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Study Finds Minnesota State Contributed $8.4 Billion to State in 2021

By |2023-01-26T05:37:50-06:00January 26th, 2023|

A new study finds that the Minnesota State system has a multi-billion-dollar economic impact on the state's economy.   Nichole Parker of the Parker Phillips consulting firm conducted the analysis and says these schools do a lot more than produce graduates that fulfill Minnesota's workforce needs: "The operations of the 26 colleges and seven universities of Minnesota State are integral to the state's economy. And so they produce a combined eight-point-four billion (dollars)and sustain over 62-thousand jobs throughout the state." Parker says Minnesota State generates over 649 million dollars in state and local taxes.  More than 850 thousand alumni live and work [...]

DNR Would Get Big Boost In Governor’s Proposed Budget

By |2023-01-26T05:34:07-06:00January 26th, 2023|

Governor Tim Walz is proposing 287 million dollars in new money over the next two years to the DNR.  Commissioner Sarah Strommen: "This really is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make sure that those parks and those trails and our boat accesses and our streams are there for Minnesotans for the future for our health and wellness for our recreational enjoyment and for our economic well-being)." Much of the new money would come from the state’s $17 billion budget surplus.

House GOP Leaders Want Biden to Negotiate on Raising Debt Ceiling

By |2023-01-26T05:28:41-06:00January 26th, 2023|

House G-O-P leaders want President Biden to meet with them to discuss raising the nation's debt ceiling.  House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota says they're pushing for changes in the way the government spends money: "Republicans ran and won in 2022 on reigning in reckless federal spending. So we're ready to negotiate." Emmer says he has consistently opposed every debt ceiling increase since he was elected to Congress.  The White House says lawmakers should raise the debt limit without conditions.

Greater MN cities’ group disappointed with state aid in Gov. Walz’s proposed budget

By |2023-01-25T06:00:29-06:00January 25th, 2023|

"Disappointing," says a group representing Greater Minnesota cities about Governor Tim Walz's proposed budget having only 30 million dollars in state aid to cities, when they say 150 million is needed to hold down property taxes and ensure high-quality services.  The governor responds 300 million dollars in his budget would go to cities for public safety, plus he has significant new funding for what 10 mayors texted him about the other night: "The thing they focused on:  housing -- the absolutely fundamental change that will make for them in their communities and the impact that it would make on them." Bradley [...]

Teacher Shortages Growing

By |2023-01-25T05:52:59-06:00January 25th, 2023|

Nearly 9 out of 10 school districts in the state are reporting a growing shortage of both full-time and substitute teachers. Education Minnesota President Denise Specht says nearly a third of new teachers leave within the first five years in the profession: "We do talk with educators about what did you need in your first couple of years and they're telling us things like I needed better mentoring, I needed coaching. I needed time to plan or meet with my colleagues." Compensation and working conditions are also playing a key role in educators leaving the field.

Walz proposes budget with what he calls largest tax cut in MN history

By |2023-01-25T05:47:31-06:00January 25th, 2023|

Governor Tim Walz says his state budget plan would send nearly four billion dollars of the budget surplus directly back to over two-and-a-half million Minnesotans with checks up to 26-hundred dollars for families with dependents. "The largest tax cut in (the) state's history to the greatest number of Minnesotans across the spectrum." The governor also proposes reducing state income tax on Social Security benefits for over 350-thousand Minnesotans households. He wants the tax to start phasing out at a higher income than currently, but not be totally eliminated as Republicans and some Democrats have been calling for.  Walz says his proposed [...]

High inflation and interest rates impacting first time homebuyers

By |2023-01-25T04:43:55-06:00January 25th, 2023|

First-time home buyers are working against all odds to land their dream home amid skyrocketing housing prices, low availability, fierce competition, and ever-increasing mortgage interest rates. Chris Galler is CEO of Minnesota Realtors: "First-time homebuyers are the most impacted by it because sellers of existing homes their house is going to go up and down in value but the purchase of their next house is going to go up and down in value probably comparably." Mortgage interest rates are still twice as high as they were at the beginning of 2022.

Gustavus Adolphus College Establishing First-Ever Master’s Degree Program

By |2023-01-25T04:42:08-06:00January 25th, 2023|

Gustavus Adolphus College has a long history as a liberal arts undergraduate institution in south-central Minnesota, but that's about to change.   Officials at the private school in St. Peter are launching the first-ever master's degree program and it will be offered in Athletic Training: "Through a lot of work and research and support that has now come to fruition and we are set to be the first master's degree program at Gustavus beginning in the summer of 2024." Athletics program assistant director Mary Westby says new national certification rules require athletic trainers to receive a master's degree by next year.  Gustavus [...]

MN Senate to vote Friday on abortion rights bill

By |2023-01-24T05:44:48-06:00January 24th, 2023|

Debate is ratcheting up at the Minnesota Legislature as the Senate prepares to vote Friday on a bill to put abortion rights into Minnesota law.  Thousands turned out (Sun) at the State Capitol on the 50th anniversary of Roe -v- Wade to celebrate the U-S Supreme Court overturning that 1973 decision -- but also acknowledging the battle ahead in Minnesota: "Roe vs. Wade is no more...applause. Now it's our turn in each state and all 50 states across the nation to restore protection for life." ...Scott Fischbach with Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life.  Pro-lifers warn the bill before the Senate would [...]

Corn Growers Talk Solar Panel Expansion

By |2023-01-24T05:39:12-06:00January 24th, 2023|

Farm groups in several states are trying to figure out how to address the expansion of solar panels on productive farmland.  Minnesota Corn Growers president Richard Syverson says it’s a difficult issue: "We have people who want to participate in that, there are a lot of dollars being pushed that way right now. We need to take a position (and) need to work on that, so we wrestle with that one as a group." Syverson says Minnesota Corn wants to be very careful to get the solar policy right: "You’ve got huge government subsidies, and that’s kind of how we approached [...]

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