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Looks like courts will again re-draw MN political district boundaries to reflect 2020 census

By |2022-01-28T06:03:24-06:00January 28th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

It looks like -- as analysts predict -- the courts will again draw new legislative and congressional district boundaries in Minnesota, with no clear signs of agreement between House Democrats and Senate Republicans and only about two weeks to the February 15th deadline.  Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller says he's had some discussions with House Speaker Melissa Hortman, but... "It's gonna be a challenge.  I'm not quite sure that it's gonna get done, but we are having discussions and if we can get there we'll do it.  If not, then it'll be up to the courts." Split control of the Minnesota [...]

State of Tobacco Control 2020 Report

By |2022-01-28T06:01:33-06:00January 28th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

The American Lung Association’s 20th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report, finds that Minnesota had mixed progress on passing policies to reduce and prevent commercial tobacco use, including e-cigarettes: Spokeswoman Pat McKone: "We are doing mediocre with our tobacco taxes. And we are failing in two categories and that is with the amount of funding that goes to our programs that address prevention. And also a new category, and that is restricting access to flavored tobacco products." McKone says Minnesota scored an "A" in the strength of smoke-free air laws and coverage and access to services to quit commercial tobacco.

As nat’l debate continues, Democrats renew call for Equal Rights Amendment in MN Constitution

By |2022-01-28T05:41:31-06:00January 28th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

As national debate continues on whether the Equal Rights Amendment is now part of the U-S Constitution, Democratic lawmakers in Minnesota are introducing a bill to align *state* statutes with the E-R-A -- a review in 2022, then law changes next year.  Backers say Minnesota also needs its own Equal Rights Amendment in the state Constitution, but that issue got tangled up at the legislature in a debate over rights of transgender Minnesotans and others.  D-F-L Senator Mary Kunesh from New Brighton argues... "It's not an issue of gender or sex.   It's an issue of equality under the law, both at [...]

CGMC urges state lawmakers to prioritize childcare funding in upcoming session

By |2022-01-28T05:39:41-06:00January 28th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

The Coalition for Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) is urging state lawmakers to address critical needs in the upcoming legislative session. CGMC President and Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian says childcare is the number one economic development priority "2021 wasn’t a good year, we started out with 36 childcare providers and zero childcare centers, and in 2021 we’d lost nine additional childcare providers." Baustian says when you talk about economic development--if workers don’t have any place to bring their kids for daycare, “businesses can’t grow.”

Three pillars of fitness, pave way to healthier society

By |2022-01-28T05:30:55-06:00January 28th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

Our final installment of a month long series on meeting your fitness goals in the new year looks at the key components of becoming healthier as people and society. Steve Ritz, an exercise physiologist and founder of Fitness First M-N says the formula for a healthier society is simple. "It really boils down to the basics as a society. Exercise, diet, and sleep. Those are controllables. If we control that, we have less need for medical intervention." Ritz says we cannot eliminate all instances of illness, but focusing on those three key components will put our bodies in the best position [...]

Walz Bonding proposal includes 221.4 million in DNR investments

By |2022-01-27T06:56:52-06:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

The final piece of the Walz-Flanagan bonding proposal includes 221.4 million dollars in DNR investments. Commissioner Sarah Strommen: "The largest element of the proposed bonding investments for the DNR is 110.8 million to care for existing assets including buildings, water, and wastewater systems, roads, trails, and bridges. Public water access sites and water control structures." The proposal also includes 42 million in funding for climate adaptation and mitigation, along with drought relief.

Public safety, education, tax relief are MN Senate GOP’s top priorities for 2022 session

By |2022-01-27T05:30:52-06:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

Minnesota Senate Republicans say their top priorities for the fast-approaching 2022 session are public safety and education -- plus major tax relief: "The proposal from the governor is insulting.  It barely covers the monthly cost of diapers in my house." ...Chanhassen Senator Julia Coleman.  Majority Leader Jeremy Miller from Winona says Republicans will roll out details of their plan in the next couple of weeks: "You can expect a very large tax relief package coming from the Senate Republicans." The state has a big budget surplus and Senate Republicans are drawing sharp battle lines with Governor Tim Walz.  He and fellow [...]

Walz rolls out anti-crime package much different from Senate Republicans’

By |2022-01-27T05:29:51-06:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

300 million dollars over three years -- a quarter-million dollars annually for an average city -- what Governor Tim Walz proposes to help fight the crime wave in Minnesota.  He also wants 45 million dollars for various community-based programs, including community policing -- much different from Senate Republicans who are focusing on more police and tougher sentences: "We will put forward proposals to hold violent criminals accountable for their actions." ...says Majority Leader Jeremy Miller.  The governor responds accountability needs to be part of it, but... "We've been down this round before in this country, that if it's simply about higher [...]

MN Senate GOP: Focus on basics in public school classrooms

By |2022-01-27T05:28:38-06:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

Concentrate on basics in Minnesota public school classrooms, say state Senate Republicans as they outline top priorities for the soon-to-begin 2022 legislative session.  Senator Roger Chamberlain from Lino Lakes says the state shouldn't throw money at new programs until there's full reading proficiency for every student: "They need to be in school, they need normal structure, they need their friends, they need the schools -- and they need to be out of masks." But will Chamberlain introduce a bill to ban any mask mandates in Minnesota schools? "No.  No.  We're focused on... the test scores.   We're focused, all our effort, on [...]

Another push by Republicans this year to eliminate all state tax on Social Security benefits regardless of income

By |2022-01-27T05:26:11-06:00January 27th, 2022|Categories: Covid-19 City Updates, Featured, Latest Headlines, Local News, News|

Another round this year in a perennial battle at the Minnesota Legislature.  Majority Leader Jeremy Miller says: "Senate Republicans will make it a priority to repeal the tax on Social Security income.  No more taxes on Social Security income." Democratic Governor Tim Walz responds 60 percent of Minnesota recipients pay zero tax on their Social Security benefits and 80 percent pay on only a small portion -- so Republicans he says want to remove a tax on millionaires: "When they're saying, boy, you're taking grandma's Social Security money and taxing it.  If grandma's making a couple million dollars a year in [...]

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