Senate DFL Rolls Out First Bill Introductions

By KBJR News 1

January 10, 2013 Updated Jan 10, 2013 at 5:44 PM CST

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The DFL-led Minnesota Senate released its priorities in a number of bills at the Capitol Thursday, all promising to enhance the quality of life in the state.

The issues aren't the ones that always get the most attention, however, there is one that is peaking some extra interest.

One of the bills would repeal the sales tax exemption on articles of clothing costing more than $200 dollars.

However, that has yet to be introduced on the floor.

One bill introduced Thursday includes funding for statewide implementation of all-day kindergarten at all public schools. The author of the bill, Senator Greg Clausen of Apple Valley, says it would be voluntary for school districts and cost the state $170 million.

He points to studies that indicate all-day programs lead to students doing better academically.

Another bill aims to raise the state's minimum wage to $7.50 an hour for larger businesses.

Right Now Minnesota is one of four states with the minimum wage below the federal rate of $7.25.

"It addresses a basic value we hold in Minnesota, that honest hard working people deserve a fair and living wage, said the bill's author, Senator Chris Eaton (DFL - Brooklyn Center). "Whether it's a teen in a part time job or low income worker struggling to stretch each paycheck."

Senator Tom Bakk said it's possible some of these bills may never make it to the floor for discussion.

Lawmakers are sticking to their original message that the primary task this session is to shape a fair and responsible budget for the next biennium.

Kevin Jacobsen
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