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Tax plans divide lawmakers as session end looms

By |2019-04-25T05:29:08-05:00April 25th, 2019|

Governor Walz and Senate Republicans are sharply divided on their tax plans this session. Senate Republicans say their plan benefits 96-percent of Minnesota taxpayers--and half will see tax relief. "This is a zero tax increase, it gives $800 million back to Minnesotans to do what they need. Our colleagues across the aisle are proposing $12 billion in four years--a $12 billion increase in four years that is the opposite of opportunity." Committee Chair Roger Chamberlain. Walz and Democrats are proposing a gas tax to pay for road and bridge fixes and preserving an expiring tax on health care providers.

Fans to Celebrate Prince

By |2019-04-25T05:03:00-05:00April 25th, 2019|

Starting today (THU), Prince fans from around the world will visit Minnesota as part of the third annual "Celebration 2019". It began as a tribute to Prince after his death at his Paisley Park home three years ago. There will be four days of live music, concert screenings, panel discussions and special presentations highlighting Prince’s talent and influence as an artist. On Friday, there will be a special concert event "Prince: In Concert on the Big Screen" with never-before-released footage of the Minneapolis music icon--accompanied by a live, all-star ensemble of musicians who played with Prince. Also on Friday, Minneapolis landmarks--like [...]

Unemployment insurance claims remain steady

By |2019-04-24T06:04:13-05:00April 24th, 2019|

The average wage rate dropped 24-cents last month, reducing the annual growth -- in average wages to 2.9 percent. "That would suggest if conditions were tight we would eventually start to see a significant increase in wage and we're still not there yet. It's been a number of years waiting for that to happen." State job analyst Steve Hine.

BCA investigator on the stand again at Noor trial

By |2019-04-24T06:02:34-05:00April 24th, 2019|

The lead investigator for the Minnesota BCA took the stand again this morning in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor. Investigator Chris Olson categorized the scene of the shooting of Justine Damond as a difficult place to get information. But he did recall hearing the word slap in reference to if Damond touched Noor's police squad car, one of the key defense points in making a case for self-defense. 51 fingerprints were lifted from the squad car, but none could definitively be matched to Damond. Earlier in the trial, Olson had expressed frustration over both a lack [...]

Good news and a job well done: Reaction Comes in For Record Grad Rates

By |2019-04-24T05:56:46-05:00April 24th, 2019|

Good news and a job well done. That's the reaction from Education Minnesota President Denise Specht to the 2018 graduation rate of over 83-percent. Specht says they hope lawmakers take note of what it costs to produce that highest-ever recorded rate. "While we're celebrating graduation rates, but also talking about how much better they could be, we have a conversation happening at the state legislature right now about policies and funding that could really make a difference to our students state-wide." Specht says there are still clear gaps in high school achievement, and more programs and funding are needed to ensure [...]

Sen. Smith gets input from local advocates of ending violence against Native Americans

By |2019-04-24T05:54:11-05:00April 24th, 2019|

U-S Senator Tina Smith plans to take what she learned from a discussion with advocates at the State Capitol Tuesday to Washington in an effort to better seek justice for Native American victims of violence. "The research shows that 56% of native women are going to be the victim of sexual violence at some point in their lives--that's incredible--that's not a small issue, this is a significant issue." Senator Smith serves on the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and is a sponsor of Savanna's Act, which is named after Savanna Greywind, a pregnant 22-year-old North Dakota woman who was brutally murdered in [...]

A-G Keith Ellison, House DFL call for action on non-profit HMO conversions bill

By |2019-04-24T05:30:05-05:00April 24th, 2019|

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and House DFLers are calling for bipartisan action to reinstate a ban on HMOs from moving from non- profit to for-profit status. Currently, HMOs are all non-profit, but a 2017 change would allow them to convert to for-profit status in a few months. Without a reversal, the law would take effect on July 1st. Language to reverse that law is part of a health and human services bill up for debate on the House floor today

MN House passes school funding bill with controversial sex education measure

By |2019-04-24T05:28:52-05:00April 24th, 2019|

A mandate that all Minnesota school districts have comprehensive sex education programs remains in a major public school funding bill the Minnesota House passed last night (Tues) over Republicans' objections. Albert Lea Representative Peggy Bennett says Planned Parenthood is pushing curriculum drawn from a controversial book: "What's in here would be considered pornography anywhere else.... And this is the kind of thing that's going to get driven down, not even just to kindergarten but to preschool." Northfield Democrat Todd Lippert responds any instruction must be appropriate for age level, and beyond that... "Parents, if the model program is being used, can [...]

MN Senate passes ag/rural development/housing bill

By |2019-04-24T05:26:56-05:00April 24th, 2019|

Value-added agriculture, farm mental health, and more options for affordable housing -- features Republicans highlight in a 258-million-dollar agriculture/rural development/housing bill the Minnesota Senate passed last night (Tues). There's also money for expanding broadband Internet access in Greater Minnesota and Elbow Lake Senator Torrey Westrom says: "30 million dollars is a strong investment.   The governor's got 70 million (in his budget), but that's only coupled with significant tax increases. And so we don't have tax increases to back-fill further investment. We use existing funds." Westrom says the bill also includes loans and grants to help small farms upgrade technology, and [...]

Doctors call test result of boy thrown from 3rd floor of MOA truly a miracle

By |2019-04-23T08:00:29-05:00April 23rd, 2019|

The recovery of a five-year-old boy who was thrown from the third floor of the Mall of America is even taking his doctor's by surprise. The family's pastor Mac Hammond says following Landen's five hour MRI: "There was zero evidence of brain damage, not just brain damage there wasn't even any swelling in the brain. No spinal cord injury, no nerve damage, no internal injuries that were life-threatening." Hammond says as for Landen's doctors: "One of his attending physicians said this... "this is truly a miracle." This is him speaking ...."this is truly a miracle". It's like he fell off a [...]