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Minnesota Legislature passes final budget bill

Plus: Minnesota Court of Appeals allows additional charges against former Minneapolis police officers; Minneapolis and St. Paul minimum wage increases kick in; Minnesota Supreme Court suspends Michelle MacDonald’s law license; and more. 

The floor of the Minnesota Senate at the end of the 2021 special session.
The floor of the Minnesota Senate at the end of the 2021 special session.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Theo Keith reports for FOX 9: “Minnesota lawmakers averted a partial government shutdown at midnight Wednesday by sending the final budget bill to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk. The Senate unanimously approved the $21 billion K-12 education funding agreement, the last must-pass bill before the midnight deadline. Walz has now signed eight budget bills into law and has four others on his desk.”

Steve Karnowski writes for the AP: “Prosecutors may file aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. The appeals court sent the case back to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. … A three-judge appeals panel, which heard oral arguments May 20, said its decision in March to allow prosecutors to reinstate a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin requires a reversal of the trial court’s decision against allowing aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against the other three defendants.”

Joe Carlson writes for the Star Tribune: “Mayo Clinic is facing three lawsuits from patients who say a former surgery resident, Ahmad Alsughayer, viewed hundreds of their nude photographs in electronic medical records despite having no professional reason to go into their files. Alsughayer, who is 28 and has a current address in Saginaw, Mich., was charged in April by the Olmsted County attorney’s office with a single gross misdemeanor of unauthorized computer access after one of the 1,614 patients whose records he viewed filed a report with the Rochester Police.”

Jon Collins writes for MPR: “A Minneapolis City Council committee took steps Wednesday to withdraw one of two charter amendments that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety. Council member Jeremy Schroeder says the council authors decided to withdraw the council-created amendment to avoid confusion with a similar citizen-driven charter amendment. ‘Both amendments would have a similar structure – where the new department would be like every other department in the city,’ Schroeder said. ‘They’d report to the mayor with legislative oversight by the Council. They’d also both continue to have law enforcement.’ The citizen charter amendment to create a new Department of Public Safety is expected to appear on voters’ ballots in November.”

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WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman reports: “Support is pouring in for Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. On Sunday, a video posted online showed a group of protesters holding her captive during a Pride Day event..…A Mother’s Love founder Lisa Clemons says she and Jenkins do not always see eye to eye on issues, but she stands with her. ‘It was Neanderthal. It was intimidation tactics. It was beneath anything I’ve ever seen,’ Clemons said. ‘You hold somebody hostage for nearly two hours, force them, coerce them into signing a bogus documents that is worth nothing than the paper it’s written on, and you believe you got your voice heard? Absolutely not.’”

Katie Galioto writes for the Star Tribune: “Low-paid workers across the Twin Cities are getting a raise Thursday as both Minneapolis and St. Paul bump up their city-mandated minimum wages. Both cities approved policies in recent years that eventually will require employers to pay at least $15 an hour — a mark that all Minneapolis businesses are expected to meet by 2024, followed by St. Paul businesses in 2027. … Some point out that labor shortages in certain industries, such as hospitality, are forcing employers to raise wages even higher than the mandated levels. Others say the requirement is stretching already thin margins after a year of hardship.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Authorities say a juvenile was killed in a jet ski crash early Wednesday evening on Lake Minnetonka. The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office says its Water Patrol was called to East Upper Lake at about 5:45 p.m. Boaters pulled the juvenile from the water and began performing CPR. The victim was then taken to Water Patrol Headquarters in Spring Lake, but were later pronounced dead.

Also from the AP: “The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely suspended the law license of frequent justice candidate Michelle MacDonald, affirming a referee’s finding that she violated the state’s rules of professional conduct by falsely impugning the integrity of a judge. The high court also said MacDonald cannot petition for reinstatement for four months, calling it an appropriate penalty for repeating her misconduct by knowingly making false statements about the integrity of the same judge while still on probation in an earlier disciplinary case.”

Molly Beck writes for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Wisconsin lawmakers on Wednesday sent Gov. Tony Evers legislation that could make it harder to get records about lawmakers who are disciplined or accused of harassment, government transparency experts warn. The measure would formally create a human resources office for the state Legislature and says disciplinary records and complaints against lawmakers should be treated confidentially, bolstering a legislative practice of withholding complaints against lawmakers.”