Briefs

Legislature racing to pass hospital funding bill in response to COVID-19; operations curtailed

BY: - March 16, 2020

The Minnesota Legislature is racing to pass a hospital funding bill on Monday to address the rising need for healthcare services amid a widening COVID-19 epidemic.  State health officials have announced an overnight uptick of 19 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, for a total of 54. The development comes just a day after […]

Gov. Walz budget proposal covers $29 million overpayments to tribes

BY: - March 14, 2020

Tucked into Governor Tim Walz’s $257 million supplemental budget proposal is a line item returning more than $29 million to the federal government for overpayments the state made to two tribes for addiction treatment services. If the Legislature approves, the payments would bring Minnesota a step closer to resolving a year-long saga that has strained […]

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Gov. Tim Walz declares state of peacetime emergency as number of COVID-19 cases grows

BY: - March 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials on Friday issued a “peacetime emergency” declaration in response to the widening COVID-19 outbreak, issuing recommendations that call for curtailing large gatherings with more than 250 people. The number of confirmed cases in the state is now 14. Walz sought to project calm, explaining that the emergency declaration […]

Walz unveils scaled-down supplemental budget request amid COVID-19 worries

BY: - March 12, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday unveiled a slender supplemental budget proposal that would leave unspent $1.2 billion amid growing worry about the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economy. “What we’re seeing both globally and we’re seeing in other states, I think that probably has tempered expectations to do our No. 1 […]

Minnesota COVID-19 cases grow to 5 as state ramps up efforts to curb outbreak

BY: - March 11, 2020

Minnesota health officials on Wednesday said they will begin moving toward “community mitigation” efforts following the confirmation of two additional COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to five confirmed cases.  Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease division, said the state on Tuesday tested samples from 100 patients, including […]

Walz signs $21 million coronavirus response bill; Minnesota confirms third case

BY: - March 10, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday signed into law a bill authorizing the state to spend $21 million to fight the outbreak of coronavirus.  The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, sailed through the Legislature Monday, receiving unanimous approval by both the House and the Senate.  The additional funding now brings the state’s […]

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Lawmakers aim to defund libraries that host drag queens

BY: - March 10, 2020

Five Minnesota legislators introduced a bill this week that would withhold federal funding from public libraries that host drag queen story hours. A dozen Hennepin County libraries hosted the story hours in October for LGBT history month to “celebrate differences and learn that it’s okay to be yourself through stories, rhymes, music and movement.” That […]

Lawmakers approve $21 million for coronavirus response

BY: - March 9, 2020

The Minnesota Legislature on Monday unanimously approved $21 million in funding for the state’s coronavirus preparedness.  Republican and DFL legislative leaders raced to get the bill to DFL Gov. Tim Walz’s desk this week. The governor is expected to sign the legislation into law Tuesday. The Senate bill by Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, had […]

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Twin Cities janitors call off strike after reaching tentative agreement

BY: - March 7, 2020

The union representing 4,000 Twin Cities janitors reached a tentative contract agreement early Saturday morning, avoiding an open-ended strike that would have affected businesses across the metro as Minnesota confronts the arrival of COVID-19. The tentative agreement includes the highest pay increases ever for commercial janitors with the Service Employees International Union Local 26, raising […]

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Bell Museum waives admission for Indigenous visitors

BY: - March 6, 2020

Earlier this week, the University of Minnesota’s Bell Museum quietly rolled out a new ticket price for Indigenous visitors: Free. “The Dakota people, for thousands of years, have been taking care of the land on which the museum sits,” said Denise Young, the museum’s executive director. “This was one way, and I should say a […]

First coronavirus case confirmed in Minnesota from person who traveled on cruise with COVID-19

BY: - March 6, 2020

Minnesota health officials on Friday announced the state’s first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus.  The patient is an older adult resident of Ramsey County who recently traveled on a cruise ship with a known case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. The individual began experiencing symptoms on Feb. 25 and sought medical […]

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Attention Kmart shoppers: Bulldozers arriving soon

BY: - March 5, 2020

The Kmart that has been an obstacle in the middle of Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis for nearly half a century will soon be bulldozed, the city announced Thursday. Buses and cars have travelled four blocks around Kmart since the retailer was built in 1977, which Mayor Jacob Frey called “one of the worst urban planning […]