MPR’s story on the lawsuit against Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says: “Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges Thursday won a key court battle over the definition of a budget. A city official had sued Hodges over the delayed release of next year’s tax and spending plan. Carol Becker, one of two elected members of the Minneapolis Board of Estimate and Taxation, argued that Hodges’ decision to release the budget Sept. 12 didn’t give the public enough time to examine the inch-thick document before a hearing the next day. … On Thursday, however, [Hennepin County Judge Mary] Vasaly concluded that the ‘mayor satisfied her official duty to provide a recommended ‘budget’ by Aug. 15’ and that the budget outline’s lack of detail didn’t mean that the mayor had violated her duties … .’”
Better than others. But not good. The Forum News Service says, “Minnesota’s obesity rate among adults crept upward in 2016, but remains below that of its neighbors, according to a national study released Thursday. The study, by the New Jersey-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found 27.8 percent of adults in Minnesota were obese in 2016, up 1.7 percentage points from the year before. That figure is good for 18th out of the country’s 50 states and District of Columbia.” The worst of 50? West Virginia.
On the upside, Dee DePass of the Strib says, “Minnesota exports jumped 7 percent during the second quarter, with sales of $5.1 billion in manufactured, mined and farmed products, state officials reported Thursday. The state performed better than the nation as a whole, which saw exports rise 5.9 percent during the same period. Minnesota exports to Asia proved particularly robust from April through June, climbing 13 percent to $1.7 billion … .” That border tax to pay will be a big help goosing those numbers.
More good PR for Wells Fargo! Following news of millions more fraudulent accounts churned up by Wells Fargo’s “incentivizing” sales culture, Gretchen Morgenstern of The New York Times writes, “Did Wells Fargo mislead the United States Congress during hearings last fall when it characterized its widespread opening of unauthorized bank accounts as a one-off problem in an otherwise clean operation? … According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in the 18 months that ended on June 30, Wells Fargo spent $6.4 million on lobbying. This exceeded the $4.4 million spent by JPMorgan Chase and the $3.4 million paid by Bank of America during the period. Among the major domestic banks, only Citigroup outspent Wells, paying about $8 million during those 18 months.” That ought to spare them any indictments.
For Consumer Reports, Jeff Blayskal has some pertinent information: how to break up with your bank: “Ready to stop banking at Wells Fargo after today’s news that employees there opened 1.4 million more unauthorized accounts than previously known? … The best reason may be this: Credit unions and primarily online banks provide much better satisfaction than mega-banks like Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo, according to Consumer Reports’ bank and credit union ratings.”
Now 7th worst. Martin Braun for Bloomberg reports, “Minnesota’s debt to its workers’ retirement system has soared by $33.4 billion, or $6,000 for every resident, courtesy of accounting rules. The jump caused the finances of Minnesota’s pensions to erode more than any other state’s last year as accounting standards seek to prevent governments from using overly optimistic assumptions to minimize what they owe public employees decades from now. Because of changes in actuarial math, Minnesota in 2016 reported having just 53 percent of what it needed to cover promised benefits, down from 80 percent a year earlier, transforming it from one of the best funded state systems to the seventh worst, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”