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A look at Minnesota legislative results

Minnesota legislators introduced 7,763 bills in the 2015-2016 legislative period, most of which went nowhere. Here is a look at some of the bills that passed or did not pass this year, including some still awaiting Gov. Mark Dayton's approval.

Animal trusts: Minnesotans will be able to put money away in trusts so after they die there will be money to care for pets.

Autocycles: Law allows operators of a new type of three-wheel motorcycle that drives like a car to only need a car driver's license, not one for motorcycles.

Bathroom law: There was lots of talk, but no action, on legislation to require students to use restrooms of their birth gender.

Body cams: Bill passed restricting public access to videos from body cameras worn by law enforcement officers.

Bonding: Attempt to borrow money for wide range of public works projects failed at the end of session.

Broadband: After the governor sought $100 million to expand high-speed Internet in rural Minnesota, $35 million eventually was approved.

Budget: About $167 million will be spent from the state budget surplus for a variety of programs, with other money transferred in from other funds.

Buffers: Counties will get some state aid to implement a law requiring buffers around water. Also, a bill passed to clarify the buffer law passed last year.

Child protection: New law extends a legislative child protection task force that already has resulted in changes in how child abuse is reported.

City aid: Local Government Aid will increase $20 million next year.

Civics test: High school students will be required to take a test with questions given to immigrants seeking citizenship. However, passage will not be required for graduation.

Drug sentencing: Sentences were lowered for lower-level offenders, with drug dealers getting stiffer sentences.

Education: The governor's request was approved for $25 million for pre-kindergarten education.

Eyelash extensions: Technicians applying eyelash extensions will be licensed.

Family leave: Sen. Katie Sieben of Cottage Grove proposed requiring employers to give workers family leaves, but nothing passed.

Fantasy sports: Efforts to specifically legalize fantasy sports failed, leaving the activity vulnerable to a court challenge since Minnesota laws make most gambling illegal.

Farm safety: Money was appropriated to begin a program allowing farmers to get aid to install rollover bars on older tractors.

Granny pods: Temporary mobile-home-like living quarters may be placed next to a home of a caregiver, such as an ill parent living next to a child's home

Greater Minnesota schools: Nearly $5 million was appropriated to bring greater Minnesota school districts more money and bring them closer to what Twin Cities districts receive.

Hemp: Lawmakers appropriated funds to help launch a program to grow industrial hemp.

Ice arenas: Fixing ice arenas and related equipment received $10 million.

IRRRB: The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board was reduced to being only advisory after the legislative auditor raised questions about whether the state Constitution allows it to spend money.

Laura's law: The House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill increasing the penalty for concealing a body. Known as Laura's Law, the measure came after an extensive 12-day Douglas County missing person search.

Marriage licenses: A five-day waiting period Minnesota law long has required was repealed.

Madelia: Tax breaks and other aid are being provided to the southern Minnesota city, which lost much of its downtown to a fire.

Prescriptions: Pharmacies may dispense 90 days' worth of medications under certain circumstances.

Presidential primary: Minnesotans will vote in a presidential primary for the first time in 2020.

Prince: Legislation was debated to guarantee that heirs would retain commercial rights to artists' likenesses. The issue arose after musician Prince died April 21, but legislation did not reach a vote.

Racial disparities: After the governor sought $100 million to help reduce financial disparities between black and white Minnesotans, lawmakers approved $35 million.

Rail safety: Several rail safety provisions were in a bill that failed to pass before the Sunday midnight deadline.

Range unemployment: After weeks of arguing, lawmakers earlier in the session approved extending unemployment benefits 26 weeks for many Iron Range workers off work due to a national steel industry slow-down.

Real ID: Whether to issue driver's licenses to immigrants stalled work on matching Minnesota licenses and other identification cards with federal Real ID rules.

Revenge porn: It will be illegal to use a compromising photo without the subject's permission.

Siding manufacturer: A $6 million appropriations was made to attempt to attract a siding manufacturer to the Iron Range. State officials refuse to say what company is looking at northeastern Minnesota.

State hospitals: Funds were approved to improve security and care at St. Peter and Anoka facilities. However, money to rebuilt part of the St. Peter hospital was in a bill that failed to meet the midnight Sunday deadline.

Taxes: Tax cuts totaling $260 million passed.

Teacher shortage: Several provisions passed to help the state attract teachers.

Transportation: Nearly everyone agreed the state needs to boost transportation-related spending $600 million a year for a decade, but an attempt to provide a one-year infusion failed at the last minute.

Unemployment taxes: The amount businesses pay in unemployment taxes will be limited.

Utility damages: Law increased penalties for intentionally damaging telecommunications and energy equipment.

Sunday sales: There always is an effort to allow liquor stores to be open on Sundays, but like in past years it failed this year.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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