(St. Paul, MN) —  Minnesota Senate Democrats are fast-tracking extended unemployment benefits  — 26 weeks retroactive to last November — for workers at Cleveland Cliffs’ idled taconite plants in Silver Bay and Babbitt.   Silver Bay Mayor Wade LeBlanc told lawmakers it goes beyond economics.  He said, “the effects it has on our schools, the effects it has on our volunteer services such as fire departments, ambulance service, coaches.  It touches every aspect of the community.” Republican lawmakers raised concerns about length of benefits and employer participation, and are having discussions with Democrats.