Republicans hoping for special session soon

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Speaker Kurt Daudt

Don’t know about you, but we miss the legislative session already. But we might not have to wait long! “Minnesota House Republicans say negotiations on a special session education bill should pick up where they left off at the close of the regular session,” reports MPR’s Tim Pugmire. “Daudt said would prefer that the governor call a special session soon to provide some certainty to school districts. A new education bill is needed by June 30 to keep the Minnesota Department of Education operating.”

Well, at least the butterflies are getting highway funding. In The Verge, Kwame Opam reports, “Expanding on its efforts to save honey bee populations from extinction, the Obama administration’s Pollinator Health Task Force now aims to create and maintain a 1,500-mile wildlife corridor along Interstate 35 for Monarch butterflies migrating between Mexico and Minnesota. The highway corridor will hopefully help increase Monarch butterfly populations in the central US, where food producers need bees and other pollinators to help grow their crops.”

Rep. Keith Ellison wrote a letter to the New York Times. Responding to the Times’ article about conflicts of interest in the title insurance industry, Ellison encourages Congress to “[pass his] bill, the Ensure Fair Prices in Title Insurance Act (H.R. 1799). This bill simply prohibits a financial benefit for any referral. Realtors and lenders can still have affiliations with title insurance companies. They can even own them, but they cannot receive a financial benefit for the referral.”

Home Depot caved. Forum News Service’s Emily Buss reports, “Cottage Grove will soon be the owner of the city’s vacant Home Depot. … City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said the original 15-year restrictive covenant agreement remains in place. But instead of banning similar retailers larger than 1,500 square feet, the new agreement gives Home Depot the first right of refusal of home improvement centers, garden centers, lumber yards and hardware stores of more than 40,000 square feet from occupying the space. … Schroeder said the agreement ‘removes the language we found troubling.’

In other news…

Congrats to former state Rep. King Banaianhe was named dean of St. Cloud State University’s School of Public Affairs. [St. Cloud Times]

The floodgates are open: “Third company looks to join Minneapolis cable market” [Star Tribune]

190 jobs eliminated at Hartford Financial Services in Woodbury [Pioneer Press]

More Vachon photos from MPR: the streets of Minneapolis. For more information on Vachon, head over to Andy Sturdevant’s 2014 Stroll column discussing his work.

“Minnesota is the best state for women in America.” [Washington Post]

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