Tad Vezner / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL -- Amid thousands of inaudible Internet sighs, the raccoon who reached amazing heights in downtown St.
ST. PAUL—In the wake of a years-old report of thousands of untested "rape kits" sitting on the shelves of Minnesota's sheriff and police departments, a bill that sets a time frame for testing future kits has sailed through the Legislature with bipartisan support. "What are we going to do to make sure this doesn't happen again?" asked the bill's sponsor in the House, Rep. Marion O'Neill, R-Maple Lake. "Because we don't have justice."
ST. PAUL—With no gun-control proposals getting traction at the Minnesota Legislature this session, the nation's top gun-control advocacy group is making a major ad buy to argue for action before the May 21 adjournment. The three television advertisements, paid for by the New York-based Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, will run the next two weeks on all four Twin Cities network stations and on cable channels. According to filings with the Federal Communications Commission, the total cost is more than $164,000.
ST. PAUL—She was the last woman to bring her personal story before the House public safety committee Wednesday — a story she said she never uttered in public before. Mysti Babineau, of St. Paul, spoke of how she was put into foster care, raped at the age of 9, forced to witness her grandmother getting stabbed to death as a young teen, and kidnapped and raped again at the age of 20.
ST. PAUL—Dakota's dad put a gun in her hand when she was 3 years old. It was a .22 rifle, "and I thought I scared her. She shot and she was very very quiet," Todd Overland said. "And about a half an hour later she came up to me and said, 'Dad, can I do that again?'" She tagged along on his hunting trips that same year.
ST. PAUL — The most likely path for getting a gun control bill through the Minnesota Legislature this year has expired. No legislation to restrict guns has advanced in the Republican-controlled Legislature, although the GOP is promoting a variety of school safety plans. Thursday, March 22, was the deadline for policy-based legislation (like gun control bills) to pass through a committee in order for it to traverse the typical route to become law. And while bills still could come up in a variety of ways, it is not likely.
ST. PAUL—A state bill designed to restrict fledgling efforts to allow video coverage of Minnesota court sentencings passed through a House committee Wednesday — with critics arguing it would hinder cooperation by witnesses and victims, and proponents arguing it would give the public additional understanding and confidence in the court process.
ST. PAUL—By a unanimous vote and with no one speaking against it, a bill that would make it illegal to use a snowmobile for a year after any drunken driving conviction passed through another key committee at the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday. Currently, state law takes away snowmobile driving privileges only in DUI cases involving snowmobiles themselves. Thus, a person who is convicted of drunken driving in a car could still use a snowmobile to get around, bypassing restrictions placed on their automobile.
ST. PAUL—The tight-knit group of high-schoolers descended on the Capitol without a single protest sign or parent in tow. Many wore suits and ties, as immaculate as evangelical door-knockers. They didn't utter one chant. And though the eight of them were there to talk gun control, they weren't too keen on slogans. Nobody had a sheet bearing talking-points. They stayed polite, said "thank you."
ST. PAUL—The state released a legislative audit Friday, March 16, on Minnesota's voting process that included a partial accounting of how—and how often—people voted illegally or had their registrations challenged when they shouldn't have been. The Office of the Legislative Auditor noted there is a spectrum when it comes to the voting process: tighten voting requirements too much and it becomes increasingly difficult for eligible people to vote; loosen them too much and ineligible people are able to cast ballots.