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.
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.
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.