Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

Minnesota House passes abortion shield bill to protect women from out-of-state bans

By: - March 20, 2023

The Minnesota House passed a bill 68-62 on Monday that would shield women who travel to the state for abortions, as well as their nurses and doctors. It still needs approval from the state Senate and the signature of Gov. Tim Walz to become law. The “Reproductive Freedom Defense Act” (HF355/SF165) aims to block other […]

Legislative week in review: Paid sick leave, nursing staffing levels and sports betting

By: - March 17, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law on Friday that provides free school breakfast and lunch to all students in Minnesota (at schools in the National School Lunch Program). Walz signed the bill at Webster Elementary in Minneapolis. “This bill puts us one step closer to making Minnesota the best state for kids to […]

Minnesota labor regulators sue meat packing plant for employing children in hazardous jobs

By: - March 16, 2023

State regulators filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Tony Downs Food Company in state court, alleging the company employs at least eight children in its Madelia plant. The children, ranging in age from 14 to 17, perform hazardous work such as operating meat grinders, ovens and forklifts during overnight shifts, according to the lawsuit brought […]

Minneapolis Institute of Art workers overwhelmingly approve new union contract

By: - March 15, 2023

Workers at the Minneapolis Institute of Art voted by a 95% margin to ratify a new, two-and-a-half year contract on Tuesday, resolving the most contentious labor dispute at the museum in decades. MIA’s 150 unionized curators and other staff will receive $4 per hour raises over the next 16 months in one of the largest […]

A felon found a gun and turned it in. He could go to prison for it.

By: - March 15, 2023

When Steven Cooper found a gun and ammunition in the Chevy Blazer his brother gave him, he did what he thought was the right thing. He wrapped the gun in a sweatshirt, put it inside the secured door of his apartment building, and waited for his parole officer to show up. As a felon for […]

Legislature week in review: Driver’s Licenses for All, gender-affirming care and Indian Child Welfare Act

By: and - March 10, 2023

This week, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill into law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, while Democratic-Farmer-Labor lawmakers advanced a bill to protect families with trans children traveling to Minnesota for gender-affirming care,  and moved a bill to Walz’s desk codifying Indian Child Welfare Act language ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling […]

Uber and Lyft would have to pay drivers’ expenses, minimum wage under Minnesota proposal

By: - March 7, 2023

Minnesota lawmakers are considering a sweeping set of labor standards for Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and similar companies, which would upend the laissez faire relationship between tech giants and their workforce of independent contractors. Under a bill (SF2319) proposed by state Democrats, Uber and Lyft would have to pay drivers for fuel and car maintenance, as […]

Democrats propose repealing law against knowingly exposing someone to HIV

By: - February 23, 2023

Five Minnesota House Democrats are proposing eliminating the law that makes it a crime to knowingly expose someone to HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. The lawmakers’ bill (HF267) would repeal a 1995 law that allows prosecutors to charge someone who “knowingly harbors an infectious agent” and engages in behaviors that could transfer it to […]

University of Minnesota graduate students announce union drive

By: - February 20, 2023

Graduate students at the University of Minnesota announced on Monday an effort to unionize to negotiate for higher wages, fewer fees, and protection against workplace abuses. “Graduate workers at UMN need a change. We face low pay and high student fees. Work expectations are unclear and when issues arise there is little to no support […]

House Speaker awaiting more information on lawmaker’s DWI arrest before deciding response

By: and - February 20, 2023

House Speaker Melissa Hortman says she’s waiting for more information on the drunken driving arrest of Rep. Matt Grossell, R-Clearbook, before deciding whether to strip him of his committee assignments. MPR News’ Brian Bakst first reported on Friday that Grossell  was arrested on DWI charges in northern Minnesota. His blood alcohol content was 0.15 – […]

Democrats advance bills on paid time off, environmental pollutants and worker safety standards

By: - February 17, 2023

The Democratic-led House and Senate continued pushing forward major legislation on paid time off, environmental pollutants, worker safety standards and marijuana legalization. Here are some highlights from the Legislature’s work this week: House Democrats passed a bill (HF19/SF34) mandating employers provide up to six days of paid sick leave a year. House Democrats released a […]

Minnesota House passes bill mandating paid sick days for workers

By: - February 17, 2023

Minnesota House Democrats passed a bill late Thursday night that requires businesses of all sizes to provide workers with six paid sick days off per year. The bill still needs Senate passage. Under the “earned sick and safe time” bill (HF19), workers would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they […]