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Bill would allow more districts to raise money for school maintenance without going to voters

Alert your favorite anti-tax zealot. The AP’s Kia Farhang reports, “A longstanding school funding law allows 25 Minnesota school districts to raise residents’ property taxes for maintenance funds without direct voter approval. The rest of the districts … don’t have that luxury. That’s led to a big gap in funding among districts for things like carpet replacement, security upgrades and heating and cooling modernization. State Sen. Kevin Dahle wants to change that arrangement, extending the taxation power to districts statewide. He and other bill proponents call it a matter of fairness. Most of the 25 districts on the list are in the metro area.”

Speaking of alerts, the gun-minded blog Tenth Amendment Center urges its readers: “Minnesota SF28 would require the state of Minnesota to prohibit all state and local law enforcement from enforcing or providing material support to the enforcement of ‘any federal act, law, order, rule or regulation that relates to a personal firearm, firearm accessory or ammunition within the limits of this state.’ … Follow the action steps below to support this important bill. STATUS: SF28 was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee pending further action. It must pass through this committee successfully before it can receive a full vote from the state senate.” Why stop there? Why not a secession bill?

In the wake of the Archdiocese’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Emma Nelson of the Strib writes, “Some survivors who have already gone through the legal process, either in Minnesota or elsewhere, say they’re apprehensive about what will happen here. ‘What that does is it puts a stop to everything,’ said Joelle Casteix, Western regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. ‘These diocese … always pitch it as a very humane way to treat everyone fairly, but their No. 1 goal is to keep their secrets hidden.’ … Casteix, who was abused by a lay teacher at her Catholic high school and was part of a global settlement in California in 2005, didn’t go through a trial. But the civil process, though she considers it one of the best things she’s ever done, was still difficult.”

U of M President Eric Kaler gets an “accurate” from MPR’s PoliGraph writer Catharine Richert on his claim about a looming doctor shortage. Said Kaler, “‘By 2050, the number of Minnesotans 85 years and older will triple from its value now. At our current rate, we will not have a workforce capable of meeting the healthcare demands.’ Kaler’s wording is imprecise, but his claim is fair. … According to data from the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care in the Minnesota Department of Health, most of them project a shortage of anywhere between 850 and 2,000 primary care physicians by 2025. Other studies predict  a shortage of up to 4,000 doctors in all medical specialties.”

Shira Springer at The Boston Globe takes another run at the story of UMD women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller’s firing. “The numbers make UMD’s decision appear less about ‘financial considerations’ and more about a low valuation of women’s sports. By letting Miller go, the university sends a message about how little a female athlete’s college experience matters. If it mattered more, then UMD would have handled the situation differently, discussed a pay cut, and worked out the ‘win-win’ that Miller thought possible. … [Jim] Harbaugh’s hiring made me think how a multimillion-dollar coach is a point of pride in men’s college sports. It says: We got our guy. It sends the message: We want success. We want national championships. On the flip side, Miller’s firing shows that in women’s college sports a high salary can be a liability. It sends a very disturbing, throwback message to women: Aim high, but not too high.”

WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman talks to the family of the local man accused of plotting overthrow of the government of Gambia. “His family says he was standing up for democracy, and should not be in custody. His family says Papa was living the American dream. He has two master’s degrees, and he’s working on his PhD. With a wife and 2-year-old daughter at home, he sacrificed everything to help people in his homeland, who he says are being oppressed by the government.”

The Glean

This may be a first: a bill  to restrict alcohol in Wisconsin. The AP story by Dana Ferguson says, “Powdered alcohol may be banned in Wisconsin before the product, known as Palcohol, ever hits store shelves. Following the lead of eight other state legislatures, Sen. Tim Carpenter, a Democrat from Milwaukee, said he hopes to enact a ban before Palcohol becomes available this spring.”

Also from our neighbors: Molly Beck at The Wisconsin State Journal says, “The cost of testing Wisconsin students over the next two years will be at least $7.2 million more than originally estimated, state documents show. The increased price tag comes at a time when states are preparing their students for new tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards and an effort by local GOP lawmakers to diminish the standards and offer schools a way to opt out of taking the tests picked by the state.”

Ok, one more from next door, where countless Minnesotans have paid up for paying too little attention to that 65 mph speed limit. Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says, “Assembly Republicans are making another attempt at raising the speed limit to 70 mph, and they’re hoping they can get their Senate colleagues to come along for the ride this time. The Assembly in 2013 approved hiking the highway speed limit by 5 mph, but the measure died when the Senate declined to back it. Both houses were controlled by Republicans at the time, as they are now. But the makeup of the Senate has changed significantly because of retirements, and supporters hope to pass it in the legislative session that began this month.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 01/19/2015 - 10:41 am.

    Doctor shortage?

    I agree with President Kaler that this is a serious problem.

    However, the position the U has taken in the past has often demonstrated the saying: “It depends on whose ox is being gored.”

    Without comment, I post a link to some information on the Periodic Table that appears when the phrase “doctor shortage’ is used for a search:

    The Periodic Table: Search results for doctor shortage

    Some other points:

    Perhaps enrollment of doctors should be increased at the U of M, UMD, and Mayo?

    Perhaps UMD should be converted to a stand-alone medical school?

    Perhaps the U should start a Physician’s Assistant program? It is a little odd that Augsburg College has such a program but that apparently the University of Minnesota cannot afford to do so. Perhaps this has something to do with the nursing program at the U of M?

    I am happy to see that President Kaler is thinking about a solution to our upcoming doctor shortage. It is a shame, however, that something was not done about it long ago.

    Finally, I present a link to a satirical piece concerning the doctor shortage in Minnesota:

    Bonzo Nights or
    A Midsommer Nights Dreame

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 01/19/2015 - 10:46 am.

    Public schools: “”We asked reeeeal nice, but noooo. OK fine; now we’ll just take it”

    Guess that whole “investment” spiel ran a bit thin.

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