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Minnesota Legislature down to its last $16.7 million

It’s almost bake sale time. At MPR, Tim Pugmire reports, “The Minnesota House has $10.7 million in reserve and the Senate has $6 million, according to a document filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court on Monday. The money would fund the House through January and the Senate through November, assuming Gov. Mark Dayton’s line item vetoes of budget money for the Legislature were to stand. … The document signed by attorney Doug Kelley also says the money would run out sooner if costs of a shutdown are factored in, including paying the employer share of health insurance, accrued paid time off for some employees, and unemployment insurance costs.” 

Likewise. Says Sarah Horner of the PiPress, “More than two and a half years after the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis filed for bankruptcy following a torrent of sexual abuse claims made against its clergy, the legal costs are mounting into the tens of millions. Details on the compensation earned to date by law firms representing parties involved in the bankruptcy proceedings were revealed Friday after the federal judge overseeing the case ordered the disclosures. … Combined, the legal costs are estimated to be approximately $16 million.” 

As long as it has fewer side effects than OxyContin. Stribber Joe Carlson reports, “With medical device companies across the nation hustling to find ways to treat pain without addictive opioid drugs, Medtronic is launching a system called the Intellis that uses electricity and can be securely controlled with a Samsung tablet.” Pretty sure that was a plot device in “Westworld.”

No! Says Jess Fleming in the PiPress, “After serving St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood for more than 60 years, the landmark St. Clair Broiler will close at the end of the month. Co-owner Charlie Theros says that the restaurant leases the building at St Clair and Snelling avenues, and it needs fixing. But the lease  requires the building’s tenants to foot the bill for any upgrades, and the Broiler’s ownership can’t afford them.” So help me, if they level the place for another Panera.

Seems among the very least they could do. In the Duluth News Tribune, Barry Amundson says, “A $3.3 million federal grant has been awarded to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to build a veterans cemetery in Cass Lake in northern Minnesota. The grant will fund the construction of a main entrance, a combined administration and maintenance facility, roads, an assembly area, a committal shelter, 419 casketed sites, 32 cremains gravesites, 64 columbarium niches, a memorial wall, a memorial walk, landscaping, and supporting infrastructure. The project will develop about three acres, and serve 2,959 tribal veterans and their families.”

In the how-low-can-you-go department: KARE-TV reports, “Investigators in Crystal say they're pursuing charges after a video posted on social media shows a physically disabled teenage boy getting attacked. According to police, the attack happened outside the Target store on West Broadway Saturday morning at about 11:30 a.m. The video shows a group of teens taunting the victim. One of the suspects slaps the victim. Less than a minute later, the video shows the victim turn and walk toward Target in an attempt to get away. One of the teens runs up behind the victim, kicking him in the back and sending him crashing to the cement.”

Shutdown. Brandt Williams and Tim Nelson of MPR say, “St. Paul Central High School went into lockdown for nearly an hour and a half Monday morning following a fight that started during an early lunch period, the school district said in a statement. … The St. Paul school district said the fight happened in a bathroom. Police came to the school after reports of a fight at about 10:15 a.m. and a possible gun sighting. Two students had made plans to fight Monday, the school's statement said. It began with a verbal confrontation, and authorities later recovered an Airsoft pellet gun and two knives.”

As for this week’s episode of Congress-induced chaos, the Strib has a commentary by Emily Piper, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services: “Anticipation of congressional cliffhangers has been running high this month as talk of a government shutdown and another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act appeared steadily in the news. Many of the changes being considered by Congress, particularly the Graham-Cassidy ACA repeal bill, would have disastrous effects for the 1 million families served each month by Minnesota’s Department of Human Services. Amid this backdrop, our state also faces yet another major but lesser-known congressional ‘cliff’: the expiration of the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).”

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