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Sunday, April 09, 2006 

The Week that Was

It was a pretty busy week in the world of Minnesota politics.

First, Rep. Jeff Johnson's eminent domain reform bill passed the House, sending it to a conference committee with Sen. Tom Bakk's bill, which passed a couple of weeks ago. The bills greatly tighten the restrictions on government's taking of private property for redevelopment purposes - in other words, it makes it harder for the government to take someone's property to give it to another private owner. It's good that this issue is being addressed - it seems clear that eminent domain abuses are all too common - but it's concerning that opponents say the bill could result in cities being unable to deal with urban ghettos. We'll see how the bill comes out of conference committee, and then how things play out over the long run. Protecting private property is good, but there is a legitimate purpose for eminent domain, and there is a balance that needs to be struck.

The Gopher stadium bill passed the House, 103-30, in a debate that lasted until almost 10 PM. The Senate hasn't taken up the issue yet and it's not clear when it will come to the floor for a vote. Even so, it's pretty likely that this will pass. The futures of the two other stadium proposals are less clear - there wasn't a whole lot of legislative opposition to the Gopher stadium (see the only 30 nay votes) but the Twins and Vikings stadiums will likely engender more. The difficulty in passing those proposals is greatly increased as we see that the Legislature is trying to get done early this year (via MN Politics). As the article says, even more than with the Gopher stadium, fiscal conservatives are going to have a fit.

Barack Obama was in town yesterday for the DFL's Humphrey Day dinner and an event in St. Louis Park. Apparently it went pretty well.

The battle for the Republican nomination in the 6th is getting ugly, mostly between Reps. Knoblach and Krinkie.

The GOP's amendment to ban gay marriage failed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A very small issue with "Molligator" - the only reason I mention this is that the person in question posted a comment on this blog earlier in the week.

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