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News from the Legislature

Cheeseburger bill passes

The Legislature says Minnesotans can eat all the cheeseburgers they want, they just can't sue because those greasy creations made them fat.

Senators passed the measure 34-31 late Sunday, days after the House voted in favor of it 76-56.

Officially known as the Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act, the bill now heads to the governor's office for his signature or veto.

This is the first time in seven tries that Rep. Dean Urdahl's bill has passed the Legislature. The Grove City Republican's proposal does not allow lawsuits to be filed against companies by people who claim food or nonalcoholic drinks made them gain weight.

Invasive fight

Lawmakers have sent the governor a bill including provisions to fight invasive aquatic species such as Asian carp and zebra mussels.

The House passed the bill 82-49 Monday over objections of Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, and others who called the bill heavy handed on people like boaters. The bill requires boaters to clean their boats so invasive species cannot be moved from one body of water to another.

"This is the one step forward, four steps backward bill," Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, said.

Next year set

The Minnesota Legislature will have to return to work at some point, probably this summer, but has set its next regular session to begin at noon Jan. 24, 2012. Legislative leaders say they plan to adjourn next year by April 4.

Earlier, the plan was not to convene until March.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.