Benefits for partners of all state employees, regardless of the sex of their partners and possibly regulating mining for fracking sand will be on the 2013 Minnesota legislative agenda according to Governor Mark Dayton.
Dayton told reporters that he wants to include same-sex benefits in the next state employee union contract. The benefits were there under Governor Jesse Ventura but removed when Tim Pawlenty was Governor. DFL House and Senate leaders indicated if the same-sex benefits were included in the contract, the legislature would likely approve them. Senate Minority Leader-designate David Hann said he would oppose those benefits.
Dayton says the issue of mining and trucking sand for oil fracking will be a “huge” issue for the legislature. Sand for fracking is mined in Wisconsin and Minnesota and trucked to North Dakota where it is used to extract oil. Dayton and DFL leaders say there are environmental concerns that needs to be addressed.
Above: video on same-sex benefits. Below: video on fracking sand.
Video of full press briefing:
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and leaders of the Minnesota House and Senate from both parties answer questions from the press about the upcoming 2013 legislative session.
Governor Mark Dayton. House Speaker-designate Representative Paul Thissen (DFL), Senate Majority Leader-designate Senator Tom Bakk (DFL), House Minority Leader-designate Representative Kurt Daudt (R) , Senate Minority Leader-designate Senator David Hann (R).