Minnesota is being called a leader when it comes to restricting the use of pesticides that environmentalists say hurt bees. Governor Mark Dayton has ordered the broadest restrictions in the country on the use chemicals known as neonicotinoids.
Minnesota’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a pair of cases that will decide if two Minneapolis charter amendments will be on this November’s general election ballot. One amendment calls for raising the minimum wage; the other proposes using higher insurance premiums as a way to reduce police misconduct.
The City of Minneapolis is making the appeal on the minimum wage issue. Hennepin County District Court Judge Susan Robiner had ruled it was an appropriate topic for a charter amendment. The Minneapolis City Council had refused to put it on the ballot based on the advice of the city attorney, who said it was an ordinance disguised as a charter amendment. Minneapolis’ charter says only the city council may pass ordinances.
The charter amendment would gradually raise the minimum wage for large businesses to $15 an hour by the year 2020. For businesses with less than 500 employees, the minimum wage wouldn’t hit $15 an hour until 2022.
The Committee for Professional Policing, an advocacy group that gathered signatures to put the police liability insurance charter amendment on the ballot, is making the appeal in that case. Judge Robiner had ruled the amendment could not go on the ballot because it conflicted with existing state law, something supporters says it does not.
The court is moving quickly because of looming election deadlines. The group promoting the police insurance amendment says Hennepin County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms told them a ruling by September 2 would still allow their amendment a spot on the November 8 ballot.
Early voting starts on September 23.
Replay of minimum wage arguments
Replay of police liability amendment arguments
Minnesota's highest court will decide if two proposed Minneapolis charter amendments will be on the ballot. One amendment calls for raising the minimum wage, the other proposes using higher insurance premiums as a way to reduce police misconduct.
Supporters of a higher minimum wage are are focused on winning votes in Minneapolis, while the city's attorney is racing the clock to stop the issue from going on the ballot.