Madison McVan

Madison McVan

Madison McVan is a Report for America corps member who covers economic mobility for Minnesota Reformer. She previously covered agriculture for Investigate Midwest after graduating from the University of Missouri in 2020 with degrees in Journalism and Latin American studies.

Baby gets medicine

Minnesota ahead of the pack in some prenatal, early childhood policies

By: - October 19, 2023

Minnesota policies support expectant parents and young children more than other states, but there is still room for improvement, according to a team of Vanderbilt researchers.  The Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at Vanderbilt University evaluates how public policy measures impact child and family welfare. Reams of evidence show the earliest years are the most important […]

Small towns at a disadvantage when applying for housing funding

By: - October 18, 2023

Bigfork is a city of around 400 people in northern Minnesota, but it’s also home to a 24-hour hospital and a K-12 school district, which both serve an additional 600 people outside city limits.  “It’s the biggest little town that I’ve ever been to,” said Bigfork Mayor Bryan Boone.   Many local teachers and hospital employees […]

While other states face child care funding cliff, Minnesota avoids disaster

By: - October 2, 2023

Most of the pandemic-era federal funding that raised pay for child care providers and kept day cares open expired over the weekend, but in Minnesota, the programs will largely continue with state funds. Across the country, thousands of day cares are expected to close due to the expiration of the federal money, worsening a child […]

Number of medical mistakes in Minnesota still above historical levels

By: - September 27, 2023

Minnesota doctors left foreign objects in 36 patients’ bodies, performed the wrong procedure 18 times and executed three surgeries on the wrong person in 2022, according to a Department of Health report released Wednesday.  Staffing shortages, an aging population and lingering pandemic effects contributed to the 572 total “adverse health effects” in Minnesota health care […]

Patient mental health at risk as county suspends payments to mental health provider 

By: - September 26, 2023

Itasca County’s only public health insurance provider terminated its contract with one of the area’s largest behavioral health providers, leaving patients and their families searching for other options. Lakeview Behavioral Health is a for-profit provider of individual and group therapy, addiction treatment and sober living houses based in Grand Rapids, a city of around 11,000 […]

With many lofty goals already achieved, Latino groups push for economic inclusion

By: - September 22, 2023

MANKATO — The last legislative session featured a number of big wins for groups that advocate for Latinos in Minnesota — Drivers’ Licenses for All, paid family and medical leave and the expansion of the public insurance program MinnesotaCare to include undocumented Minnesota residents. Latino leaders in Minnesota celebrated last session’s wins and announced their new […]

Minnesota keeps adding jobs, but there aren’t enough workers to fill them all

By: - September 19, 2023

Minnesota jobs have recovered to pre-pandemic levels, but employers are struggling to fill open positions. The state gained 4,400 jobs from July to August, reaching numbers not seen since November 2019, according to a release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Meanwhile, Minnesota’s labor force participation rate — the number of working-age […]

Child poverty doubled in 2022 as pandemic benefits ended

By: - September 12, 2023

A slew of pandemic-era programs like the expanded child tax credit, stimulus checks and expanded SNAP benefits successfully reduced child poverty to record-low levels.  But when those benefits expired, the child poverty rate more than doubled, returning to pre-pandemic rates. In 2022, 12.4% of children were in poverty, compared to 5.2% in 2021, according to […]

Farm profits reached new heights last year, but are expected to drop in 2023

By: - September 12, 2023

As food prices rose around the country, so did farmers’ take-home pay.  Net farm profits rose by 30% from 2021 to 2022, according to recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the same time, food prices inflated by more than 10%. The USDA predicts farm incomes will drop by about 20% in 2023 […]

Wage gap, pricey child care keeping some women out of the labor market

By: - September 7, 2023

Women continue to carry the load of full-time parenting and caring for sick and elderly family members, according to a pair of recent reports from the Minneapolis Fed.  The gender wage gap and rising child care costs are key factors in keeping women at home — all while employers are struggling to fill open positions. […]

construction workers

Workers’ comp claims, especially COVID-19 cases, denied at record-high rates in recent years

By: - September 6, 2023

Employers and their insurance companies denied a record-breaking percentage of workers’ compensation claims in 2021 — even when you take COVID-19 cases out of the equation.  COVID-19-related claims were denied more often — 39% in 2021 — than other claims, which were denied about 24% of the time, according to preliminary data from the Minnesota Department of […]

City of Windom waiting on state aide in wake of plant closure

By: - August 31, 2023

Four months after the HyLife Foods pork processing plant in Windom declared bankruptcy, the city is waiting for promised state relief funds to arrive.  When HyLife filed for bankruptcy in April, it could not fulfill its financial obligations to the city for an upgraded wastewater treatment plant, nor to the developer building an apartment complex […]