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Minnesota House passes plan to refill unemployment trust fund, send checks to frontline workers

Plus: Minnesota Senate passes $200 million public safety package; 10-year-old girl from Chippewa Falls found dead after being reported missing; Biden to attend Mondale memorial in Minneapolis; and more.

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

In the Duluth News Tribune Dana Ferguson says, “In a surprise move on Monday, April 25, the Minnesota House of Representatives advanced a more than $3.7 billion proposal to replenish the state’s jobless fund and send out checks to front line workers. The plan would repay the federal government for helping the state pay unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic. It would also replenish the state’s unemployment insurance fund. Roughly one in five workers drew benefits from the fund, according to the Department of Employment and Economic Development, due to COVID-19 and the state’s effort to quell it.”

In the Star Tribune, Emma Nelson says, “The Minnesota Senate passed a $200 million slate of ‘tough on crime’ measures Monday, amid a nationwide rise in violent crime that has stoked community anxiety throughout Minnesota and exacerbated partisan divisions at the Capitol. After more than four hours of debate, the Senate voted 48-19 to approve Republicans’ public safety package. It focuses on recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers, increasing criminal penalties, making changes to sentencing guidelines and spotlighting prosecutors and judges who depart from those guidelines.”

The Pioneer Press also reports: “A 10-year-old girl was found dead Monday morning in Chippewa Falls, Wis., one day after she was reported missing. Iliana ‘Lily’ Peters’ father reported her missing around 9 p.m. Sunday when she did not return home from a visit to her aunt’s house, about four blocks away. Police first found what they believed to be the girl’s bicycle in the woods near a walking trail. Then, around 9:15 a.m. Monday, they found the girl’s body near the trail. Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said they’re investigating the case as a homicide, but they have not made any arrests.”

For MPR, Tim Nelson and Andrew Krueger write, “Highways remain closed and officials continue to closely monitor water levels after some rain-swollen rivers in northwestern Minnesota rose to major flood stage over the weekend. That includes the Red Lake River in Crookston, where volunteers filled sandbags to protect low-lying neighborhoods, and the city opened an evacuation center. Over the weekend the river had been forecast to exceed the record crest of 28.4 feet, set in 1997 — though the National Weather Service on Monday morning revised that to a slightly lower crest of 27.1 feet.”

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FOX 9 reports: “In an appeal brief filed on Monday, an attorney for Derek Chauvin laid out their arguments for why he deserves a new trial in the murder of George Floyd. Among the list of arguments, that were included in the 82-page brief, Chauvin’s attorney argues that, in the climate that followed Floyd’s killing, it was impossible for him to get a fair trial in Minneapolis.”

In the Pioneer Press, Mara H. Gottfried writes: “St. Paul’s police chief says a state representative interfered at the traffic stop of a woman he indicated was his daughter, handed out business cards that identified him as Rep. John Thompson, yelled at officers and noted his elected position several times. Thompson represents St. Paul’s East Side as an independent after Minnesota House Democrats expelled Thompson from their caucus in September. … On Sunday afternoon, Thompson also accused St. Paul officers of being racist during a traffic stop when he arrived after police pulled over a 26-year-old who he referred to as his daughter, said Steve Linders, a police spokesman, on Monday.”

WCCO-TV reports: “President Joe Biden will be in the Twin Cities this weekend to honor man he called a ‘dear friend and mentor.’ The president is one of several lawmakers who will speak at the service for former Vice President Walter Mondale, who died a year ago at the age of 93. Mondale also served as Minnesota attorney general, a U.S. senator and ambassador to Japan. Sunday’s memorial service will be held at the University of Minnesota.”

The AP reports: “A businessman who was one of the early investors in a failed professional football league called the Alliance of American Football pleaded guilty Monday to charges accusing him in a $600 million cryptocurrency scheme. Reginald Fowler was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and other offenses that prosecutors say contributed to the AAF’s quick demise in 2019. … Fowler, 63, of Chandler, Arizona, was once known for trying to buy the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in 2005. He ended up as a minority owner before his involvement in the team ended in 2014.”