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Legislative briefs: Tattoo regulation bill advances

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

ST. PAUL - Tattoo artists and those who conduct body piercings would be regulated under a bill that gained a Senate committee's support Monday.

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"Tattooing is one of the fastest growing businesses in the United States today," Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, said before the Senate Health, Housing and Family Security Committee passed her regulatory bill on a voice vote.

Prettner Solon said that anyone receiving a tattoo or piercing should be able to assume the work is safe.

"In Minnesota, there is no regulation of tattooing," she said.

Her bill requires that all tattoo and piercing businesses have a Health Department-issued license. Temporary permits for dong their work at events also would be available.

Tattoo artists would be required to receive training.

Prettner Solon said there are more rules regulating hair cutting than tattooing.

Ryan Welles, a former Achorsend Tattoo employee in Duluth, said some local governments do regulate tattoo work, driving tattoo artists to unregulated communities.

Blood center officials said they like the bill because it would allow more people donate blood. Rules require people who have received tattoos to not donate for a year after the procedure, unless tattoos were given in a state-regulated parlor.

Highway names

Bills naming parts of Minnesota highways are working their way through the Legislature.

A stretch of U.S. 53 from Virginia to International Falls would be named after former House Speaker Irv Anderson, who died last year. Virginia, International Falls and Koochiching County would fund the signs. A House committee approved the idea Monday.

The Anderson bill already passed the Senate.

Senators Monday tentatively approved designating parts of Minnesota 34 and other Becker County highways as the Becker County Veterans Memorial Highway.

Also, a House committee approved parts of two Minnesota highways in Clearwater County - 200 and 92 - being named the Clearwater County Veterans' Memorial Highway. An American Legion post would pay for the signs.

Duluth projects

A Senate committee is considering two Duluth projects - a storm sewer improvement and a new Duluth Children's Museum.

The Economic Development and Housing Budget Division heard testimony on the two issues, and will further consider the proposals by Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth.

The storm sewer plan, costing $3.3 million, would improve storm sewer overflow and pump facilities. Prettner Solon said work has been accomplished on the project, but more needs to be done.

"We want to stop the overflows into Lake Superior," Eric Schafer of the city said.

The city and Western Lake Superior Sanitary District are working together on the project.

The same committee is considering a $3 million to request to help the Duluth Children's Museum to build a new facility in Clyde Park in the western part of the city.

Construction could begin within three months, Prettner Solon said.

Higher fares opposed

Transit supporters have lined up Twin Cities bus riders to testify at a series of legislative hearings.

Lawmakers at the Wednesday and Thursday meetings will hear commuters seeking more transit funds, with testimony coming at a time when the Metropolitan Council is considering increasing fares.

"I don't see a reason to buy another one," Robynne Curlee of St. Paul said about a car. "And I can afford one here."

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

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Pioneer staff reports
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