Minnesota House DFLers’ priorities: health care, family leave, gun-control

Minnesota House of Representatives
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Minnesota House of Representatives

At MPR, Tim Pugmire says, “Members of the new DFL majority in the Minnesota House released a package of legislative proposals Wednesday that they say are designed to improve peoples’ lives. Their first 10 bills of the 2019 session include a MinnesotaCare buy-in option for health care coverage, paid family leave, and criminal background checks for all gun purchases. There are also bills related to aimed reducing prescription drug prices, public education, wage theft, sexual harassment and rural broadband expansion.”

At the PiPress, Frederick Melo tells us, “Alula, a growing maker of ‘smart’ security systems, is relocating its national headquarters from Hudson, Wis. to St. Paul. The company will be leasing 68,000 square feet of space at Minnesota 280 and Energy Park Drive. Alula will bring 120 employees to the CSM Corporation’s Midway Innovation Center, previously home to the cyber security company McAfee, which vacated the space at 2340 Energy Park Drive last May.”

MPR’s Matt Sepic reports: “Plans for a streetcar line on West Seventh Street in St. Paul are inching forward, with the Metropolitan Council expected to vote on the proposal next month. Upgrading transit along what’s known as the Riverview Corridor has long been a dream of regional planners. Ideas for dedicated bus lanes, bus rapid transit and light rail were in turn floated and scuttled over the past two decades. The latest proposal is a streetcar that would connect downtown St. Paul to the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport and Mall of America.”

The Star Tribune’s Andy Mannix writes: “After a white barista chastised her for handing out newsletters at a South Side coffee shop last month, Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins plans to return to the cafe to convene a forum on race relations. Managers at the Blackeye Roasting coffee shop fired the barista, who has not been named, for inappropriately confronting Jenkins and making others feel unsafe, they said.

The Star Tribune’s Eric Roper reports, “Owners of what is likely downtown’s oldest surviving apartment building say the property at 213-215 S. 9th St. is beyond repair, and city code inspectors have demanded they demolish it. But another branch of the city, the Heritage Preservation Commission, voted Tuesday to deny their demolition permit, while pushing for the building to be salvaged and scolding owners for not better protecting it from the elements. The City Council will likely make the final decision, since the vote is expected to be appealed.”

A story at KFGO-AM says, “Former Vice President Walter Mondale is among those encouraging U.S. Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar to run for president in 2020. Klobuchar is expected to make a decision soon about whether to form a presidential exploratory committee. Mondale said, ‘she’s got the touch, people like her. She gets things done. She pulls the public together. I think that’s what people are looking for, we’ve had enough of this shouting and divisiveness.’”

MPR’s Paul Huttner tells us, “Mover over Waseca. It appears Harmony, Minnesota set a brand new all-time state of Minnesota precipitation record in 2018. The National Weather Service cooperative weather observer in Harmony recorded an astounding 60.21″ of precipitation last year. … So how far out of whack is 60-inches of precipitation in Minnesota? Consider this. 60-inches of annual precipitation is close to average for cities near the Gulf of Mexico like New Orleans. (62.45″).”

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