Legislature could halt any Minneapolis wage hike

Minnesota House of Representatives

MPR’s Tim Nelson reports, “Last year, Mayor Betsy Hodges said that she didn’t support a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for the city alone because she wanted a higher minimum wage across the Twin Cities. … But then came last month’s election. …‘My stance on a regional minimum wage hasn’t changed, but the conditions under which we can accomplish that have with the Nov. 8th election,’ Hodges said … . Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, who chairs the House jobs committee, said he thinks lawmakers will indeed take action on minimum wages, but not the regional hike Hodges was hoping for. ‘The concern at the Legislature is more that we live in one state, and we should have one policy for these important issues,’ he said.” Part of making America great again is making sure the little guy doesn’t take too much of our money!

Chris Serres of the Strib says, “Hundreds of Minnesota children who have suffered the trauma of being removed from their birth parents, and are now living in foster care, could soon receive state-funded intensive psychotherapy services to give them safer, more stable lives. … Until now, many of these children have gone years without receiving psychiatric treatment for their emotional problems, and end up in publicly funded group homes and treatment centers that cost the state Medicaid program millions of dollars, officials said.” 

Speaking of a check from the Gubmint. Stribber Tom Meersman writes, “U.S. Bank has announced plans to build a $250 million data center in Chaska that will eventually employ 18 workers. … Chaska’s City Council approved a tax abatement Monday night that is valued at nearly $548,000 over 20 years to support the project.”

A twist on the usual story. Massachusetts is looking at us for ways to shave back health care costs. Shira Schoenberg for masslive.com reports, “A 13-member delegation from Massachusetts, led by [Sen. Jim Welch, D-West Springfield, chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing] and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, D-Amherst, traveled to Minneapolis last week to learn about Minnesota’s efforts to rein in health care costs. The trip is part of an effort by a state Senate committee to study other states and develop recommendations for lowering Massachusetts’ health care costs.���

Want some more long-distance opinion on the Gophers scandal? In The Washington Post, attorneys Justin Dillon and Matt Kaiser write, “The problem with the Minnesota boycott isn’t really that the boycott failed.  It’s that the Minnesota football players did not realize they’d picked the wrong case to stand up for. … What Minnesota’s Title IX office found happened to the young woman in Minnesota was horrific.  Assuming that report is accurate, the university’s penalties seem fair. What would not be fair, however, is for Minnesota or states like it to legislate on the basis of this case. Extreme cases make extreme laws.  The Minnesota case is no more representative of what happens in the average campus sexual assault case than Hannibal Lecter is representative of the typical gourmand.”

In The Chicago Tribune, David Haugh says, “As Northwestern and former Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter proved several years ago, the voice of the college student-athlete, too often muted, deserves to be heard. Even though Colter raised issues I didn’t necessarily agree with, he earned respect for representing himself and his university professionally in the name of something many considered noble. Minnesota’s is no such cause. Nobility left the building Friday shortly after KSTP-TV posted an 80-page report from the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA), raising public awareness of the disturbing details from the Sept. 2 incident.”

And then there’s this from New Jersey. At NJ.com, Keith Sargeant writes, “[Jerry] Kill was nearly a year removed from overseeing the Minnesota football program when the assault allegedly took place. Still, it begs the question: Did Rutgers coach Chris Ash address the situation at Minnesota before hiring Kill to serve as the Scarlet Knights’ offensive coordinator? ‘No,’ Ash said, ‘it did not come up because I know the type person that coach Kill is. I know the type of individual that he wants to recruit into a program that he’s a part of, and unfortunately on college campuses there are a lot of dark spots that people get into. If you look at his track record going back to when he was a head coach … would it be perfect? No, but was there discipline and accountability and education to try to avoid some of these scenarios? There probably were’.”

In the realm of stating the obvious, a Forum News Service editorial says, “Gov. Dayton has made a habit of exiting meetings when things don’t go his way, or when he’s criticized by political opponents. … Effective leadership requires a thicker skin. Dayton’s puerile pique, however, does not let House Speaker Kurt Daudt off the bad behavior hook. Daudt tends to lay blame for the soured relationship between himself and Dayton on the governor. But Daudt knows how to distract and unsettle Dayton. The speaker smiles for the cameras and says all the right things about getting along, but in the next breath jabs a rhetorical knife in the governor’s side. That conduct might be good politics in the House Republican caucus, but it’s lousy legislative strategy for the people of Minnesota.”

Meanwhile, the Strib has its own angle. “ … the Star Tribune Editorial Board began calling for a special session to enact insurance relief in early October, when 2017 rates became public. … That it is late December and no state aid has been agreed to despite a solid plan put forth by DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in late October is unacceptable.” Let’s blame sides equally.

A record what? Says Brad Dokken of the Grand Forks Herald, “It’s all but official: Lake of the Woods is about to break its old record for the biggest burbot — also known as eelpout, among other names — ever officially weighed in Minnesota. The new record is 19.67 pounds — 19 pounds, 11 ounces — which when all the paperwork is complete, will break the old record of 19 pounds, 8 ounces set in February 2012 on Lake of the Woods.” Ugly dang fish.

Before they close in 2018. Strib food critic Rick Nelson has a piece titled, “Work up an appetite for the Twin Cities’ most anticipated restaurants of 2017.” He writes, “BELLECOUR In March, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable is opening Bellecour, a French brasserie with a bakery component in the former downtown Wayzata home of the Blue Point. ‘I want to serve really great escargot, roast chicken, a bibb lettuce salad, all the things that I love to eat,’ said Kaysen, who said that the restaurant is an homage to his mentor, Daniel Boulud, and Boulud’s mentor, Paul Bocuse.”

KEG & CASE MARKET St. Paul’s historic Schmidt Brewery will continue to come back to life, thanks to Keg & Case Market, a $9 million project set to open next summer that will feature a restaurant by Revival/Corner Table co-owners Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone and branches of Hola Arepa and Five Watt Coffee, along with 40 small food-hall-style vendors.”

And then ye shall taketh from the Lord. A story in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram says, “A former church treasurer and her husband have been charged in St. Croix County Court with stealing nearly $190,000 in church funds over about 10 years. … Kara LaVenture is also accused of using the church’s information to open a credit card account without church approval, and of using that card for charges to several hotels, gas stations and clothing retailers, including Victoria’s Secret.” Hey, it could’ve been a boat.

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Julie Barton on 12/21/2016 - 06:49 am.

    reading comprehension matters….

    I read the first bit about the minimum wage three times in disbelief: Pat Garafalo said that we need to make sure the little guy doesn’t take too much of our money?!?!??!?!

    Umm, no Julie… That was Brian’s well placed sarcastic spin. Must not be awake yet this morning…..

    And I was just about to start an angry rant with the co-workers on what Garafalo had said…..

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/21/2016 - 07:07 am.

    If Rep. Garofalo Seeks to Block Minneapolis’ Self Rule

    I’d suggest a group of good citizens from Minneapolis take over and occupy the city offices,…

    including law enforcement offices in Farmington,…

    and refuse to leave until the city government there passes a $15 minimum wage.

    If Rep. Garofalo and his supporters don’t believe Minneapolis should be allowed to rule itself on this matter,…

    then neither should Farmington be allowed to do so.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 12/21/2016 - 09:07 am.

      Local control is always the best way, until the locals start exercising control in a way people who don’t live there don’t like.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 12/21/2016 - 08:49 am.

    It’s funny

    ‘The concern at the Legislature is more that we live in one state, and we should have one policy for these important issues,’ he said.”

    It’s funny, as in odd, that Republicans hate “One size fits all” when it applies to government policy…

    …except when it’s THEIR policy, in which case “One size fits all” is suddenly just fine.

    On a completely different topic (Rutgers football coach Chris Ash on former U football coach Jerry Kill, in the context of the latest football disgrace at the U), I couldn’t help but notice: “…If you look at his [Kill’s] track record going back to when he was a head coach … would it be perfect? No, but was there discipline and accountability and education to try to avoid some of these scenarios? There probably were.”

    “…PROBABLY were?”

    Apparently, finding out if those qualities and standards actually existed in the brief Kill era was far too much trouble for Mr. Ash, thus providing yet another reason not to take football coaches too seriously as arbiters of ethical issues.

  4. Submitted by Bill Willy on 12/21/2016 - 11:38 am.

    ALEC’s Boy

    Pat Garofalo is ALEC’s “State Chair” in the MN House.

    http://www.alec.org/about/state-chairs/

    Any of his constituents or MN voters unfamiliar with ALEC ought to be because THAT’s who the House’s Jobs (and Energy) committee chairperson is representing, not them.

    “Through the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to rewrite state laws that govern your rights.”

    Much more on ALEC here: http://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

    In a nutshell, they put together “model legislation” they want passed into law, distribute it to their “State Chairs” who distribute it to their Brothers and Sisters in the legislature so they can vote as much of it as possible into law.

    That’s what Pat will be doing to interfere with the rights of the people of Minneapolis and every other community in Minnesota.

    The vehicle he’ll be using is called the “Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act,” it’s on ALEC’s web site and its summary says:

    “The Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act repeals any local ‘living wage’ mandates, ordinances or laws enacted by political subdivisions of the state. It also prohibits political subdivisions from enacting laws establishing “living wage” mandates on private businesses, including those businesses that have service contracts with and/or receive financial assistance from such political subdivisions of state government.”

    The complete “model” is here:

    http://www.alec.org/model-policy/living-wage-mandate-preemption-act/

    Besides his “right of free of association,” why is the chairperson of the MN House Jobs and Energy Committee a deeply involved member of an organization like ALEC?

    Stranger yet, why has he allowed himself to be elected or appointed to serve as ALEC’s State Chair?

    Lobbyists are one thing. They, at least, have to register as someone acting in that capacity at the legislature. Having an unregistered Super Lobbyist in the role of chairperson of a legislative committee that impacts the Economic (and Energy) lives of all Minnesotans is something altogether different.

    Nobody voted for ALEC. ALEC doesn’t live here. ALEC could care less about “the hard working families of Minnesota.” All ALEC cares about is extracting as much of our money as possible.

    Pat Garofalo is their Top Operative in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

  5. Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 12/21/2016 - 12:07 pm.

    Mayor Betsy Hodges knows that the legislature’s GOP leaders are not merely going to prevent Minneapolis from setting a higher city minimum wage: they’re going to deny Minneapolis (and St. Paul, and Duluth, even Rochester) the authority to set ANY worker-benefit standards on schedules or paid sick leave, or wages–including wage theft by employers. Hodges knows that’s in the works, and she has done next to nothing as Mayor to forestall it.

    By now saying that she’s “for” some unspecified higher minimum wage Mayor Hodges has it both ways: She can play the equity card falsely, knowing that the legislature will save her from the wrath of the Minneapolis-based Big Business folks who don’t care about workers in the first place, or any place.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 12/21/2016 - 04:10 pm.

      Point of Order

      How can the GOP legislature pass legislation to stop this over Dayton’s veto?

      Answer: They may not need to after 2018.

      This brings up a very important point. The senate is not up for reelection until 2020. And given the sizable majority the GOP has in the House going into an off-year election, chances of the DFL flipping the House are somewhere between slim and none.

      All of this means that the election for governor is huge. A GOP guv will turn Minnesota into Walker’s Wisconsin or Brownback’s Kansas. Voter suppression. Rolling back no excuse absentee voting. Politicized judicial elections. Right to work for less. Emasculating public employee unions. Tax giveaways to the wealthy. The entire ALEC agenda will be on the table.

      When Kurt Daudt talked about the dangers of one party control, it may have been a veiled warning to us.

  6. Submitted by Aaron Albertson on 12/23/2016 - 07:05 am.

    Wait, I thought those rural people wanted to be “left alone”

    and those meddling, regulating big city people needed to get out of their lives?
    But they want to regulate Minneapolis minimum wage laws. Sounds like they need to get out of our lives.

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