This Hour: Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment
Minn. House backs nursing home pay hike
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota House has voted to give nursing home workers in the state a 5% pay increase.
The pay hike is included in a broader, $6 billion a year budget for health and human services programs that the House passed Friday night by a party-line vote of 73-61. It's 1 of the biggest chunks of state spending and includes funding for services for the poor, elderly and disabled. The Democratic-drafted bill trims spending on such programs by $50 million compared to projected demand for the services, which is a smaller reduction than DFL legislative leaders wanted but bigger than sought by Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.
It's the first pay increase for nursing home workers in four years. The bill also has a smaller, 1% hike for care workers for the disabled. Republicans said that raise should be higher.
The bill awaits a final vote in the Senate.
Minn. Senate backs U of M, MNSCU tuition freezes
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Legislature has sent Governor Mark Dayton a bill that freezes tuition rates at the state's public colleges and universities for the next two years.
The Senate and House passed the higher education budget Friday with bipartisan support. It includes a $250 million spending increase, with more than half the increase going to pay for the tuition freezes at University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities campuses.
The bill includes new money to increase the number of students who get state grants to help pay for college. It also makes children of immigrants who are undocumented eligible for resident tuition rates at state colleges and universities.
Republicans who voted against the bill say the University of Minnesota hasn't demonstrated responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
LAWMAKER PAY HIKES
Minn. House passes lawmaker pay hike panel
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota House has approved a 2016 constitutional amendment that would take decisions about legislative pay raises out of the hands of lawmakers themselves.
The House passed the amendment on Friday by a 69-62 vote. If put on the ballot and passed by voters, it would create a legislative pay council appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the Supreme Court.
The council's members would be split equally between the two political parties, and could not include current or former legislators. House Republicans criticized Democrats for bringing up the issue in the session's final days before finishing the state budget.
The state Senate passed a bill to give lawmakers their first pay raise in more than a decade, but that with criticism. The House vote sent the amendment to the Senate for a final vote.
Minn. House defeats construction projects bill
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota House has defeated an $800 million construction projects bill that failed to win a needed super-majority.
The bill is a rare area where Republican held veto power. Because it involves long-term state debt, it required 81 votes to pass. It got 76 votes on Friday when three Republicans joined all Democrats in supporting.
Democratic Representative Alice Hausman, the bill's sponsor, says with time running short on session there may not be another attempt. But nothing is truly out of play until the final gavel falls on Monday.
The state Capitol renovation project was the largest in the bill, consuming $109 million. Those overseeing the building work say the money is needed this year to avoid costly delays.
NORTH DAKOTA VS MINNESOTA
ND billboards meant to attract Minnesota consumers
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota is promoting its business climate at Minnesota's expense, and some politicians are not happy about it.
The Greater North Dakota Chamber has created billboards that mock proposals in the Minnesota Legislature, including bills that would raise certain taxes.
The first billboard went up Thursday along Interstate 94 in Moorhead, Minn., which is across the Red River from Fargo. It reads "NORTH DAKOTA" on the top line and "OPEN FOR BUSINESS" on the bottom.
Moorhead City Council member Mark Hintermeyer says he considers the message unproductive and confrontational and wants the sign taken down immediately.
North Dakota Chamber President Andy Peterson says 1 of the objectives of the campaign is to help Minnesota improve its business environment. He says that would benefit the entire region.
Body recovered in Bemidji IDed as missing man
BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - The Ramsey County medical examiner's office has identified a body recovered from a Beltrami County lake as that of a missing man.
Bemidji (beh-MIHJ'-ee) police say the body was confirmed as that of 31-year-old Matt Pulis, who disappeared last October. The medical examiner determined that Pulis drowned.
With the snow melted and lakes free of ice, Bemidji police enlisted the help of a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter Thursday in the search for Pulis. That's when the body was discovered in Lake Irving.
The Bemidji Pioneer says Pulis' family met with law enforcement officers later Thursday.
Bartender charged after man, 20, drowns in Minn.
MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota bartender is charged with serving alcohol to an underage customer who drowned in a nearby pond after leaving the bar last month.
The Hennepin County sheriff's office says 21-year-old Rebekah Thomas of Maple Grove was charged Friday with selling liquor to someone under 21, a gross misdemeanor.
The sheriff's office says an investigation found that Thomas had served alcohol to 20-year-old Andrew Pitts of Brooklyn Park without asking for identification.
Witnesses told investigators that Pitts was a friend of Thomas. Pitts left the Maple Grove bar, walked onto a pond and fell through the ice April 26th.
The Star Tribune reports Pitts was underwater at least an hour before divers found him. He died at a hospital.
A home phone number for Thomas could not be found.
Police ID man killed in Duluth bike crash
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Duluth police have released the name of a 36-year-old man who died after crashing his bicycle into a pole.
Officers saw Koantonio Dean Farley of Duluth riding his bicycle at a high rate of speed in downtown Duluth Wednesday. Police say Farley had crossed the street and was trying to go up a ramp when he hit a pole.
The officers provided first aid and the cyclist was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he later died.
Police say Farley was not wearing a helmet. He originally was from the Chicago area.
Forest Service contractor killing by falling tree
ELY, Minn. (AP) - A man working for the U.S. Forest Service has been killed by a falling tree in northeastern Minnesota.
Lake County sheriff's officials say 59-year-old Douglas Harris of Wayzata (wy-ZET'-uh) was cutting down trees near Ely (EE'-lee) Thursday afternoon when he wasn't able to get out of the way of a falling tree.
WDIO-TV reports Harris was pronounced dead at the hospital in Ely.
TRIPLE SHOOTING-BROOKLYN PARK
Mo. man gets life for triple killing at Minn. home
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota judge has sentenced a Missouri man to life in prison without parole for the fatal shootings of a Brooklyn Park home day-care provider and her elderly parents last year.
Hennepin County Judge Todd Barnette Friday gave 35-year-old Eddie Mosley three consecutive life sentences without parole.
Barnette had found Mosley guilty Thursday in the killings of 59-year-old DeLois Brown, a home day-care provider, and her parents, 83-year-old James Bolden Senior and 81-year-old Clover Bolden, 81, at Brown's house.
Prosecutors argued Mosley drove from his home in St. Louis to Brooklyn Park intending to kill a girl he was accused of sexually assaulting in Minnesota, but the girl was not at Brown's home.
The Star Tribune reports Mosley declined to comment before sentencing. His attorney says Mosley maintains his innocence.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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