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Klobuchar introduces major antitrust reform bill

Plus: MNsure announces special enrollment period; Minnesota Orchestra posts multimillion dollar deficit; Minnesota Historical Society will return land to Lower Sioux Indian Community; and more.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Antitrust issues. CNBC’s Lauren Feiner reports:Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., unveiled a sweeping antitrust reform bill on Thursday, setting a tough tone as she becomes chair of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. … Klobuchar has been a frequent critic of what she and other lawmakers have viewed as lax enforcement of existing antitrust laws and has called for strong measures against some of the major tech firms. … While she has introduced several bills in the past seeking reforms to various aspects of antitrust law, her Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act is a comprehensive proposal calling for a major revamping of policing standards. If enacted, it would bring significantly more risk to companies like Facebook and Google, which are already facing federal lawsuits, and to any dominant firm seeking to acquire another company.

New insurance signup window. The Associated Press reports (via the Pioneer Press):Minnesota’s state-run health insurance exchange said Wednesday it will open a three-month special enrollment period to help uninsured and other Minnesotans obtain coverage. … MNsure said the open enrollment will begin Feb. 16 and run through May 17. The announcement follows a nationwide special enrollment period ordered by President Joe Biden last week for states that participate in the federal exchange. … ‘COVID-19 is still with us, so having access to comprehensive health care coverage is critical at this time,’ MNsure CEO Nate Clark said in a statement.”

A low note. The Pioneer Press’ Ross Raihala reports:The Minnesota Orchestra announced Thursday it posted a deficit of $11.7 million for the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31. … The season went from the orchestra sharing the stage with South Africa’s Gauteng Choristers in a fall 2019 choral collaboration to the cancellation of in-person concerts when the pandemic hit to a shift to online performances to a series of outdoor, physically distanced chamber music concerts. In total, about a third of the orchestra’s revenue-producing concerts and its annual Symphony Ball fundraising event were canceled due to the pandemic.”

Land return. WCCO reports:Lower Sioux Indian Community tribal leaders say that land with historical significance will be returned to the Community from the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Historical Society. … According to Community Council President Robert Larsen, plans are being finalized for the land acquisition, with the closing date of the transfer expected on Feb. 12. The land includes MHS parcels at the site where the U.S. Dakota War of 1862 started, which eventually led to the the “largest single day, mass execution in U.S. History.” … Larsen says the tribe takes back the land with “mixed emotions” because the land was used by the federal government and traders in a way that took advantage of his people.”

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In other news…

Not quite the shot heard ’round the world:Lexington, Minnesota mayor to announce he’s running for governor on Thursday” [WCCO Radio]

Unexpected:UnitedHealth makes sudden CEO change, elevating Witty” [Star Tribune]

Watching events at home:After Myanmar coup, Karen refugees in Minn. fear for homeland” [MPR]

Sunny outlook:Sun Country adds additional airports in Minnesota and 16 new routes” [KSTP]

Sad:3,000 trees to be removed in St. Paul due to emerald ash borer” [KMSP]

Weave come so far (sorry):Once-Struggling Faribault Woolen Mill Posts Record Year Amid Pandemic” [WCCO]

Dig, if you will, a small hole in the backyard:White dove that connected Prince to his fans dies at age 28” [MPR]

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