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ST. PAUL - The Minnesota House approved a plan Monday to pay survivors of last year's Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Representatives voted 127-5 for compromise legislation that stemmed from prolonged negotiations between the House and Senate. Senators were expected to approve the package soon. Survivors of the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse could seek payments up to $400,000 from a $24 million fund. Another $12.6 million fund is meant to help survivors with the most serious injuries. By seeking the compensation, survivors waive their right to sue the state. Rep.
ST. PAUL - Passenger air service in rural areas of the upper Midwest would not be harmed by a Northwest-Delta airline merger, but high fuel prices could affect service, a Delta executive said. Delta Air Lines President Ed Bastian, who appeared Monday before Minnesota lawmakers at the Capitol, said a reduction in service to small communities outside airline hubs such as the Minneapolis-St.
Some outdoors-related proposals still in play at the Minnesota Capitol include: -- Forming a legislators-citizens panel to recommend how to spend tax money from a ballot measure later this year on outdoors and arts programs. -- Allowing people to fish open water with two lines, like is allowed for ice fishing. -- Starting a voluntary program to recognize lake associations that meet certain water clean-up and shoreline improvement standards. -- Creating a new discounted resident fishing license with a smaller fish limit that is meant to promote catch-and-release angling. -- Giving certain
ST. PAUL -- Cue the music for the latest end-of-session budget dance. With less than three weeks left in the 2008 legislative session, Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesotans who write their state lawmakers with concerns may be pleased how quickly they get a response these days. It's that time of year at the Minnesota Legislature, when top lawmakers are involved in high-level negotiations - and lawmakers who don't wield that clout find other ways to stay busy. "For all I know, some of them could be golfing - and I would guess some do if they have the time," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators are wrapping up their work for the year, although they can meet through May 19. As Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, DFL-Minneapolis, said when the Senate adjourned for the week on Thursday, senators have considered most bills on their plates. A budget-balancing bill remains the major issue remaining. As the most important task before lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty, they hope to agree on a plan to erase a $935 million state budget deficit.
ST. PAUL -- Farm-minded state lawmakers say they are looking to improve Minnesota agriculture's future - and the environment -- by pushing legislation benefiting livestock producers and farmers who grow crops used to make biofuels. Those are two provisions in a package of agriculture and military veterans' proposals moving through the Legislature. The catch-all policy bills also address bovine tuberculosis, veterans' cemeteries, concerns about agricultural and forest land development and even animal chiropractors.
MINNEAPOLIS - Military veterans living in rural areas need more access to federal medical services, Minnesota veterans told the most influential member of Congress. Veterans gathered for a discussion Monday with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they also are concerned with what they described as an inconsistent system for notifying veterans of their medical benefits. Pelosi, a San Francisco Democrat, said Congress last year gave veterans affairs medical programs their biggest increase in more than 70 years.
MINNEAPOLIS - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went from visiting Minnesota military veterans Monday to helping U.S. Rep. Tim Walz try to become a veteran of at least two successful elections. The influential San Francisco Democrat visited a veterans' medical center in Minneapolis at Walz's invitation. She then attended a 250-person fund-raiser for Walz, a freshman congressman from southern Minnesota's 1st Congressional District. Walz's 2006 election was among House Democrats' biggest victories. In his first bid for elective office, Walz ousted long-time GOP Rep.