ST. PAUL — More than 15,000 Minnesotans will receive $1.4 million in refunds under a settlement agreement between the state and telecommunications company Comcast/Xfinity. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday, Jan. 15, made the announcement that his office had settled with Comcast after several customers came forward with concerns about not receiving gift cards the company promised them or faced unexpected fees for service.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Senate Republicans on Thursday, Jan. 2, announced they'd introduce a plan to require the state's electric utilities to move away from fossil fuel sources. A similar plan had bipartisan support last year but came up short in the divided state Legislature. Now, with the support of a key gatekeeper in the Senate, it could have a path to the governor's desk.
ST. PAUL — Those making minimum wage in most Minnesota cities will see a slight bump in their pay. Medical professionals will be required to learn more about safe opioid painkiller prescribing practices as they go to renew their licenses. And prescription drug middlemen working with health insurers and large employers will face new licensing requirements under state law in an effort to force additional transparency around drug prices. Minnesota lawmakers earlier this year approved a slate of new laws and a handful of them are set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
ST. PAUL — The Walz administration on Friday, Dec. 13, announced that it would seek out a private group to study the potential restructuring of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In a news release, Gov. Tim Walz said he had set out parameters for an independent expert that would be tasked with conducting a review of the department and determine whether breaking it up could help solve some of its problems.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, Nov. 18, re-issued a call to reach a compromise before Christmas that could set up a special session before New Year's Day. And he urged lawmakers to come out of closed-door meetings to hold the talks in public. The call galvanized Democrats, who'd been pushing to get negotiations out into the public, and it irked Republicans, who noted that previous efforts to vet the plans in public had fallen short.
MINNEAPOLIS — Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday, Nov. 12, accepted the Minnesota Golden Gophers' game ball on behalf of the people of Minnesota. The handoff comes days after the then-17th ranked Gophers upset the No. 4 pick Penn State Nittany Lions 31-26 at TCF Bank Stadium, making the Minnesota football team 9-0 for the first time since 1904. The win helped boost the Gophers to No. 7 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and fueled enthusiasm from fans who swarmed the field after Saturday's game to seize the Governor's Victory Bell.
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — Despite political division at home, men and women of the U.S. Military can unite the country around core American values. That was the message of elected officials who addressed hundreds of Minnesota veterans, family members and others on Monday, Nov. 11, at the State of Minnesota Veterans Day event.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor this week released a damning report outlining how a "dysfunction in supervision, oversight and control" allowed the state Department of Human Services to overpay $29 million to two tribes. The special review came after the department earlier this year noted that it had stopped the overpayments and asked the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and White Earth Nation to repay the $29 million, which had been overpaid for medicine-assisted opioid treatments between 2014 and 2019.
ST. PAUL — A Minnesota lawmaker says he wants college athletes in the state to be able to benefit financially from the use of their names and likenesses. State Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, drafted a bill would let collegiate athletes accept compensation for the use of their name, image, or likeness and retain licensed agents to represent them without risking their scholarships. The bill would require colleges and universities or athletic leagues like the NCAA let athletes receiving endorsements compete.
ST. PAUL — U.S. and International steamship executives, Great Lakes port authority directors and development officials on Tuesday, Oct. 22, traveled to the Minnesota Capitol to highlight the economic value of shipping on the Great Lakes. In visits with lawmakers, economic development, transportation and pollution control commissioners as well as with Gov. Tim Walz, the coalition made the case that seaway shipping has a $1.4 billion economic impact for the state and should be top of mind as state officials weigh policy and state funding decisions.