FUSION COOLING: State legislators are still trying to make up their minds about how to comply with a court decree requiring that candidates be allowed to list several party affiliations on the Minnesota ballot. Legislation that would have allowed voters to state their party identification (by saying, for example, whether they voted for a candidate as DFLers or New Party supporters) is pretty well dead; now some lawmakers are trying to severely restrict who can qualify as a "minor party." Under the proposal, which could be voted on in the House this week, minor parties would have to get at least 1 percent of the statewide vote; that would exclude, for example, the New Party and the Greens, neither of which has run statewide candidates so far. (The Grassroots Party, by contrast, would do fine, having captured around 4.5 percent of the vote for state treasurer in both 1990 and 1994.) Minor-party activists are still hoping to defeat that proposal. Even so, they say another lawsuit to pry the ballot open is almost guaranteed. (Bauerlein)
NO SHREDDING: Gov. Arne Carlson has sent a letter to House and Senate leaders informing them that he will not sign any bill requiring Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) "on certain metal shredding projects in the Mississippi Critical Area." This is legislatese for northeast Minneapolis's proposed Kondirator and a similar proposal in St. Paul, both of which are bitterly opposed by their respective neighborhoods. Putting new hurdles in the projects' path, Carlson wrote, "is an abuse of the legislative process and may well subject taxpayers to a costly lawsuit." As it is, of course, lawsuits are still likely, only from the other side.
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