Report: $270 million in overtime for state workers over last three years

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Minnesota Capitol

God forbid we hire any new people. Says Rachel Stassen-Berger in the PiPress, “The state of Minnesota has paid employees nearly $270 million in overtime over the past three years, according to a new report. The report, from the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Audit, also found that the state reimbursed about $100 million to employees for business expenses. … ‘Overtime was often related to road construction projects, emergency weather and public safety situations, and human services and correctional facilities that operate 24 hours a day’, the audit said. About 30,000 of the state’s 52,000 employees are eligible for overtime.

His reputation will be in better shape than a lot of his peers. Says Brian Bakst at MPR, “Former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber is among 30 former House Republicans who signed a letter announcing they won’t vote for Donald Trump for president. The letter, made public Thursday, calls Trump an ‘unacceptable danger’ to the nation and unqualified to be president.

Tory Cooney in the PiPress writes, “A Minneapolis man had sex with a 15-year-old runaway in St. Paul and arranged to post ads for sex acts with the girl, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court this week. Darius Courtney Bryant, 35, was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and promoting the prostitution of a person younger than 18. … Bryant’s Facebook account includes references to his role as ‘a self-proclaimed pimp’ and his messages discuss the ‘pimping, recruiting, or the branding’ of ‘his girls,’ the complaint said.”

Leaving the Fringe. MPR says, “Jeff Larson, executive director of the Minnesota Fringe Festival, has announced that he is leaving the theater and performing arts festival after 18 years as an employee and three years as its director. He told All Things Considered host Tom Crann that the festival and organization are in ‘great shape,’ so it’s an ideal time to pass the torch.”

Chelsea was back in town. For WCCO-TV Esme Murphy says, “The Hillary Clinton campaign continues to push for support here in Minnesota. On Thursday, Chelsea Clinton spent time in south Minneapolis rallying for her mother to a crowd of many from the city’s Latino and Somali communities. … In response to Bergstrom’s question, Chelsea Clinton said that the country has a lot of work to do when it comes to helping everyone, regardless of skin color, reach their ‘God-given potential’. The Donald Trump campaign in Minnesota responded to the visit by the Democratic nominee’s daughter by saying that she was brought in to help ‘manufacture enthusiasm’ among young people in the state.”

I read The Insurance Journal so you don’t have to. “New safety technology that may have prevented last week’s deadly train crash in New Jersey is being implemented along some rail lines in Minnesota and elsewhere. The new technology, known as positive train control, is designed to automatically slow or stop a train to prevent accidents such as a collision with another train or a derailment caused by excessive speed … . Minnesota railroad companies have already started installing the safety technology and hope to have the system ready for use by December 2018.”

The WCCO-TV story on that helicopter crash in Lino Lakes says: “The crash, which was reported just before 5:30 p.m., happened in a field near Main Street and Sunset Avenue. Cmdr. Paul Sommer says the scale of the debris field is large, and the total number of fatalities has not been determined. ‘We can’t identify much based on what remains in the field,’ Sommer said. ‘It’s basically charred-up debris.’”

At Buffalo Wild Wings, Evan Ramstad of the Strib says, “The activist investor targeting Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. said Thursday the company should rely more heavily on franchisees and that its stock could triple in value over four years if it did. Richard ‘Mick’ McGuire of Marcato Capital Management … revealed publicly some details of the changes he asked Buffalo Wild Wings executives to consider.”

If you use over a terabyte a month, you seriously need to get a life. Says Casey Common for the Strib: “Comcast, in an e-mail to customers Thursday night, said it will place a limit on internet data use for its residential customers in Minnesota, starting Nov. 1. The good news, for most customers, is that limit is high — 1 terabyte a month … enough for 600 hours of high-definition video or 12,000 hours of online gaming.”

Your daily Wells Fargo kicker. Michael Corkery of The New York Times says, “Former bank tellers and angry customers. Democrats and Republicans in Congress. State treasurers in California and Illinois. Even Hillary Clinton. They have all lambasted Wells Fargo in recent weeks over the phony accounts scandal. Now, a wealthy 80-year-old businessman and philanthropist from Texas is taking aim at the besieged bank. Lacy Harber, who owns real estate in Las Vegas and numerous small banks and marinas, took out advertisements in four large newspapers on Thursday — including The New York Times — denouncing Wells Fargo. … Like many of the customers who have filed lawsuits over the phony accounts in court, Mr. Harber’s claim was also sent into private arbitration, which he called a ‘stacked deck’ that favors the bank. The arbitration is pending.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/07/2016 - 11:49 am.

    I Can’t Help but Wonder

    If Comcast’s data limit is allowable under the franchise agreements they are required to hold with each and every municipality where they provide service.

    Although 1 terabyte of data per month and 600 hours of video sounds like a huge amount, that’s not the case when you have a large household with four adults, two teenagers and two preteens present.

    In such a household, that amounts to about 75 hours of video apiece, or little more than ONE movie each day for each person. Add in nasty weather in the winter or a disabled person who is unable to do much for amusement except watch movies, 1 terabyte may not be sufficient.

    I would guess that Comcast’s new limit is aimed more at “cable cutters;” customers who are more and more likely to discontinue their television cable service and use their internet connection for ALL their video viewing;

    something which more and more customers have taken to doing rather than paying exorbitant prices for the 157 channels with “nothing on” that they never watch contained in the usual cable package,…

    because Comcast and other cable companies refuse to allow customers more reasonably priced cable packages in which the customer pays ONLY for those channels they’re likely to use.

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