Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL—Are Minnesota's rules setting pay on state-funded public construction projects a boost for skilled labor or a barrier for workers hoping to climb the employment ladder? When it comes to school construction, new research by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute found Minnesota's prevailing-wage law resulted in more local hiring, higher pay and stronger apprenticeship programs.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota has a new online tool to help outdoor enthusiasts plan trips to state and regional parks and trails. The Minnesota Great Outdoors website, launched Tuesday, allows park-goers to search a state map of parks and trails and compare amenities. "Previously, you would have to know which office or region managed the park or trail you were looking for. Now, you have a clear, easy-to-navigate launchpad to find all of the information you need to plan your trip," said Commissioner Tom Landwehr, of the state Department of Natural Resources, in a statement.
ST. PAUL—A Republican-led group of lawmakers unveiled a tax code overhaul late Friday that would cut Minnesota's first two tax brackets between now and 2020. A joint committee of House and Senate lawmakers met this week to iron out the differences between tax plans that have cleared their two chambers. Minnesota needs to align its tax code with recent federal changes, or many residents will pay more next year.
ST. PAUL — When the Minnesota Legislature returns from spring break, political mud season will begin with lawmakers having just six weeks to find agreement on how to rewrite the state's tax code. That would be tricky anytime, but it's even more complex this year with the entire state House of Representatives up for election and a wide field of candidates seeking to replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who is not running again.
ST. PAUL — The years-long task of overhauling Minnesota's way of licensing teachers has entered the home stretch. If lawmakers can resolve the differences in bills that have already cleared the House and Senate in a way that wins the approval of Gov. Mark Dayton, they can accomplish one of the biggest reforms to state education policy in recent history. "I hope the governor will see this as part of his legacy," said Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, who sat on a school board for a dozen years before joining the Legislature.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota House will debate legislation Thursday that could give local school leaders more control over which teachers get cut when budgets are tight or when student enrollment drops. The legislation — Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, is its chief sponsor — aims to limit the role seniority plays when layoffs occur. Republicans have long wanted school leaders to consider other factors when making staffing decisions, but those efforts have largely been blocked by Democrats.
ST. PAUL—Champagne corks could soon be popping — a bill repealing Minnesota's 159-year-old ban on Sunday liquor store sales is headed to Gov. Mark Dayton. The Minnesota House voted 88-39 on Thursday to accept the Senate's version of a bill repealing the ban that's been on the books since statehood. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he will sign a repeal if it reached his desk.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's 159-year-old ban on Sunday liquor sales appears headed for repeal, but not before the debate among lawmakers ferments a little bit longer. The Minnesota Senate voted 38-28 Monday, Feb. 27, to end the prohibition on liquor stores being open on Sunday, following in the footsteps of the House, which passed a similar repeal last week.
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — Aimee Edwards feared her dream of becoming a nurse was slipping through her fingers. The Inver Grove Heights wife and grandmother thought she had done everything right. She worked hard, saved her money, enrolled in training for her dream job and excelled in her classes. But in December, about six months before she was set to graduate, Edwards learned the Minnesota School of Business campus in Richfield, where she was studying to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing, would soon close.
Minnesota school administrators and teachers union leaders agreed Monday that a mix of financial incentives and support for new educators is the best way to address the state’s growing shortage...