Do Dayton, DFL deserve credit for MN's high rank in CNBC's Top States For Business?

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Somewhere, Tim Pawlenty shakes his head...
The Dayton administration is crowing after Minnesota clocked in with a sixth-place finish in CNBC's Top States For Business 2014 list.

Matt Swenson, Dayton's press secretary, drew reporters' attention to the study yesterday, writing in an email, "Members of the Press - I wanted to make sure you saw this news release issued by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) this afternoon. CNBC just named Minnesota the 6th-best place to do business in the United States."

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Mark Dayton backtracks on comments about tipped employees making lower minimum wage [AUDIO]

Categories: Mark Dayton
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Somewhere, Tom Emmer smiles.
In a controversy reminiscent of the one the governor embroiled himself in this spring when he ill-advisedly suggested Minnesotans who want medical marijuana simply buy pot off the street, Mark Dayton is now backing off remarks he made about Minnesota's minimum wage during a meeting with the Rochester Post-Bulletin's editorial board last week.

Asked about Minnesota's new, higher minimum wage, Dayton said, "It may be that we have to fine-tune it. I understand my sons' frustration with the tip credit issue. They make a very articulate case."

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Mark Dayton doesn't take credit for Minnesota's $1.2 billion surplus... sort of


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Jeff Johnson is the only Republican candidate for governor who supports medical marijuana

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Dank Depot
Medical marijuana activists see the state's new law as only the beginning of broader reform. They've vowed to continue fighting at the Capitol and extend coverage to thousands more Minnesotans.

Success or failure depends not only on the stamina of such activists, but on the outcome of this fall's elections, particularly in the race for governor. Of course, a lot can happen in a year. But it's worth considering where the remaining candidates stand on this single issue to get a better sense of the difficulty of the task ahead.

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How the MN Board of Pharmacy advocated for and against medical marijuana research



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Mark Dayton previews reelection case on BuzzFeed

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Upon first blush, you might think the listicle Gov. Mark Dayton wrote for BuzzFeed Community ("26 More Reasons To Love Minnesota") is nothing more than a fun little piece meant to promote our in-love-with-lists state.

But look closer and you'll see the outlines of the governor's reelection case amid much silliness about the Mall of America, white Christmases, Bob Dylan, and so forth.

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Legislators send conservative medical marijuana bill to governor's desk over lone protest

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Dr. Ed Ehlinger, MN public health commissioner
A committee of Minnesota legislators chaired by Sen. Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) voted 5-1 Thursday on a single medical marijuana bill that more closely resembles the ultra-conservative House version.

In less than a week, Dibble went from lobbying for his cheaper and more inclusive bill to giving in almost entirely to Rep. Carly Melin's (DFL-Hibbing) bill, which pleases both law enforcement and Gov. Mark Dayton.

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Mark Dayton will sign medical marijuana compromise into law



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Medical marijuana smoking ban would essentially be enforced on honor system

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Dayton is worried medical marijuana will actually be used for recreational purposes.
As a conference committee tries to hash out (pardon the pun) a medical marijuana compromise, one issue that's already been agreed upon is that Minnesota's medical marijuana system won't allow patients to actually smoke marijuana.

The House bill doesn't even allow patients to get their hands on plant-form marijuana, while the Senate version allows patients to leave a dispensary with up to 2.5 ounces. Once patients return home, they'd be prohibited from smoking the stuff, but enforcement of that provision would basically boil down to the honor system. (For a nice breakdown of the differences between the House and Senate version of the bill, click here.)

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Scott Dibble: the Senate medical marijuana bill is better, and here's why


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Dusty Trice breaks down MN medical marijuana bills in colorful infographics

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Dusty Trice
Dusty Trice was enjoying a career in political organizing before a tumor knocked him off his feet. Though benign, it had grown to the size of a quarter and was wedged against his spine. For hours he would lay on the floor just to build up the strength to go see a movie.

Then about a year ago he left Minnesota for California in search of medical marijuana.

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Still doubting citizen journalism? Meet Dusty Trice.



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Scott Dibble: the Senate medical marijuana bill is better, and here's why

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Sen. Scott Dibble speaks with reporters
The fight for medical marijuana moves this week to a conference committee, where two very different bills must be reconciled into one package before dropping on Gov. Mark Dayton's desk.

Dayton has suggested that he's more inclined to sign the House version, which Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) reshaped into an "observational study," over the Senate version -- a prospect that alarms many patients and activists.

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MN House passes medical marijuana bill with overwhelming support


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Another survey says Minnesotans want medical marijuana

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Dank Depot
A bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use has been debated and tweaked since it was first introduced late last spring. But the one thing that's held steady is popular support.

Further proof came last week when KSTP-TV released the results of polling conducted through SurveyUSA. The research firm asked 543 registered voters whether medical marijuana should be legal and found overwhelming support: 68 percent of Minnesotans said yes and 24 percent said no.

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Public health commissioner testifies against medical marijuana bill



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Public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger testifies against senate medical marijuana bill

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In front are Sen. Scott Dibble, left, and Minnesota public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger
The senate version of a bill that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Minnesota got its first hearing Thursday, undergoing two hours of testimony and proving that the issue is not dead. Time ran out before members of the Health, Human Services and Housing Committee could vote, but they plan to resume discussion when they return from Easter/Passover break.

The hearing came less than 48 hours after Gov. Mark Dayton lamented that legislators have "hidden behind their desks" while he's been portrayed as the sole voice of opposition. His corner has grown to include more than one member of his own cabinet, including the state's public health commissioner Ed Ehlinger, who would play a large role in Minnesota's medical marijuana program if ever established.

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Gov. Dayton proposes replacing medical marijuana bill with health studies



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