Closing the Loophole that Allowed Coffee Masturbater John Lind to Walk

Ramsey County
Police say Lind admitted ejaculating in his co-worker's coffee on at least two occasions, but charges were dropped because of a loophole in state law
John Lind is the pervert who allegedly admitted to police he ejaculated into his co-worker's coffee on at least two occasions last year.

The co-worker, who he had a crush on, caught him in the act on August 26. A week later he was charged with fifth-degree sexual assault for the disgusting crime.

See also:
Charges Dismissed Against John Lind, the Guy Who Allegedly Ejaculated in His Coworker's Coffee

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Handicapping the Odds of Minnesota Becoming Freer, From Sunday Liquor to Sports Gambling

Do any of these bills have a shot at passing?
Legislators from the libertarian right and free-spirited left have teamed up this year to author a variety of bills aimed at legalizing stuff Minnesotans want.

The big one every year is Sunday alcohol sales, which by all accounts has its best chance in years of passing. There's also legislation in the works that would legalize fireworks, sports gambling, slot machines at airports, and experimental drugs for cancer patients.

Could Minnesota be on the cusp of becoming a much more fun (and dare we say free?) place to live? Let's set some odds.

See also:
Four Bill Aimed at Giving Minnesotans What They Want: Sunday Liquor Sales

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Dayton's Huge Pay Raises Spark Year's First Legislative Slap Fight

Official state photos. From L to R: Rep. Peterson, Gov. Dayton, Rep. Anderson
Ahhhh, politics
Last week Gov. Mark Dayton's private decision to give each of the the state's 26 commissioners and agency heads massive, five-figure raises became public, which set off the best round of petty political slap-fighting we've seen since, well, last year.

There've been passive aggressive open letters -- so many letters! -- political hardball, and some classic mudslinging. Let's all take a deep breath and examine the anatomy of our state's robust political discourse:

See also:
Gov. Dayton Isn't Running For Reelection So He Gave Huge Raises to His Top Employees

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Degenerates Rejoice! Legislator Pushing for Legalized Sports Gambling

Daniel Ramirez via Flickr
Legislators are already trying to legalize better fireworks, Sunday liquor sales and a lower drinking age. Now we can add gambling on sports to the mix.

On Thursday state Rep. Phyllis Kahn will introduce a bill challenging another unreasonable ban the hardworking masses don't support.

See also:
Phyllis Kahn Want to Allow 18-Year-Olds to Drink at Bars

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Some Republicans Say Walkers and Bikers Should Pay Extra Fee to Use State Trails

Doug Kerr via Flickr
The tax and spend GOP is at it again
Republicans sitting on the House Environment and Natural Resources committee are sick of freeloading walkers and bikers using state trails for free.

Rep. Tony Cornish channeled his inner Ron Swanson during a hearing Wednesday, calling for an extra fee for trail users. He envisions people paying to "attach a sticker on the back of the bike, or a pass on the back of your shirt or a patch on your leotard or whatever they wear on those bikes," according to MPR.

See also:
A One-Mile Bike Path With a $9.2 Million Price Tag

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Phyllis Kahn Wants to Allow 18-Year-Olds to Drink at Bars

Jess Johnson via Flickr
Do we want 18-year-olds drinking at bars?
A coalition of Democrats and Republicans in the state House are trying to get Minnesota's drinking age lowered back down to 18 -- but only in bars.

Phyllis Kahn, the chief author of bill, says a 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare opened the door for states to stray from the federally-mandated 21-year-old drinking age.

See also: How About That National 21 Drinking Age?

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Bill Legalizing Exploding, Aerial Fireworks In Minnesota Introduced Today

Jon DeJong via Flickr
We'd really have no reason to venture into Wisconsin anymore if this and Sunday liquor sales passes
Minnesota recently legalized gay marriage and medical marijuana; how about Sunday liquor sales and better fireworks this year?

Five state senators -- four GOP and one DFL -- introduced a bill today that would legalize the sale of "aerial and audible" fireworks in Minnesota.

See also:
Katy Perry's "Firework" Used to Promote Legalizing Bottle Rockets in Minnesota

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Convicted Felons Have the Best Chance in Years to Gain Right to Vote in Minnesota

Emily Baxter
An estimated 200 people attended a Restore the Vote rally yesterday near the Capitol
This year libertarian and Tea Party conservatives joined ultra-liberal organizations like the ACLU and Take Action MN to create a loud, formidable coalition with the best shot in years of restoring voting rights to convicted felons on probation or parole.

Right now Minnesota is one of 30 states that does not allow convicted felons to vote until they are completely off of parole and/or probation. Out of 57,000 convicted felons living in Minnesota, 47,000 of them cannot vote.

Liberals say barring people from voting when they're trying to get their life back together after prison is counterproductive; pushing them back to the margins where crime and recidivism lurks. For conservatives, it's about liberty and taxes.

See also:
Robert Stewart, a Doctoral Student Is One of Thousands Who Can't Vote in 2014 Election

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"Right to Try" Bill Would Allow Dying Patients to Use Experimental Drugs

Victor via Flickr
"Everyone has the natural, constitutional right to try to save their own life so long as they don't infringe on someone else's rights."
Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar last year for his role in Dallas Buyer's Club, where he played Ron Woodruff, an activist who smuggled experimental AIDS drugs up from Mexico in the 1980s.

Not only did the film cement McConaughey's unlikely evolution into a legitimate actor, it also kickstarted a national legislative movement to make it easier for terminally ill patients to get a hold of experimental drugs. Five states signed the first so-called "right to try" bills into law last year, and Minnesota's version will be introduced in a Senate committee on Wednesday.

See also:
Minnesota's Camel Milk Black Market

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New MNvest Bill Would Take Homegrown Crowdfunding to the Next Level

MNvest Facebook
It's like Kickstarter, except instead of donations for goods or services anyone could buy dividend-paying shares in a venture
A new bill introduced in the state Senate last week would allow anyone in Minnesota to support homegrown entrepreneurs by buying a piece of their idea or company.

It's like Kickstarter on steroids. Kickstarter allows backers to prepay for goods or services. This initiative, called MNvest, would legalize crowdfunding equity. Backers buy a stake of an idea, product, or company by purchasing dividend-paying shares to help finance entrepreneurial dreams.

See also:
"Common Man" Dan Cole Documentary Is On Kickstarter

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