Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL - A Minnesota Senate committee voted 5-3 today to move forward with a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota. “This is about family,” bill author Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said. “We are not redefining anything.” The Judiciary Committee sent the bill to the full Senate, though Democratic leadership has said setting the state budget will come before addressing policy issues such as gay marriage. Opponents said lawmakers should not be dealing with such issues.
Whether you’re planning on celebrating this St. Patrick’s Day by wishing for a little “luck o’ the Irish” or trying to find the fabled “pot of gold,” there’s no denying that Irish-themed food will be on menus everywhere. It’s not unusual to see Guinness stout or Irish whiskey in the description of an item on a menu or a “wee bit” of green food coloring mixed into a pitcher of your favorite brew.
A majority of Minnesotans surveyed last month favor a five-year delay before the state holds another wolf hunting and trapping season, according to a poll conducted for a pro-wolf group.
VERGAS, Minn. - Inhumane conditions resulted in law enforcement seizing 11 horses and three llamas last week from a farm six miles southeast of Vergas. An additional six horses were found dead. One of the rescued llamas, a baby, later died at the rescue ranch from complications of septicemia, probably due to a lack of colostrum, which is found in a healthy mother’s breast milk. Criminal charges were pending against the owners of the farm, Bill and Penny Fick.
The bill establishing a Web-based system to buy health insurance and a similar one the House passed Monday night will head to a conference committee where lawmakers will merge the versions into one that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton likely will sign. Support for the Senate measure, like in the House, mostly split along party lines with Democrats backing the bill written by Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick.
ST. PAUL – Rural hospitals could suffer under a proposal aimed at improving patient care, some health care officials and lawmakers say. Ely hospital administrator John Fossum said a bill that would set state standards for how many registered nurses are on duty “could kill people.” He said hospitals that would be considered understaffed under the proposed standards might have to send patients to other facilities, and the closest hospital to Ely’s is 50 miles away. “We’re small, and we’re remote,” he said.
ST. PAUL -- The author of a new gun bill says she wrote it as a compromise, but those who already have related bills are not buying it. Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, on Wednesday announced a bill that falls short of what the Legislature’s judiciary chairmen plan to discuss in committees next week. Hilstrom said she has no promise that her bill will be discussed in a committee.
Bruce and Allison Breun of Frazee appeared in Otter Tail County District Court on Monday to face 26 separate charges related to the abuse and neglect of 11 horses rescued from a farm north of Perham in November. The two individuals will each be assigned to court-appointed attorneys and will have their next court appearance at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 18. Judge Barbara Hanson released the defendants on their recognizance but ordered them to make and maintain contact with their attorneys and make all future court appearances.
ST. PAUL -- A rural Minnesota woman said if some schools had better programs and plans to deal with bullying, her son might not killed himself. “I believe that my son’s unbearable pain and sadness was preventable,” Ann Gettis of Kenyon told a state Senate committee Tuesday. Her son, Jeremiah, shot himself in 2006 after years of being bullied at school, she said. “Jeremiah is only one of countless youth who have taken their lives after enduring the unspeakable pain and humiliation of being bullied,” Gettis said.