Your Wednesday News Brief: May 16

By: News Director Shawn Campbell

ST. PAUL MN – The Republican-controlled Minnesota House is advancing a bill that would give Enbridge the go-ahead to build its Line 3 replacement pipeline in northern Minnesota.  Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll veto if it reaches his desk.  Opponents warn of potential damage to water quality and wild rice.  Clearbrook Republican Matt Grossell says the state had the best wild rice harvest in years and has the purest water in all of the Mississippi.  Grossell said on the House floor, “I’m tired of the people living in my district having jobs denied and jobs delayed… who depend on construction work to take care of their families.”  House Democratic Leader Melissa Hortman fired back, saying Republicans trumpet support for pipeline jobs while on the same day passing an undersized bonding bill for public works projects.  The Senate has not yet voted on the measure.

WASHINGTON DC – U-S Senator Amy Klobuchar is applauding passage of the bi-partisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Act she co-sponsored.  It will create a national cancer registry for firefighters diagnosed with the disease.  Klobuchar says with cancer becoming the leading cause of death for firefighters, we need to learn more about the cancer risks so we can support them if they get sick.  The C-D-C will monitor and study the impact of exposure to dangerous fumes and toxins and incidents of cancer in firefighters.  She says this legislation is the number-one goal of firefighter associations across the country.

BEMIDJI MN – Most of the northern Minnesota is under very high fire danger, according to the DNR. The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning. A Red Flag Warning means the area is experiencing extreme weather conditions that are ideal for wildfire, including dry vegetation and gusty winds. Do not burn while the Red Flag Warning remains in effect and check any burning done recently to ensure the fire is out. Any spark could become a wildfire under Red Flag conditions. Any fires that start have the potential for rapid growth. Warm and Dry conditions will continue until Thursday.

ST. PAUL MN – Governor Mark Dayton is still undecided about signing a bill that would get tough on protestors who demonstrate on highways and airport roads.  The legislation was approved Monday by the state Senate by a 40-to-27 vote.  The violation would go from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor.  That means people who protest on freeways could face up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of three-thousand dollars. Dayton says he supports the bill but is concerned about infringement on constitutional rights to free assembly.

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