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Legislation gives 4-H funding source

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

ST. PAUL -- Cities could donate to 4-H clubs under two bills senators tentatively passed Thursday.

Formal passage is expected in the next few days.

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Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, said she brought the proposal forward because when Washington County cut its 4-H funding, cities discovered they cannot legally donate funds to 4-H.

The measure passed on its own and also as part of an overall agriculture bill.

Part of the larger bill would define horses as livestock when they are raised for riding, farm work, competition or breeding stock. There has been discussion the past few years about how horses are treated under various state laws, such as for tax purposes.

Also, the measure requires tree-care providers to register with the Agriculture Department.

Bad water?

A Senate-passed resolution warns the United States and Canadian governments that Lake of the Woods water quality may be deteriorating.

Senators sent the message via a voice vote, urging the International Joint Commission to coordinate scientific investigation into the water quality.

Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, said counties around Lake of the Woods have approved similar resolutions.

Addresses public

A Senate bill, awaiting final approval, would make public the addresses of candidates for elective office.

The bill by Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, requires candidates to include their home addresses and telephone numbers when they file for office as a way to help elections officials to confirm they live in the proper district.

The bill does not apply to candidates for the courts, county attorney or sheriff.

Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, unsuccessfully tried to amend the measure to allow candidates to keep their addresses secret to everyone but an elections official. The amendment failed 37-24.

Sieben's proposal "goes against the public disclosure that we expect from our candidates," Sen. Don Betzold, DFL-Fridley, argued.

But Pappas said many public officials have been stalked, so she supported Seiben.

Notification OK'd

A bill ready for the governor's signature requires schools to notify parents if their son or daughter is mistreated.

Senators unanimously approved the measure Thursday, its last legislative step.

Time off

Minnesota legislators will take time off for political conventions, but not much.

While Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, had hinted that he favored a lengthy recess for the DFL Party Duluth convention April 23-25 and the Minneapolis Republican convention April 29-May 1, after hearing from others the decision was to move one meeting of the full Senate from Thursday those two weeks to Wednesday. Committees may meet if their chairmen wish, he said.

"The only thing that is changing is that we are not going to have a floor session on Thursday of either week," Pogemiller said.

The House is expected to take a similar break.

Pogemiller had said lawmakers have little left to do before their required May 17 adjournment, so he thought a longer break would be in order. But he met resistance.

"I didn't realize that things were this complex," he admitted.

Don Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns the Bemidji Pioneer.

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