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Secretary of State Simon refuses to turn over voter data to Feds

Plus: Minneapolis approves minimum-wage ordinance; more than 250,000 Minnesota homes lack access to broadband; rural areas may suffer most under Republican health-reform plans; and more.

Secretary of State Steve Simon
MinnPost file photo by Terry Gydesen

You can pry our voter data from our cold, dead hands. The Pioneer Press’ Rachel E. Stassen-Berger reports: “Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is refusing to share detailed information about the state’s voters with a presidential election commission. … ‘I will not hand over Minnesota voters’ sensitive personal information to the commission,’ Simon, a Democrat, said in a statement Friday. ‘I have serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. Its two co-chairs have publicly backed President Trump’s false and irresponsible claim that millions of ineligible votes were cast in the last election.’ ”

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It was a foregone conclusion after Wednesday’s Committee of the Whole vote, but now its officially official. The Star Tribune’s Emma Nelson reports: “The Minneapolis City Council approved a $15 minimum wage Friday, a move years in the making that will affect hundreds of businesses and thousands of workers across the city. … The vote adds Minneapolis to a list of cities nationwide, including Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., that have approved similar measures in recent years.”

Minneapolis’ Rep. in Congress was excited about the development:

The internet? Pssh, it’s just a fad. The Forum’s Don Davis reports: “Massive geographic gaps remain in wired broadband service that meets state guidelines across greater Minnesota. … The state’s goal, under law, by 2022 is for everyone to have access to internet capacity of 25 megabits per second download and three megabits upload speed. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development says 252,000 homes remain without access to wired high-speed internet service.

Detecting a theme here. The Timberjay’s Marshall Helmberger reports: “Scenic Rivers CEO Mike Holmes has had a close-up view of the health care debate in Washington in recent months, but says he still can’t predict how the changes being debated in the nation’s capital will ultimately affect people back home in northern Minnesota. But if current Republican plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act are ultimately enacted, said Holmes, they could hit rural residents the hardest. … Holmes was among three health care experts who testified Friday before the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health. He was there to urge Congress to reauthorize funding for the community health center program, which expires Sept. 30. Without reauthorization, federal funding for community health centers, like Scenic Rivers, would decrease by 70 percent, putting the future of many of them at risk.”

In other news…

For our East Metro readers: “Sunday sales are here! Will your liquor store be open?” [Pioneer Press]

And a more Minneapolis-centric roundup: “Liquor stores open for Sunday business starting July 2” [Southwest Journal]

It’s not just Sunday sales, though: “Here Are The New Minnesota Laws Going Into Effect” [WCCO]

Interesting: “Airbnb stays in rural Minnesota more than double” [St. Cloud Times]

Yikes: “North Mankato bringing active shooter training to businesses” [Mankato Free Press]