Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
For the second year in a row, Minnesota attracted new residents from other states in 2018 and immigration continued to play an important role in the state’s population growth. Last year, about 17,000 of the more than 43,000 new Minnesota residents came from other states or countries, according to population estimates released Thursday, April 18, by the U.S. Census Bureau.
People struggling with mental illness also often face problems with addiction and other challenges, but getting comprehensive treatment can be tough. Patients would typically need to visit more than one clinician for help with problems like mental illness and substance abuse. A pilot program in Minnesota and seven other states has had success locating multiple types of treatments under one roof, but it is at risk of ending.
ST. PAUL — Should the public know if a voter’s eligibility has been challenged? How about if they’ve been convicted of a felony? Secretary of State Steve Simon doesn’t think so and he’s planning to challenge his second legal defeat on the matter. But the Minnesota Voters Alliance says that type of information and other data the state collects would help prove voter fraud is more pervasive than many think.
ST. PAUL — It takes up nearly half the state’s general fund budget and is typically one of the last things lawmakers agree on before wrapping up their work at the Legislature. Education spending — on public schools from preschool to postsecondary — accounts for $22 billion of the state’s current two-year, $45.5 billion budget. Minnesota school districts, colleges and universities educate more than 1 million students each year.
ST. PAUL - It’s never good to get a letter saying your personal information was at risk, and Minnesota state government has had to send a lot of them lately. In a letter to state lawmakers, Human Services Commissioner Tony Lourey wrote that the email account of one his department’s employees was the target of a cyber attack. The hacker accessed the account in March 2018 and used it to send emails to other workers trying to get them to send money for a fake invoice.
ST. PAUL — If you take Minnesota political leaders at their word, they’re committed to making health care more accessible and affordable. Here’s a recent sampling:
ST. PAUL — Minnesota school districts don’t have to make up the days they missed because of extreme cold and snow thanks to a bipartisan bill signed Monday, April 1, by Gov. Tim Walz. The “Snow Day Relief Bill” allows districts to avoid penalties in state law for failing to provide a certain amount of classroom instruction time. Although there’s no recent evidence it’s ever been enforced, state law calls for districts to lose money and administrators to even be jailed for not providing enough school time.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is suing a plasma center for refusing to allow a transgender woman to donate. A lawsuit filed Thursday, March 7, by Attorney General Keith Ellison on behalf of the Human Rights Department alleges CSL Plasma stopped Alice James from donating because she identifies as a woman. “I am proud to live in a state where the law demands that people be treated fairly. I hope this case helps to ensure fair treatment for other Minnesotans,” James said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota schools are a step closer to being able to avoid making up instruction days they missed this winter because of frigid temperatures and snow. The state Senate on Thursday, March 7, passed with a 61-2 vote the “Snow Days Relief Act” that allows districts to count school days canceled for inclement weather toward instruction time required by state law. The harsh winter with long stretches of frigid temperatures and mountains of snow has forced some districts to cancel as many as 10 days of school.
ST. PAUL — After years of trying, advocates for struggling families hope this is the year lawmakers will boost the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or welfare-to-work assistance, which has essentially had benefits frozen for 33 years. Gov. Tim Walz included adding $100 a month to what MFIP recipients receive in his budget proposal. DFLers in the House want to go further and increase it by $200 a month, saying even that generous of an increase would not cover inflationary costs since 1986.