Wednesday. The bill would apply to people subject to restraining orders. It didn't get universal support. One woman who survived an abusive relationship testified at the hearing Wednesday saying a piece of paper won't keep battered women safe. She says abusers will find a way to get a gun whether it's legal or not.
Sunday Alcohol Sales
Some Sunday alcohol sales moved forward as the full commerce committee passed an omnibus liquor bill Wednesday. However, the bill doesn't allow liquor stores to open on Sundays, but it does allow taprooms and brewpubs to sell and refill growlers (64 ounce beer containers) on Sundays. Under the bill, small taprooms would also be allowed to hold tastings on Sundays. Governor Dayton said he would sign a bill completely repealing Sunday probation earlier this year, but it didn't gain support from lawmakers.
Firefighters rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to “Give Toxics the Boot.” They called on lawmakers to put more regulation on dangerous chemicals that pose a risk to firefighters when they burn.
Minimum Wage Debate
On Thursday, Lawmakers will continue to work toward a deal to increase the state’s minimum wage. As union members rallied in favor of a raise Tuesday, a conference committee met to work out differences between House and Senate bills. Both would increase the wage from $6.15 to $9.50. Now, the issue is how quickly to raise it and whether to tie it to inflation. The House negotiators put forward a proposal, and that committee will meet again Thursday.