ST. PAUL (AP) -- One more little gadget for Minnesota anglers got the nod of the Senate, just a few days after senators voted to keep lighted jigs illegal in Minnesota.
The bill to legalize the tiny lures has taken a winding road to the desk of Gov. Jesse Ventura.
The proposal originally passed the Senate 63-1, but then state officials expressed concern that the battery that lights the jig contained mercury. Even after a provision was added that the batteries could contain no mercury, the Senate voted Friday to defeat the proposal. Some lawmakers argued that fishing aids deplete fish populations.
''It seems to me that we are incrementally taking away any kind of advantage the fish has,'' said Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe, DFL-Erskine.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Pat Pariseau, R-Farmington, said bag limits were the way the state dealt with declining fish populations -- not restricting types of lures or other fishing aids.
''It's not a slippery slope, people,'' Pariseau said. ''It's just another jig.''
Last week's vote was reconsidered and senators agreed 40-23 to allow the jigs to be used in Minnesota. They are made by an Apple Valley man and are legal in most other states.
The bill now needs Ventura's signature.
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