A bill that aims to help inmates leaving incarceration to reintegrate into society has bipartisan support at the State Capitol. Republican Senator David Osmek of Mound says the measure is designed to... "To make sure when you leave prison, you know when you're leaving, that you are set up for as much success as you possibly can be so you are not reincarcerated. I think it eventually saves money." The bill would make it easier for inmates about to be released to receive essential items like social security cards, copies of birth certificates, photo IDs and prescription drugs. The bill is [...]
A bill that would allocate $15 million to help to cover security costs for potential civil disorder tied to the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial is headed to the Senate floor. At a Thursday committee meeting, Republican Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen from Alexandria questioned the necessity of such a cost... "I still wonder why we're sometimes doing this, let things happen that are going to happen and deal with it later, cops are cops, they're not going to not work, they're not going to not do public safety." Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent of Woodbury strongly disagreed and countered that law enforcement favors [...]
School bus drivers in Minnesota have really stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bus drivers have taken on new roles while making sure students get to and from school in a safe manner. Bethany Schubert, vice president of Trobec's Bus Service says their drivers have been very supportive through all the challenges. "We've asked a lot out of our employees this year from extra cleaning, extra safety precaution. You know our kind of word of the year is going to be adaptability, go with the flow. I think that's what everyone has done a really good job doing." Earlier this week [...]
The federal REAL ID full enforcement deadline is less than eight months away. Emma Corrie is director of the Department of Vehicle Services: "October 1st of 2021 in order to get on a plane to travel whether it's to Chicago, Florida, or across the country internationally you will need a Real ID." Minnesotans will not be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. Instead, they will need one of three options: A passport or passport card, A REAL ID, or an enhanced driver's license or ID.
Fund our Futures is hosting a virtual rally today with Governor Walz calling for bold revenue investments. Reverend Dr. Loyace Foreman Jr., says the richest Minnesotans need to pay their fair share to fund our futures: "Taxes are the taxable way to that we take care of one another. Our roads, our bridges, schools, hospitals, libraries are a result of those taxes." Today’s virtual rally will be held from 4-7 p.m.
A large coalition of activists and community organizations are planning protests when the trial of Derek Chauvin begins on March 8th. Chauvin is one of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd. Activist Nekima Levy-Armstrong... "We will not be afraid, but we will stand up and we will continue to protest, we will continue to take to the streets. these barricades and all this fencing and barbed wire will not stop us from getting in the street and speaking truth to power." The protestors are calling for justice in Floyd's death. A coordinated law enforcement [...]
Governor Tim Walz announced that based on conservative estimates, all Minnesotans should be eligible for a COVID vaccine by summer. Walz is hoping events like the State Fair will go on as planned if things stay on the right track... "The thought of being walking down those streets at Dan Patch Boulevard with a corn dog in my hand is like the happiest thought that I can imagine. That is within our reach, that is within our reach if we do things right." Walz says Minnesota will expand vaccine eligibility after 70-percent of adults 65 years of age and older are [...]
Love and support continue to pour into the tight-knit community of Buffalo following a deadly clinic shooting just over two weeks ago. Wright County Commissioner Christine Husom says the community recognizes all the support from near and afar: "When you look at the outpouring of support from other communities and people coming together, we're all impacted -- some at different degrees but we are all really impacted." The support for the community of Buffalo continues to come in from throughout Minnesota, and many parts of the U-S.
The recent spike in natural gas prices is adding stress on Minnesota families trying to make ends meet during a pandemic. U.S. Senator Tina Smith gives one example: "In Hibbing, Minnesota is one example, they were typically paying four dollars per unit for natural gas and the price went up to 260 dollars a unit literally overnight, which is a huge bite out of their budget." Senator Smith says the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has launched an investigation into this issue.
The cold snap and power outages that recently roiled energy markets halted production at more than 20 oil refineries in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. Triple-A Minnesota's Jesse Simon says disruption has led to some of the most expensive gas prices since October of 2019. "You know anytime you have 40-percent of crude oil production offline there is going to be pain at the pump until operations resume and that's really affected us in Minnesota as well." The average price for a gallon of unleaded in Minnesota is around 2.62.