Dayton signs 4 measures into law; online lotto sales restrictions in limbo


Governor Mark Dayton signed four of the bills passed during this legislative session into law, including the $1.1 billion bonding bills and a second round of tax cuts. But that's only the start.

Dayton, the Pioneer Press notes, has about 30 more bills to act on – choosing to either sign or veto – and about two weeks to do it.

Two of the most notable remaining measures Dayton needs to decide on: the legalization of medical marijuana and online lottery sales restrictions.

When the medical marijuana bill passed, Dayton signaled he would sign it. MinnPost says that's still the case, and he could add his signature this week.

Dayton's feelings toward the online lottery bill are murkier.

The measure would ban instant online lottery sales, the electronic instant scratch-off tickets that were just implemented in February, and the gas pump lotto pilot project, KARE 11 reported.

Lottery Director Edwin Van Petten said last month halting those sales would cost the state about $2.5 million.

Up to this point, the governor has not indicated whether he will sign the bill, previously expressing concern that legislators may be micromanaging the Lottery’s operations. But the Star Tribune says Van Petten – who was handpicked for the position by Dayton in 2012 – "craves" a veto from the governor.

Signed Into Law

While Dayton still hasn't divulged his online lottery sales decision, on Tuesday he made four of this session's bills official.

The biggest, at least in terms of dollars, is the $1.17 billion bonding bill package. It comprises two bills – one that involves $846 million in state borrowing, the other requires spending $200 million in on-hand cash. Dayton's office is referring to the package as the "Minnesota Jobs Bill."

Check out a full list of projects here.

Among them:
– $126 million for Capitol building renovations
– $57 million for University of Minnesota Tate laboratory improvements
– $56.3 million for remodeling work at the Minnesota State Security Hospital in St. Peter
– $33 million for local bridge work, and $54 million for local road work.

The measure also includes funding for metro transit and trail improvements, and money for the Nicollet Mall, and the Minnesota Zoo projects.

Dayton also signed a second round of tax cuts, about $103 million that could affect 1 million Minnesotans. More than half of it is directed to property taxes. It comes in addition to the much larger tax relief bill signed in March.

A supplemental spending bill also got Dayton's signature. The bill, according to the governor's office, puts about $283 million toward a host of investments, including broadband infrastructure, education funding for every school district, healthy school lunch for all Minnesota students, and improved railway safety statewide.

Session Ends, Politicking Begins

Even with the legislative session officially over, it being an election year, the politics are starting to ramp up.

The Senate is not up for election this November, so Republicans are focused on winning the 134-member House, which would allow them to thwart DFL-sponsored bills and push their own. Republicans need to add seven seats to gain control.

Republican legislative leaders fired up the fight to end one-party dominance at the Capitol.

Saying the DFL controlled legislature passed bills that overtaxed Minnesotans and harmed families, Republicans hit the road Monday to launch an effort to regain control of the House. The Star Tribune reports that GOP leaders staged a morning new conference in St. Paul, then headed out for more of the same in Moorhead, Austin and Luverne.

Republicans criticized Democrats for pushing the $77 million office building and for last year’s tax hikes. They also stressed the problems with MNsure, the state’s health insurance exchange, with Senate Majority Leader David Hann calling the system a “failure.”

Meanwhile, Democrats are insisting that Republicans were in charge during back-to-back budget deficits that drained budget reserves and led to billion dollar loans from the state’s school districts.

Next Up

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

Teachers union calls for 'bold' plan to get kids vaccinated against COVID

"All options should be on the table," Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said.


Madden's has banner summer with surge of visitors to Gull Lake

The resort was named the No. 1 resort in the mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

denny dempsey

Burnsville priest identified as bicyclist killed in Rosemount

The church says he was doing what he loved: riding his bike.

Matt Dumba

Wild open road trip with win over Canucks

At 5-1, only the St. Louis Blues (5-0) are off to a better start in the Western Conference than the Wild.

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.


COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.


Dayton signs $496M bonding bill

Gov. Mark Dayton signed a $496 million bonding bill Friday that will result in thousands of construction jobs in Minnesota and includes a long list of public works projects, the DFL governor said. Projects include college campus buildings, flood mitigation, roads and bridges and a $44 million start on the renovation of the State Capitol building.