Minnesota is (tied for) the best state in the country

Yeah, no mention of the weather. At the PiPress, Tad Vezner follows a Politico story ranking Minnesota No. 1 (tied with New Hampshire.)  “In its first such ranking last year, Politico listed Minnesota as the second-best state, behind New Hampshire. Minnesota edged up this year based on improvements in employment, infant mortality and obesity, the publication said. Mississippi ranked last for the second year in a row (a position that last year got Politico a letter of dissent from Mississippi’s governor). Among Minnesota’s neighbors, Wisconsin ranked No. 17. Iowa was No. 7 while North Dakota was 15th and South Dakota was 21st.” Does Mississippi complain every time it’s ranked dead last?

The state’s congressional delegation filed their formal responses to President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Some highlights, via the Strib.Rep. Tom Emmer (R): ‘For six years, we’ve heard President Obama tout big ideas and even bigger promises, and tonight was no different. Despite the annual list of promises, most remain unfulfilled. The programs and policies from this administration have hurt the middle class he claims to defend, taxed the families he claims are safe, and stifled the growth he claims to have created.’ … Rep. John Kline (R): ‘Bigger and bloated government isn’t the solution to the problems facing our nation. Instead of making promises the American people can’t afford, the President has a responsibility to meet our existing commitments. Rather than roll out a new $320 billion tax hike that will hit working families, the President should join us in creating a simpler, cleaner tax code that would help spur job creation and create an environment that helps families, not hurts them.’” Couldn’t we at least lift the job-killing tax burden off for-profit colleges?

The strib’s Allison Sherry has more on the Minneapolis woman who sat next to First Lady Michelle Obama for the SOTU: “Rebekah Erler was discovered last year when she wrote an eloquent letter to the president describing her middle-class struggles … On Tuesday, in front of a joint session of Congress, he recounted the Erlers’ story. Rebekah was sitting in the first lady’s box. She had some time in the Oval Office Tuesday with a few other letter writers, and hung out with the president.”

At WCCO-TV Esme Murphy apprises the likelihood of the President’s “Robin Hood” tax plan. “The president said his tax plan would raise $320 billion over ten years. Republicans, who now control both the House and Senate, are sharply critical of the plan, saying it would stall economic growth. … Democrats admit it will be tough getting any of this through the Republican-controlled Congress, but they say it sets the stage for a debate they’d like to have last through the 2016 presidential election.” The Timberwolves will have a 40-game winning streak before that happens.

Here’s MPR’s Tom Scheck on the state’s latest budget plans. “Dayton is proposing to spend nearly $100 million over the next two years to expand tax cuts for parents with children enrolled in day care. Dayton said his plan would increase the income limit for the tax credit, making 92,000 more families would be eligible. … At the same time Dayton was detailing the child care credit, members of the House Tax Committee were debating a Republican-backed bill to cut taxes for some business owners by about $350 million over two years. The measure represents a partial rollback of the new fourth tier income tax rate that DFL lawmakers passed in 2013.”

Just another thing I have to worry about. Brandi Powell at KSTP-TV says, “A new strain of a virus is threatening the livelihood of Minnesota pig farmers. Experts at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine say they’ve found a new mutation of the virus that’s killed 8 million pigs and piglets in the past two years. Pigs are the only ones affected by the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, or PEDv.”

Also at KSTP, Jennie Olson has the story of the husband with a headache, or something. “A Coon Rapids woman is accused of attacking her husband and choking him because he didn’t want to have sex with her. Coon Rapids police were called to an apartment on the 9200 block of University Avenue Northwest around 12:35 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 30. When officers arrived, they found a man standing in the hallway wearing pajama pants and no shirt. According to the criminal complaint, the man had red marks on his shoulder, neck and throat in addition to scratch marks and two bite marks on his chest.”

You want specifics? They got specifics. Says Don Davis of the Forum News Service, “A pair of Greater Minnesota organizations seeks more than half of an expected $1 billion state budget surplus for their priorities. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and the Greater Minnesota Partnership announced Tuesday that their top funding requests include transportation, high-speed Internet, Local Government Aid paid to cities, job training and housing. For the most part, the organizations did not suggest tax increases to pay for their wants.”

True sportsmen. Stribber Paul Walsh says, “After years of investigation by conservation officials, four men have been charged for their roles in widespread illegal killing of trophy deer and other big game in western Minnesota. The five-year probe by the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) led to the seizure of dozens of guns, some of them high-powered rifles, and more than two dozen sets of deer and elk antlers, the agency announced Tuesday. The DNR’s Capt. Cory Palmer said he’s never seen such an extreme case of poaching in his 17 years with the agency.” They grabbed their guns! Call Wayne Lapierre! Call Cliven Bundy!

Hmmm, whatever they do they might want to take a long look at the books. Catharine Richert of MPR says, “Nursing home owners and workers have told Minnesota legislators that they aren’t getting enough money from the state to stay open and to keep the best staff in their facilities for years. … Care Providers represents many of Minnesota’s 370 nursing homes and is part of a coalition that is advocating for a $200 million plan that would completely overhaul how nursing homes are reimbursed. That’s on top of a $30 million funding increase the industry got during the last session.”

Not sure how this affected North Dakota’s Politico ranking. At City Pages Susan Du says, “North Dakota’s Rep. Dwight Kiefert (R-Valley City) has a simple solution to the chilling, often unpredictable threat of school shootings: give guns to teachers and let them prowl the halls like vigilantes in sweater vests. The teachers themselves aren’t so convinced that HB 1195, which proposes letting schools train anyone with a concealed carry permit to use deadly force in the classroom, wouldn’t rub students the completely wrong way. … There’s only been one school shooting in North Dakota since the 1930s.”

Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 01/21/2015 - 09:30 am.

    “Minesota edged up…

    this year based on improvements in employment, infant mortality and obesity.” I don’t know about the first two but anyone who has ever visited the MOA has to be in agreement with the third. The epidemic of obesity is alive and well in this state. A good marker of that is the number of health care systems with Bariatric departments. Please pass the butter!!

  2. Submitted by Bill Willy on 01/21/2015 - 09:57 am.

    Family Abuse

    Obviously, John Kline knows the meaning of work. Hard work. We can tell because he gets paid $174,000 per year ($3,346 each week), and we all know a person doesn’t get paid that much for doing nothing.

    Another way we can tell he’s carrying a heavy load in Washington is the need he has for staff to help him get the job done. A staff that costs an average of $850,000 a year.

    http://www.legistorm.com/member/321/Rep_John_Kline.html

    So that’s a little over $1,000,000’s worth of work being cranked out by his congressional office each year. If you’re a Minnesotan you’ve probably seen the result of that investment reflected in your own income, or general quality of life, and won’t begrudge him a nickel of the $40,000 to $50,000 per year in Congressional Pension Compensation (CPC) he’ll receive for the rest of his life if he retires, or is defeated, in 2016.

    Recently the result of some of that hard work was on display in a provision to cut pension benefits for millions of (mostly union) retirees – retirees who paid INTO those pension plans for years. A provision that was “tacked on” to the new federal budget bill. A provision that was never introduced in, debated, or voted on by, the house or senate).

    Another part of that work is providing Wisdom that only comes from experiencing years of the type of hard work he’s been doing. Wisdom meant to guide and protect us from consequential mistakes others are striving to make. Wisdom sometimes summed up in a handful of words like these:

    “$320 billion tax hike that will hit working families”

    Will… Hit… Working… Families…

    Yes yes yes. We know those families. They’re waking up early every morning, eating a quick bowl of oatmeal, or a couple pieces of toast, before heading off to put in another long day working hard hard hard down in the rough and tumble bowels of the (family) Capital Gains mine.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/21/2015 - 10:05 am.

    “Robin Hood” tax plan

    People seem to forget that Robin Hood didn’t “rob from the rich.” He robbed the tax collector and returned the money to the people from which it had been confiscated. They also seem to forget that the bad guys in the story (the tax collector and the sheriff) were from the government.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/21/2015 - 10:56 am.

      Not exactly

      Taxes in medieval England were based on income and property, so Robin Hood–if he existed–was redistributing wealth downwards.

      The tax revenue was also largely for military purposes. You approve of this?

    • Submitted by Richard Callahan on 01/21/2015 - 10:57 am.

      The fact that Robin Hood is a fictional character aside, medieval England did not exactly have a representative government.

  4. Submitted by Pavel Yankovic on 01/21/2015 - 10:40 am.

    Bill,…

    Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison among others have the same deal.

  5. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 01/21/2015 - 11:01 am.

    politics

    “Democrats admit it will be tough getting any of this through the Republican-controlled Congress, but they say it sets the stage for a debate they’d like to have last through the 2016 presidential election.” ”

    There’s your admission that they intend to do nothing folks. This is all I need to see. They fully intend to drag things out and not get things done but will blame someone else for not doing what they want.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 01/21/2015 - 11:32 am.

      Drag and blame

      Let’s just let that one sink in for a bit, shall we? The Republicans are going to complain about Democrats intending to “drag things out and not get things done but . . . blame someone else for not doing what they want.”

      Mr. Kettle, there’s a Mr. Pot on line one.

  6. Submitted by Richard O on 01/21/2015 - 01:20 pm.

    “Does Mississippi complain every time it’s ranked dead last?”

    Isn’t it a badge of honor down there?

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 01/21/2015 - 01:58 pm.

      If I was insensitive

      to that sort of thing, I would suggest that people notice the demographics of the No. 1 and 2 states and then compare them to Mississippi’s.

  7. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 01/21/2015 - 02:15 pm.

    “Robin Hood”

    So if raising the tax on capital gains and limiting exclusions is redistributing wealth from the rich to the poor, than our past practice of reducing the tax and increasing exclusions was redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich.

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