News & Features
Session 2002

The public safety debate at the Minnesota Legislature has usually been about crime and cops. Now, it's about terrorism. Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the federal government has passed several laws and changed others to widen the government's authority to investigate people deemed potential terrorists. State anti-terrorism measures could include broadening wiretapping authority and limiting public access to information.

•Extending closing time at bars. Guests: Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis and Sen. Edward Oliver, R-Deephaven. Listen (Midmorning - 3/28/02)

•House vs. Senate versions of anti-terrorism bills. Listen. (Midmorning - 3/22/02)

•Terrorism and civil rights. Listen. (Midday - 2/14/02)
Gov. Ventura announces anti-terrorism plan (1/31/02)
Sen. Jane Ranum on concealed handgun legislation (Midday - 1/29/02)
Public Safety Commissioner Charlie Weaver (Midday - 1/29/02)

War on Terrorism (MPR coverage)

Public Safety
Anti-Terrorism This was the bill that held up a timely end to lawmakers' last day of work. House and Senate negotiators tried for weeks to reconcile differences in the two sides' proposals, but ultimately couldn't find an acceptable compromise. The biggest hangup was whether to put more restrictions on the drivers' licenses of foreigners with temporary visas. They decided early Sunday morning to drop everything they hadn't agreed on and pass a bare-bones funding package for training and equipment.

Concealed Carry - Efforts to change the laws surrounding handgun permits stalled. The Senate was the only obstacle to a change in law, but nothing happened on the issue for months. A bill that was brought up early in the year would allow most law-abiding, mentally competent adults who pass a background check and undergo training to get permits. Current law gives discretion to local law enforcement officials in granting the permits when applicants can prove they need concealed carry for their job or personal safety.

Latest News at the Capitol on this Issue

Ventura signs anti-terrorism bill
May 22 - Gov. Jesse Ventura on Wednesday signed the Legislature's last-ditch compromise on anti-terrorism initiatives, saying it didn't go far enough, but that every little bit helps. The final bill was a shadow of what lawmakers discussed at the beginning of session. When it passed the Legislature Sunday morning, nearly all that remained in the measure was $13 million for training and equipment for emergency workers.

More Capitol Reports on this Issue

Ventura says legislators have made Minnesota vulnerable to terrorists (3/7/02)
Anti-terrorism bills spark civil rights debate (2/14/02)
Ventura proposes $16 million in four-year anti-terrorism plan (1/30/02)
Guns, gambling likely to spark legislative debate. (1/27/02)
Legislature to consider anti-terrorism bills (12/17/01)