With the Minnesota Legislature set to reconvene on Tuesday, Fox 9 News spoke with David Schultz, professor of political science at Hamline University, to learn what issues will be on the 2014 docket.
BIGGEST ISSUE: BONDING
According to Schultz, the No. 1 priority lawmakers have this year will be to pass a bonding bill.
"The bonding bill is the money that the state is going to use to build … new schools, roads, highways," Schultz explained. "This stuff is not overly sexy, but it's really important -- especially to local communities that might need a new convention hall, might need a new school. So, that's the most important thing they need to because it not only replaces infrastructure, but it means jobs."
ISSUES TO WATCH
Although the kick-off to the new session may seem a bit subdued, even those who don't consider themselves to be political wonks might be curious about some of the hot-button issues lawmakers will address this year. Schultz anticipates some will include:
- Anti-bullying legislation
- Minimum wage hike
- Sunday liquor sales
- Medical marijuana
- Reforms to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program
'FIX THE FIX' FOR VIKINGS STADIUM
Another issue Schultz plans to keep an eye on is the Vikings stadium funding. Since electronic pull-tabs failed to provide their projected revenue, lawmakers came up with a short-term fix -- but it won't last.
"They've got to come back and up with a more permanent solution for how the state's going to pay its share of the Vikings stadium," Schultz said.