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MN Blog Cabin Roundup 12/4

Budget forecast offers chance for broader prosperity; when health insurance costs become your biggest financial fear; how to be a nice driver in the winter and the 10 beers of Minnesota winter.

Positive budget forecast offers chance for broader prosperity, greater fairness in tax system

from Minnesota Budget Bites by Clark Biegler

Today’s Minnesota November 2015 Budget and Economic Forecast shows positive news for two budget cycles, and shows once again that Minnesota has turned the corner after a decade of frequent deficits and cuts to public services.

Policymakers should focus on investing in shared prosperity and making our tax system fairer and more sustainable as they put together the supplemental budget for FY 2016-17.

When health insurance costs become your biggest financial fear

from Minnesota Prairie Roots by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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I EXPECTED THE INCREASE. Yet, when I received notice of a $190 monthly hike in my health insurance premium, I reacted with shock. And anger. My new premium for an individual policy with a $6,550 deductible will be $602. Are you BLEEPING kidding me? That’s a 46 percent increase from my current $412/month premium. Plus, the deductible jumped $1,350 (from $5,200). For a “bronze” policy that basically offers only catastrophic coverage.

How to be a nice driver in the winter

from Biking in Mpls by Lindsey Wallace

With forecasts of four to eight inches of snow by tomorrow night, I feel pretty confident when I say winter is here. Yesterday I was giddy with excitement, and it was well placed. This morning’s bike commute in fresh snow was pure joy. This is Minnesota, land of hardy Northerners who love the winter despite complaining about it. And yet, news reports about weather never talk about how fun it’ll be to play in the snow, how perfect conditions will be for skiing, or how picturesque the snow will make your evening walk. They only discuss the commute, telling you minute-by-minute how much traffic you can expect. Instead of anticipating the magic of those first luminescent flakes, you’re already getting red in the face, thinking about being stuck in traffic.

If you drive in winter, it can be hard to break out of this mindset. It can be hard to think about snow as anything but a major inconvenience. It can be hard to see past your windshield, to see what really matters. That’s why I made you a handy guide to stay Minnesota nice even when you’re driving in snow.

The 10 beers of Minnesota winter, and how best to enjoy them

from RedCurrent by Charles Awad

December is here, and there’s a fresh, white coat of snow draped gently across our fields and valleys. It’s time to set down those fruity, summery, sessionable beers, and start thinking about what you’re going to warm your bones with from here until the day your cheeks are kissed by the sun again.

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