Politics & Policy

Lots of work left as committee deadlines loom

(House Public Information Services file photo)

House leaders on Friday praised the body’s quick work in passing $500 million in tax relief this week, but cautioned much work remains on major bills as a March 21 committee deadline draws near.


Farm-to-Food Shelf bill advances in House committee

Rob Zeaske, CEO of Second Harvest Heartland, answers members’ questions during a March 6 presentation to the House Agriculture Policy Committee of Rep. Jeanne Poppe’s bill, HF2538, which would establish the Farm-to-Foodshelf program. (Photo Paul Battaglia)

A couple summers ago, Apple Valley vegetable grower Gary Pahl had more sweet corn in his fields than grocery stores would buy. But rather than disposing of the excess, he worked with a Twin Cities hunger relief organization to get the food to Minnesotans who struggle to put food on the table. Pahl on Thursday told the House Agriculture Policy Committee that his participation in Second Harvest Heartland’s farm-to-food shelf program has grown so that in 2013 he donated 847,000 pounds of food.


The next frontier for liquor: Microdistilleries

Liquor was the name of the game on Tuesday in the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Finance and Policy Committee. Eight bills were heard from allowing on-sale wine and malt-liquor licenses for professional junior hockey games in Richfield to reinstating sacramental wine sales by religious stores and expanding microdistillery sales. All bills were laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus liquor bill.


Cuba sanctions sustained by inertia

Really, it’s inertia. Why do we maintain sanctions on Cuba? Because we maintain sanctions on Cuba.


Wherein I witness Air Force One land and see the POTUS

I got the notice from my editor at the Twin Cities Daily Planet on Monday. It said, in essence, “Hey! Anyone want to cover the Air Force One arrival at the airport?” The President of the United States was scheduled to land at 12:50 pm, February 26, and I could have an invitation to see it.


An increasing call for community owned networks

While Comcast focuses on increasing its market power rather than improving services in the communities it monopolizes, no one should be surprised that we are seeing a surge in interest for building community owned networks.


Animal shelter bill divides activists

Animal shelters could become subject to a stricter set of requirements before they euthanize animals.


President Obama visits St. Paul

President Barack Obama, in St. Paul on Wednesday, reiterated his vow he made earlier in his State of the Union address in January that he will take action when needed if Congress won’t.


NEWS DAY | Seven things to do at the Minnesota State Capitol next week

UPDATED 2/27, 5 p.m. | From racial justice to dentistry, everybody's issues seem to get a day at the Capitol while the legislature is in session. If you're a social justice type, the day probably starts out either in a church basement or in the Capitol rotunda. If your organization has a little more money, you may kick off the day at Embassy Suites and maybe end it with a cocktail party. Here are seven opportunities to see and be seen, advocate and be persuaded next week at the Capitol.


President Obama in St. Paul - video

President Obama speaks at St. Paul's renovated Union Depot about the importance of funding transportation.

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