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Klobuchar Highlights New Law Aimed at Preventing CO Poisoning Deaths

By |2022-12-09T05:00:29-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Senator Amy Klobuchar is using a cold Minnesota day to highlight a new law named after two boys from Kimball who died of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Cheryl Burt lost her sons Nicholas and Zachary in January of 1996 after making a fire in their new home: "What actually ended up happening I believe is that there was a down draft. We had a faulty furnace which then exacerbated everything and we did not have a carbon monoxide alarm.  All I knew is we were getting sicker and sicker and sicker throughout the night." Burt believes that a carbon monoxide alarm may [...]

St. Paul police release bodycam video of officer fatally shooting suspect on East Side

By |2022-12-09T04:54:18-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Saint Paul police have released body-cam video of an officer fatally shooting 24-year-old Howard Johnson Monday night on the city's East Side. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says stills show Johnson pointing a gun and a muzzle flash.  Here is the audio. It is graphic: The officer radios that Johnson has "the gun in his right hand, he's pointing it at a car, he's trying to carjack right now."  The officer accelerated the squad and the B-C-A says at that point he struck Johnson with the vehicle.  The video shows the officer flinging open the door and yelling "Don't do it!" [...]

Advocates want $2B of surplus to address housing shortage in MN

By |2022-12-09T04:47:31-06:00December 9th, 2022|

Advocates are eyeing two billion dollars of the state's budget surplus for what they call long-term investments in housing.  Anne Mavity with the Minnesota Housing Partnership says the state is short 100-thousand units for the hardest-working front-line employees: "Two years ago, the governor proposed one billion dollars' worth of investments in housing.  We think he can do better.  We think he has more resources available to dedicate to housing, and we're confident that he will do so." Mavity contends one-time money -- which much of the budget surplus is  -- will produce long-term benefits when invested in housing.

Incoming DFL senators want to eliminate state tax on Social Security benefits

By |2022-12-08T04:56:26-06:00December 8th, 2022|

Four freshman D-F-L state senators want to eliminate state tax on Social Security benefits, while their incoming majority leader, Kari Dziedzic , says she has "deep concerns" about doing it.  Senators Grant Hauschild of Hermantown, Heather Gustafson from Vadnais Heights, Rob Kupec of Moorhead and Judy Seeberger from Afton point to Minnesota's nearly 18-billion-dollar budget surplus.  Incoming House *Republican* Minority Leader Lisa Demuth wants the tax totally eliminated: "Ending that tax on Social Security across the board is what we need to do.  It's what we talked about on the campaign trail." Governor Tim Walz is talking about eliminating state tax [...]

St. Cloud State economist says low gas prices could foreshadow recession

By |2022-12-08T04:54:43-06:00December 8th, 2022|

Saint Cloud State University economist King Banaian says dramatically falling gas prices we're seeing could foreshadow tough economic times in the near future.  Banaian says low prices at the pump could be the result of a massive increase in supply -- or indicate the onset of a recession: "And it think it's the latter....  There is a drop in demand.  Higher prices (in the rest of the economy) have dropped demand (for gasoline), and actually think we are leading ourselves toward a recession.   I don't know if it's started already, if it's gonna start this month in December, (in) January, February.  [...]

Advocates want $1B of surplus to improve long term care in Minnesota

By |2022-12-08T04:42:24-06:00December 8th, 2022|

Advocates say a billion dollars (about six percent) of the state's 17-plus billion-dollar surplus should go to beef-up the wages for senior caregivers.  Kari Thurlow with the Long Term Care Imperative says they've been sounding the alarm for years about the workforce crisis in long-term care: "Seniors were turned away from long term care 11-thousand times in just the month of October -- that's  just in Minnesota, in one month." Thurlow says people are ending up staying in hospitals much longer than they would have to because beds in long term care facilities aren't available.  She says families aren't getting care [...]

Nurses union applauds staffing level protections in tentative agreement

By |2022-12-07T05:48:10-06:00December 7th, 2022|

"Unprecedented language... to address chronic understaffing in our hospitals for the first time in history," says the Minnesota Nurses Association about tentative contract agreements with 15 hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth-Superior, averting a strike that was set to begin December 11th. The nurses union says changes would vary between the different hospitals, but include measures to prevent reductions in staffing levels without consensus between nurses and management... to help protect nurses from discipline when they raise concerns about unsafe assignments... and of review staffing levels by nurses and management if preventable problems such as nurse injuries or patient falls [...]

Greater MN cities pushing for more state aid, Walz supports

By |2022-12-07T05:43:25-06:00December 7th, 2022|

A group representing communities outside the metro area is pushing the legislature for an increase in state aid (local government aid) to fund police, fire departments, libraries, infrastructure and other local needs.  Bradley Peterson with the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities: "With the surplus as big as it is, there is absolutely no reason that the state can't make these kind of investments to keep local communities strong." Peterson says preliminary property tax levies are higher, largely driven by inflation.  Governor Tim Walz says: "The local property tax issue again, that is a result -- when you're seeing these levy increases [...]

Walz says huge budget surplus means it’s time for investments, Republicans say give it back to taxpayers

By |2022-12-07T05:40:05-06:00December 7th, 2022|

Governor Tim Walz says with a 17.6-billion-dollar state budget surplus, now is the time to lower costs for families and update Minnesota's aging infrastructure with the help of federal dollars -- and very important... "Now's the time to make sure that those classrooms are funded with the things that they need to do to make our kids the best-qualified workforce in the world." Fellow Democrats in the Minnesota House are also talking about paid family medical leave, early care and learning programs, plus housing initiatives.  But incoming House Republican Minority Leader Lisa Demuth from Cold Spring contends the huge budget surplus [...]

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Making 19 Stops in Minnesota

By |2022-12-06T05:57:38-06:00December 6th, 2022|

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train returns to Minnesota this weekend after two years of virtual stops during the pandemic.  C-P spokesman Andy Cummings says the 14-car freight train is raising money for local food banks with holiday music concerts at each stop: "One of the fun parts of going town to town with the holiday train is seeing how each one is set up. Sometimes, it's the main street in town. We'll drop the stage right on Main Street and sometimes it's few hundred people. Every community brings its own flavor. Sometimes they have fires going that people can gather around [...]

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