MN Legislative Wrap - Monday
Pat Sweeney | Feb 11, 2019 AT 5:42 pm
Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota's top two legislative leaders have agreed on deadlines that they say will avert a high-stakes poker game at the end of the session and avoid a government shutdown.
Walz, Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced a series of deadlines for committee and floor actions Monday that they say will bring the session to an orderly conclusion by the May 20 deadline.
They told reporters it also means that debates will take place in public rather than behind closed doors in the final days of the session.
If the agreement sticks, it would be a contrast with the chaotic 2018 session, when many major proposals were folded at the end into one enormous bill that then-Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed.
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State Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn says Minnesota needs to take comprehensive action this year to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease among the state's wild deer.
The Roseville Democrat was joined by fellow deer hunters at a news conference Monday to promote legislation aimed at stopping the outbreak of the always fatal brain disease before it becomes endemic in Minnesota's white-tail herd.
Becker-Finn is sponsoring bills that target deer farms to try to stop the disease from spreading from captive to wild deer. Another of her bills would give the University of Minnesota $1.8 million to develop better diagnostic testing for dead and live deer.
But lobbyist Tim Spreck says it's "preposterous" to trash Minnesota's deer farmers when most are doing an excellent job of keeping their herds healthy.