Repeal state laws that allow less than minimum wage to be paid to Minnesotans with disabilities -- that's the objective of a bill being introduced today (Mon) in the House. Noah McCourt with the "4 Cents Per Hour" Coalition has high-functioning autism and says: "So often (for) people with disabilities, there's very little expected of us. The standards are oftentimes lowered, even though we can do a lot more than people allow us to do." McCourt says individualized plans would help people with disabilities get training and match them up with better jobs. He argues society will get a clear return [...]
Advocates of legalizing recreational marijuana will be at the State Capitol today (TUE) calling on lawmakers to take action. Leila Fatehi with Minnesotans for Responsible Marijuana Legislation says this is an election year and... "All the seats are up, we think Minnesotans have been making a pretty clear indication that their both ready for legalization and even among those that are not sure they're ready for legalization, that they want to see their legislators having those conversations." Senate Republicans strongly opposing legalizing recreational marijuana. Recreational pot sales are already legal in 11 states. Use of medical cannabis for qualifying conditions became [...]
A fatal accident is reported in Freeborn County. According to the State Patrol, the crash involved a semi and a car. The names and who was killed has not yet been released. The Patrol says the crash happened on Highway 13 and County Road 14 in Manchester Township just before three Monday afternoon. Road conditions were listed as wet at the time of the crash. The driver of the car involved is a 16-year-old from Alden. The driver of the semi is a 57-year-old from Waseca. More details will be released later this morning according to the State Patrol.
DFL Representative Rena Moran of St. Paul is presenting a bill in committee this morning (starts 8am) that aims to mandate that working mothers receive six weeks of unpaid maternity leave after 90 days of employment--rather than after a year. "This is really about looking at how this issue can create a public health crisis when women are forced to return to work immediately after giving birth." Moran says the proposal is an improvement on the parameters of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA)--which have loopholes that deem some contractors, part-time employees, temporary employees [...]
MINNEAPOLIS (Star Tribune) — The girlfriend of a man found dead in a Minneapolis apartment is being held on possible charges in his death. The Star Tribune reports the man was fatally stabbed Saturday in the apartment he shared with the woman. Friends identify the victim as 39-year-old Joseph “Moochie" McRunnel. Police were called to the apartment for “unknown trouble." McRunnel was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center where he died. Police say the 35-year-old woman was first taken to a detox facility and then booked into jail pending possible charges this week.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A trailer that contained equipment for a Twin Cities high school robotics team has been recovered after it was stolen early Sunday. The trailer belongs to the St. Paul Highland Park team. Dubbed the Automatons, they spent the first six weeks of the new year building a robot from scratch. The robot was not in the trailer when it was stolen. The trailer was headed to an impound lot Sunday afternoon but it’s unclear what equipment needs replacing. The theft comes just weeks before a major regional competition. An online campaign has raised $2,500 to help [...]
In a letter, U.S. Senator Tina Smith is asking Amazon to address the continued rise of work-related injuries. She says it's time large companies put people ahead of profits: "One of the things the federal government should be doing is making sure that companies are living up to their obligations to provide safe workplaces. So that's why I am pushing this." Smith says reports show fulfillment centers like the one in Shakopee indicate work-related injuries at Amazon are higher than other private sector employee's, and the warehouse industry as a whole. Amazon didn't respond to our request for comment.
As state lawmakers consider ways to help the process of getting all Minnesotans REAL ID-compliant by the fall deadline, director of Driver and Vehicle Services Emma Corrie assures: "My team, our commitment to you and to all Minnesotans is that on October 1st, 2020, not one Minnesotans can say "I did not know about REAL ID." Lawmakers are concerned about application backlogs and general public awareness that in order for Minnesotans to get on an airplane starting October 1st, they will need a REAL ID--or its equivalent. Right now, about 12-and-a-half percent of Minnesotans are REAL-ID ready.
The big-ticket item for the legislature is the bonding bill and how to spend the money. Mankato Representative Jack Considine says infrastructure is a big priority for him. He says another big topic is increasing pay for home health aide workers.
State Rep. Jeremy Munson (R - Lake Crystal) invites constituents to an upcoming Town Hall Meeting to discuss the 2020 Minnesota legislative session, that began last week. The meeting will give citizens an opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, and share ideas about issues important to them. The non-partisan meeting is free to attend and open to the public and the press. It will be held at the following time and location: When: Friday, February 21, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Where: Mapleton Community Center