One issue that might be taken up this week: using federal CARES Act money to increase grant funding to provide day services for people with disabilities.
Two weeks after the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Administration said the fence would soon be gone, she is now recommending that it remain in place — with no date for removal.
Compared to other states, Minnesota hasn’t taken drastic measures, or many measures at all.
From most compelling races to the oddity of voting in the time COVID, an overview of what might be one of the more notable elections of our lifetimes.
Some in the Legislature want to use what’s left of Minnesota’s CARES ACT money to reimburse the state for its pandemic response, while Gov. Tim Walz worries the money will be needed to fund additional costs related to COVID-19.
After witnessing an accident involving Minneapolis police officers, I decided to use the incident as a way to look the MPD’s response to citizen requests for public information.
A report commissioned by East Metro Strong found that using non-police staff on buses and trains to deal with fare evasions and minor misbehavior has produced “genuine safety benefits” in other cities around the country.
A bill to fund $1.8 billion in public construction projects in Minnesota now appears dead — due to a dispute over Gov. Tim Walz’s use of emergency powers to combat COVID-19.
Even as lawmakers celebrated the bill’s passage, a debate broke out over whether the Legislature should have done more to reform policing in Minnesota after the killing of George Floyd.
The mechanics of the deal — putting a tax bill inside a public construction projects bill — are rare if not unprecedented, and some GOPers are questioning whether it’s even legal under the Minnesota Constitution.
The $1.35 billion bill for public construction projects includes $55 million to complete funding for both the D Line and B Line Bus Rapid Transit routes, which would serve some of the region’s most highly used transit corridors.
It took four months for the state to put a rental assistance program amid the economic fallout of COVID-19 — even after there was a general agreement on the issue among Republicans and DFLers.
Some Minnesota Senate Republicans expressed doubts about the seriousness of the dangers posed by COVID-19, portraying Walz’s use of his emergency powers as dictatorial.
During an appearance before a special select committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives Wednesday, the former acting director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offered some hope for battling coronavirus.
Even with a July special session looming, the issue may have lost any chance of passing in 2020. Why?
Minnesota’s insulin affordability plan had been sold as a compromise with the drug industry. That made the filing of the lawsuit galling to some, including Gov. Tim Walz, who said when told of PhRMA’s suit: “What the hell?”
The head of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association also cautioned bar owners that not following the state’s guidelines to stem COVID-19 infections “may end up being the reason for our Governor to dial back,” on reopening. “We have to do better.”
So far, the numbers have indicated that Minnesotans are on board in making the shift to voting by mail. As of Friday, the Secretary of State reported that 207,835 absentee ballot applications had been received. That compares to 8,964 applications at the same point in 2016.
Repeated statements by GOP leaders at the Minnesota Legislature make it clear they see any problems with policing as a more of a Minneapolis issue than a systemic one.
For now, it’s unclear when lawmakers will return to the Capitol. What’s also unclear, especially given the partisan differences exposed once again last week, is what the Legislature will be able to accomplish once it does return.