Primaries and Gambling This Week in the Legislature


It is a light week for legislators at the Capitol. Both the House and Senate are in session this Monday. There are a few key bills making its way through the legislature the first week of May:

The Committee on Finance is meeting in room 1200 of the Minnesota Senate Building at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016. Senator Ann Rest (D-New Hope) is seeking to change the way that Minnesotan’s vote for their presidential nominee. The Presidential Primary Establishment bill seeks to convert Untitled design (2)Minnesota from a caucus state to a primary state. The issue, which has caused division within the GOP and DFL respectively, has hit a new level after the March 1st caucus. After the GOP had a record-breaking turnout and the DFL with similar results, many volunteers and activists within the parties are calling for a change in the system.

If passed, the primary would operate just like the state primary with separate ballots for each party. Voters must identify with the party they choose to vote for and their choice becomes a matter of public voter information. Caucuses will have to meet at a later date as voting results will bind delegates according to their party. The Secretary of State’s office will have to reimburse voting center expenses for conducting the primary and a one-time allocation of $111,000 will be given to the Secretary of State’s office for computer programming costs.

Senator LeRoy Stumpf (D-Plummer) will be presenting the U of M school-furniture-education-universitybond issue and appropriation for various University projects and opportunities on Tuesday in the Finance Committee
hearing. The bill seeks $100,000,000 be sent to the Board of Regents for higher education asset preservation and replacement. The bill will allow the sale of bonds up to $100,000,000.

Senator Sandra Pappas (D-St.Paul) will also present the Fantasy Sports Game Requirements and Authorizations bill to the Finance Committee on Tuesday. The bill will require that individuals and relatives of those who work for fantasy game companies that require an entry fee with a cash prize be banned from participating. The site must verify that contestants are over 18 years of age.  The passage of the bill prevents fantasy sports betting from being banned in Minnesota.

The bill, should it pass, will also require measures to prevent gambling addiction. The fantasy site will have to include a wood-sport-football-rugbypublic service announcement about gambling addictions and compulsive behavior and list resources on where to get help. The site will also have to create a service to customers that allow players to ban themselves from playing at any time via phone, web, or online chat.

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