>> End-of-Life Legislation Introduced at Minnesota Legislature
(St. Paul, MN) — A controversial bill introduced at the Minnesota Legislature Thursday would allow mentally-capable people with an imminent terminal illness, after medical evaluation, to receive a drug to end their life. Doctor Rebecca Thoman with Compassion and Choices Action Network says it’s not assisted suicide or euthanasia. She told lawmakers, “these people have irreversible terminal illnesses and they’re reaching out for an option that could be peaceful, that could give them dignity, that can help them connect to their families.” Spokesman Paul Stark says Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life says, “it sends the message that there are some human lives that aren’t worth living, but we think that every human being really matters and deserves protection under the law.”
>>Minnesota House Passes Price Gouging Legislation
(St. Paul, MN) — Those engaging in price-gouging during a peacetime state of emergency could be fined up to 25 thousand dollars, under a bill the Democrat-controlled Minnesota House passed last night (Thursday). Representative Zack Stephenson of Coon Rapids says the question is, “Are we going to allow a very small group of people to enrich themselves off the misery of others?” The bill prohibits anyone from selling an “essential consumer good or service for an unconscionably excessive price” if a governor has declared an “abnormal market disruption.” Albertville Republican Walter Hudson warns, “gives supreme power… to the governor of the state of Minnesota who already, we’ve had demonstrated to us in recent years, has the capacity to unilaterally cancel democracy.”
>>Walz to Sign Restore the Vote and Driver’s Licenses For All Bills
(St. Paul, MN) — Governor Tim Walz this morning (Friday 10am) signs a bill allowing felons to again vote in Minnesota after they finish their prison or jail term. Supporters say it discourages felons from re-offending, by allowing them to fully participate when it’s judged they’re safe to again be in the community. Republicans say offenders should have to pay their full debt to society — including probation, fines, and restitution — before voting rights are restored. Also awaiting the governor’s expected signature after yesterday’s (Thursday) technical-procedural vote in the Minnesota House: a controversial bill allowing undocumented residents to obtain a driver’s license in Minnesota. Republicans warn it opens the door to all kinds of abuse — even terrorists getting Minnesota I-Ds.
>>Walz Signs $5 Million in Emergency Food Shelf Funding
(St. Paul, MN) — A new law signed by Governor Tim Walz on Thursday will provide five-million dollars in emergency funding to Minnesota’s food shelves. Walz says these resources will allow food shelves to continue to help working families put food on the table. The Department of Human Services will work with Hunger Solutions MN to distribute the funding to food shelves. The end of “emergency” SNAP benefit payments is expected to increase demand even more for the food programs.
>>Bipartisan Bill Would Create Minnesota Companion Animal Board
(St. Paul, MN) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for the creation of a Companion Animal Board to focus on dogs and cats in Minnesota. Ann Olson of Animal Folks MN says the state Board of Animal Health currently regulates our pets. She says “companion animals are not agricultural products… These animals are about companionship with people. And this requires different expertise, different focus, and different oversight. Olson says the 13-member board would regulate and enforce kennel and breeder laws, educate and promote responsible pet ownership, and provide services and resources.
>>Escaped Lino Lakes Prison Inmate Apprehended in Minneapolis
(Lino Lakes, MN) — The Lino Lakes prison inmate who escaped while on a community work crew is back in custody. The Minnesota Department of Corrections says 53-year-old Gerald Downs was arrested Thursday “without incident” in north Minneapolis. The D-O-C said Downs cut off his monitoring bracelet Monday in Blaine and fled in a waiting vehicle. Officials say Downs will likely face new criminal charges for escape from custody – and so will anyone who assisted him. He was serving a sentence for possession of methamphetamine.
>>Minnesota DNR Eases Walleye Regulations on Lake Mille Lacs
(Garrison, MN) — Anglers will be able to fish for walleye all summer long on Lake Mille Lacs in central Minnesota. The D-N-R says a lower walleye harvest this winter and an improving population on Mille Lacs are the main reasons for the eased regulations this year. There had been two-week walleye closures in July and bans on using live bait on the lake in recent years. Licensed anglers will be able to harvest a walleye 21 to 23 inches long or greater than 28 inches throughout the open water season. The 2023 walleye opener is May 13th.