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Walz Signs “100 Percent Carbon-Free by 2040” Bill into Law

By |2023-02-08T06:03:25-06:00February 8th, 2023|

A bill signed into law by Governor Tim Walz requires 100 percent of the state's electricity to be carbon-free by the year 2040.  Walz says Minnesotans are not going to wait any longer: "And I have to tell you when I hear people say "you're moving too fast,"  we can't move to fast when it comes to addressing climate change. We can't move....applause." Kevin Pranis of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota says this is a jobs bill: "Our members are ready to extend the life of Minnesota’s nuclear power plants, install thousands of megawatts of wind and solar, and deploy emerging [...]

President Biden Pushes for Police Reforms in SOU Address

By |2023-02-08T05:58:35-06:00February 8th, 2023|

President Biden issued another call to "finish the job on police reform" during his State of the Union address Tuesday night, as discussions stall in Congress due to disagreements on a number of key issues. Senator Tina Smith: "We have to just all continue to try to work to make sure that of course we're fighting violence but we are fighting violence in all the ways that it happens including  when it's perpetrated by law enforcement against citizens." Republicans still have the numbers in the Senate to filibuster Democratic initiatives such as policing proposals, and they now control the House, meaning [...]

Some Minnesota Hospitals NOT complying with Hospital Price Transparency Rule

By |2023-02-08T05:57:02-06:00February 8th, 2023|

A new report by Patient-Rights-Advocate.org shows a large majority of hospitals are continuing to hide the cost of care from consumers, including 33 hospitals in Minnesota. Cynthia Fisher, founder, and Chairwoman of PRA says they are finding there are wide price variations in the same hospitals for identical services: "No one would have put up with being charged $10 More for a gallon of milk or 10 times more for a gallon of milk in the grocery store or 10 times more can you imagine paying 10 times more for a car well that's happening every day in these hospitals and [...]

City-Owned Utilities Face Challenge Meeting ‘Carbon-Free’ Electricity Standard

By |2023-02-08T05:54:48-06:00February 8th, 2023|

City-owned utilities are trying to figure out how to meet Minnesota's new carbon-free electricity standard by 2040.  Willmar Municipal Utilities G-M John Harren says the law does not allow new nuclear facilities which could be vital after coal and natural gas plants are retired: "So when the wind quits blowing or the sun isn't shining you can rely on nuclear. We need some form of long-term, reliability-based load generation in order to meet these mandates." Harren says he does not envision municipal power providers building solar arrays or putting up wind turbines, but rather buying electric credits from large operations.  Xcel [...]

Walz to sign clean energy bill

By |2023-02-07T06:05:57-06:00February 7th, 2023|

Governor Tim Walz is at a labor union in the Twin Cities this afternoon (Tues 2pm) to sign a bill that requires 100 percent of Minnesota's electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2040.  Republicans warn prices will skyrocket, but Democratic Senator Nick Frentz from North Mankato says the move is necessary to fight climate change: "We can rise to the challenge like this country and this state did -- two world wars, Great Depression and who knows what challenge in the future -- and we can meet it." But Fosston Republican Steve Green says a constituent on the Leech Lake Reservation [...]

MN Senate reconfirms Petersen as state ag commissioner

By |2023-02-07T06:03:45-06:00February 7th, 2023|

The Minnesota Senate on a vote of 63-to-zero has reconfirmed Thom Petersen as state Agriculture Commissioner, with praise coming from both sides of the aisle.  Saint Cloud Democrat Aric Putnam: "Commissioner Petersen travels the state every year to listen to the farmers' voice and to build relationships  -- and it works, members!   Everybody loves this dude!" Alexandria Republican Torrey Westrom says Petersen is "the example of working with both sides of the aisle" -- his reputation before he became commissioner: "As commissioner he has had that same style that I have appreciated, and I've told him before.   I've told Democrats, I've [...]

Vice President Kamala Harris Coming to Minnesota

By |2023-02-07T06:00:25-06:00February 7th, 2023|

Vice President Kamala Harris will be in St. Cloud Thursday. The focus of her visit is expected to be on the push for more electric vehicles.  Political Analyst Blois Olson says her visit to St. Cloud is unusual: "Usually, the Biden Harris team has been in metro areas more and more obviously that's where their political basis but I think this is an effort to kind of spread the word about their plans for a new energy economy which is a major theme for Democrats nationally and locally." Several of President Biden's cabinet members will be touring the country this week [...]

Suspect in Willmar Cold Case Murder Committed to Memory Care

By |2023-02-07T05:58:37-06:00February 7th, 2023|

Algene Vossen will not stand trial for the 1974 murder of Mae Herman of Willmar.   The 81-year-old from Sioux Falls has been committed to a memory care facility for the rest of his life.  Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt says he had hoped Vossen would be convicted of Herman's murder: "Certainly is disappointing. We want resolution for the family. There's still grandchildren and other distant relatives that have lived under this shadow for decades. And we hope that this has given them  some closure. I think things have been fairly well proven." D-N-A evidence connected Vossen to the scene of Herman's [...]

Bill naming section of Highway 5 in honor of Prince awaits vote in Minnesota Senate

By |2023-02-07T05:56:26-06:00February 7th, 2023|

After clearing a key committee, next is a vote in the full Minnesota Senate on a bill that would designate a seven-mile stretch of State Highway 5 in Chanhassen as the "Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway."  Most concerns have apparently been addressed, perhaps with one notable exception:  Memorial highway signs are generally brown: "And if you can tell today by my attire, we are hoping that it could purple." ...bill sponsor, Waconia Republican Julia Coleman.  Transportation Committee Chairman, Minneapolis Democrat Scott Dibble said "once in a while, we can be a little bit flexible": "I support proceeding with the sign in [...]

Recreational Cannabis Bill Passes MN Senate Ag Committee

By |2023-02-07T05:54:47-06:00February 7th, 2023|

The Minnesota Senate Agriculture Committee is the latest panel to approve a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis in the state.  Andrew Johnmeyer of Green Machine Farm in Goodhue County spoke in support of the measure: "Through its explicit preference for small, craft and microbusiness producers. Through its limits on vertical integration and through its flexibility in marketing and processing for the smallest growers, this bill is our best chance to create a thriving cannabis market." Opponent David Benson-Staebler of SAVE warns that marijuana farming will have a negative impact on the state's aquifers: "Choosing drugs over food is dubious enough. [...]

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