Attempt to override fireworks veto fizzles

An attempt to revive the fireworks bill by overriding Gov. Mark Dayton's veto failed in the Senate on Thursday.

The vote means Dayton's veto stands. Last weekend, he vetoed a bill that would have legalized more powerful consumer fireworks such as rockets and firecrackers. Dayton said was concerned that such a move would cause more injuries and fires.

The Senate sponsor, Sen. Mike Jungbauer, R-East Bethel, had argued that fireworks that are already legal, such as sparklers, cause more injuries among children than the rockets included in his bill. But Sen. John Harrington, DFL-St. Paul, a former St. Paul police chief, said many laws are difficult to enforce but that does not mean they should be abandoned.

The vote was 37 to 29 to override the veto. However, 45 votes are needed in the 67-member Senate for an override.


Higher fees approved for hunters, anglers

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday signed a bill to increase fees for hunters and anglers and to create a new wolf- hunting season.

Under the new law, it will cost $22, not $17, to get a fishing license; $22, not $19, to purchase a small game license, and $30, not $26, to get a deer license. It is the first time that fees have increased in more than a decade. The new fees go into effect next year.

Minnesotans can also now get licenses to hunt wolves, which were recently delisted as a threatened species in the state, during a new wolf- hunting season. According to the Department of Natural Resources, "Minnesota has a population of about 3,000 gray wolves, the largest population in the Lower 48 states."


Per-diem spending is over budget in House

The Minnesota House has already spent more for per diem -- the daily expense payments that legislators get -- than it had budgeted for the year.

And the session goes on.

The House budgeted $663,095 for per diem expenses. It has already spent $669,257.

House leaders had planned to end the session by April 30 but have gone past that self-imposed deadline. It's not clear now when the session will end.

Being over budget won't mean that members will stop getting daily expense payments, House Republican spokesman Jodi Boyne said. The House is under budget in some other areas, so members will be taken care of.

"There is enough money to handle the additional per-diem costs," Boyne said