The keystone of Minnesota Democrats’ budget plans, $2 billion in tax increases, won House approval early today and the Senate pulled a surprise in the early morning hours by approving money to fund state Capitol building renovations.
Minnesota senators took nearly 17 hours to approve a bill allowing childcare providers and personal care attendants to unionize. The bill passed 35-32 a little after 8 a.m. today after senators debated it continuously since Tuesday afternoon.
Minnesota gays and their supporters could not contain their enthusiasm during a 45-minute ceremony featuring Gov. Mark Dayton signing the historic legislation. An estimated 6,000 people crowded in front of the Capitol in temperatures topping 90 degrees to cheer Dayton.
Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, one of just three DFLers to vote Monday against legalizing same-sex marriage in Minnesota, said today the four-hour debate was heartfelt and moving but did not shake his longstanding belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Minnesota’s Senate is scheduled to debate and vote today on a bill to add the state to the growing list of those that allow gay marriage. It’s the last step before Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who has promised to sign legislation, signs the bill.
Minnesota political leaders have spent months preparing state budget plans, and eight days before the Legislature must adjourn for the year they announced they have reached agreement on some tax and spend guidelines.
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