Is this surprising? Elizabeth Stawicki of MPR reports: “Nearly 137,000 Minnesotans have enrolled in coverage through the state’s online health insurance marketplace, MNsure officials said Tuesday. MNsure’s board set a goal of 135,000 enrollments about two weeks after the troubled website went live in October. But the number of Minnesotans who enrolled in private insurance plans is much lower than MNsure officials expected, and the number of those who enrolled in government plans is higher.”
Job creation … . Jim Hammerand of the Business Journal writes: “White Bear Township-based manufacturer Heraeus Medical Components will invest about $7.8 million in an expansion that will add 55 jobs, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said Tuesday. The expansion is supported by up to $498,100 from DEED’s Minnesota Job Creation Fund, which awarded nearly $2.3 million in the first round of projects to help create 240 jobs in the state.” That’s $9,000 of subsidy per job.
We’re #4! Both Minnesota and the Twin Cities rank fourth in a Gallup survey on “well-being”, which I guess means “happy.” “But no instrument as comprehensive as the Well-Being Index had ever been administered on the scale that Gallup and Healthways undertook. The Index gave us state-level perspectives on 55 unique measures of well-being that went far beyond physical wellness and traditional health risk factors. As it turned out, Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado, and Montana all distinguished themselves as America’s top well-being states, with an average composite score of 68.4 or higher accumulated over six years of successive nationwide measurement.” Wisconsin was 14th. The usual suspects brought up the rear.
Be the first on your block … . Dan Kraker of MPR reports: “Duluth-based Cirrus Aircraft on Tuesday announced the successful first flight of a test version of its long-awaited single engine jet. Cirrus made its name with a sleek four-seat piston-engine plane that features a safety parachute. For much of the last decade, the company has been developing a seven-passenger personal jet. The Vision jet will fill a gap in the market between propeller planes and more expensive business jets …. So far, 550 customers have made $100,000 deposits on the jet, which will cost $1.96 million.”
Someone could use a little collegial support … . In a letter to Jim Romenesko’s media site, local progressive blogger Ken Avidor writes: “For nearly a year, I’ve been silenced by a year-long defamation lawsuit by right-wing lawyer Larry Klayman. Klayman claims I defamed him by quoting a court document – that is all I did: [Link] Klayman in his complaint also made allegations about me that are untrue. I cannot comment publicly until the case is dismissed with prejudice. Since the plaintiff has cast a wide net covering nearly everything I wrote about, I have been effectively silenced. It would have been be nice to get some support from journalists and publications, especially the ones that picked up stuff from my blogs (my political blogs are all off-line now) but I don’t expect that to happen.” No, that might look “partisan.”
First he softens on medicinal pot … now e-cigs? Rachel Stassen-Berger writes: “Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that proposals this year to ban the indoor use of electronic cigarettes may go too far. … Dayton said that while he would sign a bill to restrict children’s ability to buy e-cigarettes, he is likely to oppose proposed restrictions on their use indoors. ‘After we came down pretty hard on smokers last session, that’s probably enough for this biennium,’ Dayton said.” So are smokers costing the state less these days?
Speaking of pot … . Patrick Condon, now with the Strib, writes: “A compromise proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton to fund research at the Mayo Clinic on medical marijuana lacks support from activists who want to see wider legalization of the drug for treatment purposes, and Dayton said Tuesday it’s not likely to happen this year. The governor has been reluctant to back medical marijuana legalization, but said he had hoped a study would keep the debate alive while more research is conducted or federal drug laws are changed.”
In fact … four medical pot activists write a Strib commentary saying: “We were assured that our input would be taken to help make this proposal work, and Dayton’s chief of staff led us to believe that the governor would consider an updated bill if it were to cross his desk. However, given the governor’s recent statements incorrectly implying that we support this proposal as written and actually suggesting that we could buy marijuana off the street, it is clear that he is taking neither the issue nor the parents of vulnerable children seriously.”
Still struggling with transparency … . Jean Hopfensperger of the Strib reports: “Facing a key court hearing Thursday, the Twin Cities Archdiocese has asked the court to give it more time to turn over its church files on sexually abusive priests and to limit the files’ public disclosure. ‘This is an exhaustive, time consuming and extremely expensive and burdensome process.’ said a memorandum filed by archdiocese attorneys Monday.” Certainly everyone feels the Archdiocese’s pain.