Minnesota

Shortsighted cuts could hurt community health advancements

The Community Transformation Grant (CTG) program was initiated in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an attempt to address health disparities, help control health care spending, and create a healthier future. To this end, federal funds from the Affordable Care Act were allocated to select communities across the U.S. to help support community-level efforts to reduce chronic diseases by expanding efforts in “tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, and quality clinical and other preventative services.” Minnesota fared well in the selection process: the state was awarded $4.7 million per year (including $1.1 million for Hennepin County) for what was supposed to be a five-year program.

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Renters' Credit should be part of tax plan

When the Legislature comes back into session next week after the Easter/Passover break, we encourage policymakers to focus their final tax bill negotiations on tax policies that create a fairer tax system.

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Budget bills make additional investments in education

A quality educational system plays a critical role in a state’s economic success. For Minnesota to build an economy that works for everyone, all Minnesota children need access to quality education regardless of their race, income or where they live.

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University of Minnesota, Teach for America seek partnership approval, plan would create Minnesota's first alternative teacher licensing program

Minnesota’s first alternative teacher licensing program could begin as soon as June, pending Minnesota Board of Teaching approval of the University of Minnesota’s proposed partnership with Teach for America.

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Farmers markets, chili cook-offs will have specific food safety regulations

State food inspection law has been changed to specifically regulate farmers markets.

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Health and Human Services supplemental budget bills increase funding for health care workers

The Legislature made important progress in increasing access to health care for Minnesotans last session using limited resources, and the positive balance in the February Forecast has allowed policymakers to propose additional investments in health and human services this year.

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Smoke rings and mirrors: Are Minnesota Republicans pivoting on medical pot or just talking in circles?

With KSTP/SurveyUSA's polling showing that 68 percent of Minnesotans favor the legalization of medical marijuana, it's not surprising that Republican supporters of the legislation like Pat Garofalo are hoping to blame all DFLers for impeding passage of state representative Carly Melin's (DFL-Hibbing) HF1818 (and the overflow bill) and the companion bill offered by Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis).

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April Economic Update provides a note of caution

The state’s April Economic Update finds that the outlook for the economy is still one of growth, but slower than previously projected, and that recent state revenues have come in a bit below expectations.

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Pension subsidies pass the House

The long-term financial outlook for Minnesota pensions would improve if a bill that passed the House Thursday becomes law.

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Minimum wage increase passes House, governor to sign Monday

Rep. Ryan Winkler makes his closing comments April 10 before the House takes a vote on a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage. The bill passed 71-60 and now goes to the governor for action. (Photo by Paul Battaglia)

After nearly three hours of debate — and several accusations that the minimum wage package was done as a “back room deal” between House and Senate leadership in exchange for a new legislative office building — the House voted 71-60 to increase the state’s minimum hourly wage to $9.50, phasing it in by 2016, and indexing for inflation starting in 2018.

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