Governor Tim Walz this afternoon (Wed) at a "Rally for Democracy" at the State Capitol says many Minnesotans benefited from the fights that happened before us... "It is frustrating that we're fighting for women to make their own choices about their health care." Walz is talking about a leaked draft opinion that suggests the U-S Supreme Court could overturn the 1973 Roe -v- Wade decision legalizing abortion.
The largest property tax cut for homeowners and renters in over 20 years... child care tax credits... and no state income tax on Social Security benefits for those making under 75 thousand dollars -- among highlights of Democrats' tax cut bill the Minnesota House passed today (Wed, on a vote of 69-to-62). Dilworth Representative Paul Marquart: "It looks at our families, it looks at our seniors and say(s), how can we be of the most help with this tax bill." Republicans say Democrats could lower state income taxes permanently for Minnesotans, except... ..."spend is what you do -- spend, spend, spend [...]
The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate is threatening to *not* give the University of Minnesota any funding from a supplemental higher education bill, unless the Board of Regents establishes a special commission to address students' and parents' concerns about some athletics programs being cut at the "U." Republican Senator Jason Rarick from Pine City: "I didn't want to tie up funding to the University of Minnesota to this.... I wanted them to respond to what the people of Minnesota are asking them to do. They failed!" Saint Cloud Democrat Aric Putnam says he also wants a special commission, but withholding funding from the [...]
Controversy continues to swirl after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion suggests an end to legal abortion. Sarah Stoesz (stays) with Planned Parenthood says there are already legislatures in the U-S where lawmakers... "Attempts to make abortion illegal specifically refer to ectopic pregnancies and wanting to protect the life of the fetus in an ectopic pregnancy even though we know that it would endanger the life of the woman carrying that ectopic pregnancy." An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus--and most often occurs in a fallopian tube.
It's Walk and Bike to School Day in Minnesota (WED). MnDOT's Dave Cowan says there are many benefits to walking or biking to school, including... "Creating safe routes to school, building a sense of community or school spirit and inspiring families to use their feet for the school commute a little more often." Students can also participate in a Bike to School Day poster contest by creating and submitting posters showing how they feel when they ride a bicycle to the Minnesota Safe Routes to School Facebook page using the hashtag mnbikes. The top three posters will win prizes.
An E-12 education bill the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate passed Tuesday -- totaling 30 million dollars to beef up literacy programs in public schools -- could hardly be more different than House Democrats' plan to add three billion dollars to public school funding over four years. Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain from Lino Lakes says half of Minnesota third-graders can't read at grade level -- and if a child can't read, little else matters: "Why are we in this spot? It's not because we don't fund (education). We haven't got the 'wheels' right." But Saint Paul Democrat Erin Murphy says: "I worry a [...]
Many ag economists believe the farm economy to be shrouded in uncertainty. One of them is Pauline Van Nurden with the University of Minnesota. "We certainly have good crop prices, (but) the question is ‘how much have farms prepaid? And what inputs do they have locked in?’ Feed prices aren’t going to go down for our livestock producers. So I think there’s a lot of uncertainty." Van Nurden says marketing will be key to profitability this year: "We see corn and soybean prices above our average sale price for last year. We see pretty strong hog, beef and milk prices as [...]
Before passing a two-billion dollar health and human services funding package Tuesday, the Minnesota House said "no" to a five-million-dollar compensation fund for those suffering adverse reactions to the COVID vaccine. The measure's sponsor, Alexandria Republican Mary Franson says one of many text messages she received... "Injured triathlete is now in a wheelchair, her life forever affected.... These individuals need a voice at the table." Golden Valley Democrat Mike Freiberg says the COVID vaccine is safe: "Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccines under the most intense safety monitoring in U-S history."
If the Supreme Court does overturn Roe v Wade, Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier says Minnesota law would not be easily altered: "There's not going to be a big sea change in abortion procedures once this is announced nationally as a Supreme Court opinion it's not going to change things in Minnesota in any dramatic fashion." Schier says that's because abortion rights are protected by Minnesota law and under the state constitution.
COVID "hero bonuses" of 750-dollars are going out to over 600 thousand front-line workers in Minnesota in the coming weeks. That's after the state House and Senate both approved a compromise late last week. It's a "thank you" to those who helped the state deal with the impact of COVID...people like Mary Turner with the Minnesota Nurses Association. "I was there when we didn't know what this entailed. when our nurses would make sure that they changed their clothes and showered before they went home because they didn't want to bring the COVID back to their families." Turner says the money [...]