Jena Bush Warms Up For for Fun White house Wedding and GOP Convention Antics
ST. PAUL (AP) ―
Beer taps, wine corkscrews and martini shakers should get an extra workout during the Republican National Convention thanks to state legislation that pushes bar closing time out by two hours.
The Minnesota Legislature approved a compromise bill Thursday that would let local governments in the seven-county Twin Cities area allow liquor dispensing until 4 a.m. during the convention's run.
The current cutoff time for bars is 2 a.m.
From August 31 to September 5, bars could stay open the extra time if their cities give the OK. The local governments would be allowed to charge special permit fees of up to $2,500.
The Senate approved the bill on a 42-20 vote and the House fell in line with a 112-22 vote, forwarding the bill to Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
Pawlenty, a prominent supporter of presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, said he won't get in the way."No good happens after bar closing time," he said. "But for one week, for this purpose, I think it's fine."
“One of our pitches is to prove to them we are a fun city, the funnest in the country and a 24-hour city,” Hanson said. “That means providing opportunities for them to socialize and enjoy our city as much as possible.” Spokesperson from Minneapolis.
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Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said the governor would veto the bill if it reached him in the current form.
Under the plan, the bottom hourly wage for workers at large employers would go up 60 cents to $6.75 in mid-July and climb another dollar a year later. Businesses with annual sales above $625,000 are considered large employers.
Smaller employers would have to pay workers at least $5.75 an hour beginning this July and $6.75 by July 2009. The current minimum wage for them is $5.25 per hour.
House and Senate negotiators said Wednesday they met Pawlenty more than halfway by settling on a lower wage than originally proposed and by pulling out an automatic escalator that would cause the minimum wage to rise on its own in future years.
Rep. Tom Rukavina, the lead House sponsor, also urged the Republican governor to reconsider his stance, citing his upbringing in a blue-collar household.
"I'm hoping that he remembers his roots and where he came from and protects these lowest-paid workers in the state," said Rukavina, DFL-Virginia. "After all, he's protected the highest-paid workers in the state."
Pawlenty rebukes Archbishop's Birthday Wish:
St. Paul, Minn. — Archbishop Flynn says he is not an economist, but he is concerned about the dignity of people.
Flynn supports a bill passed by the Minnesota House this week that would increase the state's current minimum wage of $6.15 an hour by 75 cents in July. The archbishop says people shouldn't need a second or third job to make ends meet.
"True human dignity means that people not only focus on their material survival, but that they have time and opportunity to participate in their social, cultural, and spiritual development as well," Flynn said.
Archbishop Flynn says Minnesota does better than many states on several quality of life indicators. He says the minimum wage should reflect those values.
The state Senate passed a different version of a minimum wage bill last year, and a conference committee will meet next week to try to reach a compromise.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said he favors an increase in the state's minimum wage, but he can't support the House bill since it contains an automatic inflation increase.