In just the last three months of the 2020-21 two-year state budget — April, May and June — collections were 28.7 percent, or $2.12 billion, more than was expected in February.
For consumers in the Twin Cities, some of the biggest year-over-year increases in the Consumer Price Index are in the price of fuel for vehicles, of used cars and trucks, and of gas for heating and cooking at home.
More than any other group, Latinos in Minnesota remained in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. But many found themselves on divergent paths.
Rents have been on a slow, steady rise in Minneapolis and St. Paul for years.
You know we’re going to say: It’s complicated.
Minnesota did not withhold state or federal taxes from the $600 and $300 bonus unemployment payments, which are taxed as regular income.
Though the program — which allows those who invest in early-stage Minnesota businesses to claim a 25 percent tax credit — has been popular, it has come nowhere near its goals for boosting startups by nontraditional owners.
Companies that could quickly build out fiber optic internet have been squeezed out of areas covered by a federal grant to a company with limited resources and experience, something state funders said was necessary to avoid duplicate use of taxpayer money.
Some observers see the changes as “too little, too late.” And indeed, what good is it to halt political donations when there aren’t any major elections happening?
At the same time, the Duluth-based utility is pushing forward with plans to build a new natural gas plant, which would have to be shut down or converted by 2050 to achieve the carbon-free goal.
In a recent survey, roughly half of Minnesota’s small-town grocers feared they would go out of business in the next five years.
In the short term, not much.
In two recent weeks of data, continued unemployment claims dropped by 12 percent.
Minnesota officials are still waiting for guidance on how to implement the new program — if it’s even legal.
Republicans have yet to come to an agreement inside their own party about what a new coronavirus-relief package should contain. And while it’s likely to contain an extension of the extra unemployment payment, the amount of the payment is expected to be much lower.
Once poverty is concentrated in a neighborhood, the neighborhood usually stays poor.
“It was nice to see that they gave us a lot to work with,” said Joseph Sullivan, the utilities commissioner who first floated the idea for sped-up projects in May. “They really stepped up.”
Construction work in Minnesota is always seasonal, with workers applying for unemployment during the winter months. But this spring, those unemployment applications only increased.
Workers want hazard pay and better safety measures to be put in place.
COVID-19 has affected almost every aspect of life in Minnesota. The cost of rent, which had been going up for a long time, is no exception.