State legislators have their work cut out for them in second half of the session

State Capitol
Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. Sept. 28, 2011
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

State legislators have returned from spring break and have a lot of work ahead of them. Here is just part of the to-do list they have to finish before the session ends in late May:

Gov. Mark Dayton dramatically scaled back his initial budget proposal, but is still planning on raising taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans and increasing education spending. The House and Senate will now have to work out the details of their plans.

A bill headed for the House floor includes background checks at gun shows, but it does not include universal background checks or bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, who had sought universal background checks, was quoted by MPR News as saying the bill is a work in progress.

A bill legalizing same-sex marriage was approved by committees in both the House and Senate, but whether the bill will get floor votes is still unclear. Legislators have said they will not vote on the bill until they finish their work on the budget. If the bill passes, same-sex marriage would be legal starting this summer.

Other issues left to address are funding for Mayo's expansion, a minimum wage hike, a frac sand mining moratorium and a bonding bill.

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