Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — It's expected to take until the end of the year for the Minnesota Department of Health to tackle the backlog of complaints of maltreatment in the state's assisted-living facilities. In the meantime, lawmakers are expected to use recent recommendations from an elder abuse task force as a guide to craft new rules and regulations to help keep Minnesota's most vulnerable citizens safe.
ST. PAUL—Republicans in the Minnesota House want to make it easier for the recently enacted corporate tax cuts to result in lower energy rates for consumers. State Reps. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, and Nolan West, R-Blaine, said at a news conference Tuesday that the 14 percent reduction in corporate taxes approved by Congress in December should be worth $200 million to Minnesota utility companies. They want to see that savings passed on to energy consumers in the form of lower prices rather than landing in the companies' coffers.
Minnesota's newest senator now has some competition from within her own party. Nick Leonard, a Minneapolis lawyer and activist, announced Monday, Feb. 5, he would challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith for the seat she was appointed to in December. Smith replaced Al Franken, who stepped down in January amid allegations of sexual impropriety. Smith was previously lieutenant governor.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's job market has improved to record levels for black residents although their jobless rate remains more than double the state average. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED, released a jobs report Thursday, Jan., 18, that showed 7.5 percent of black Minnesotans were unemployed in December. That's the lowest jobless rate for black residents since the state began keeping records in 2001.
MINNEAPOLIS — An Inver Grove Heights, Minn., man and former Allina Health vice president faces seven felony charges that accuse him of embezzling $269,000 from his former employer.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans could pay up to eight times more for certain medical procedures depending on the hospital they choose, but it's hard to know which facilities offer the most affordable services. That's the takeaway from a report released Wednesday, Jan. 3, by the Minnesota Department of Health aimed at making health care costs more transparent. Researchers examined the wide range of prices Minnesotans pay hospitals for four procedures — hip and knee replacements and normal and C-section births.
ST. PAUL—Republicans in Congress are close to a sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code that will have long-term implications for Minnesotans. The $1.5 trillion tax cut bill approved by the Senate early Saturday and a similar bill approved by the House of Representatives in November represent the largest changes to the tax code in three decades. Both were passed without any Democratic support. The bills differ, but would essentially:
ST. PAUL — Minnesota school districts continued to enjoy strong support from voters, who approved tax levies for operations and capital improvements this year at near-record rates. Voters backed 82 percent — 50 of 61 operating levies — on the Nov. 7 ballot. That's shy of the record 90 percent approval for operating levies in 2015, but it's only the third time since 2000 that more than 80 percent of operating levies have been approved.
ST. PAUL — Health insurance sign-ups through MNsure, the state's individual insurance marketplace, are off to a strong start in the first two weeks of open enrollment. As of Tuesday, Nov. 14, 91,623 people had signed up through Minnesota's exchange for the federal Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Most of those sign-ups were from existing customers who renewed plans or who chose different coverage.
MINNEAPOLIS—Minneapolis entrepreneur Greg Dehn thinks he has a better way to match college scholarships with the students who need them. Dehn has created Kaleidoscope — an online platform to help organizations nationwide promote the scholarships they offer and help students find and apply for financial aid that fits their skills and academic plans. The service is in the process of adding scholarship providers and should be available to students in the coming months.