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2010 Legislative Roundup: Minnesota

This year marked another contentious legislative session for Minnesota, marked by gubernatorial vetoes and tough negotiations over the budget and healthcare.  In the end, Gov. Pawlenty vetoed twenty bills, bringing his eight-year total to 96. This year's vetoes included a wide range of measures, from a bill enabling same-sex partners to make end-of-life decisions, to a medical marijuana bill, to a bill that would have supported local government and non-profit innovation efforts.  Painful budget cuts and cost deferrals left the state's financial picture for 2012 and beyond uncertain, but legislators did manage to move important measures on broadband, energy conservation, and consumer protection, as well as a billion-dollar bonding measure that will create some jobs to cushion losses in other areas.

MN: Corporate cash ready to roll into Minnesota elections

Star Tribune: A new political organization, backed by two of the state's most powerful business interests and led by one of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top deputies, could result in a powerful wave of corporate cash in this year's state elections.

The FCC Extends E-Rate Broadband Access Program to the General Public

States and local governments may now use federal E-rate funds to provide the general public access to schools’ and public libraries’ Internet facilities, according to a recent Federal Communications Commission order.  Schools receiving funding under the E-rate program may extend their services to the general public during non-operating hours, that is, after school, weekends, holidays, and summer vacation.