Commentary

A nurse on chronic understaffing and moral injury: ‘You were supposed to take care of me’ | Opinion

BY: - May 20, 2022

After two years on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic, 15,000 nurses in the Twin Cities and Twin Ports are now bargaining for new contracts with hospital executives at major health care systems in Minnesota. We believe both nurses and hospital executives should share the goal of a contract that recognizes nurses’ sacrifices and addresses […]

Fix this: Family child care providers deserve hazard pay | Opinion

BY: , and - May 20, 2022

There are approximately 7,000 family child care providers in Minnesota. Each of us is licensed to care for 10-12 children. That means that up to 84,000 kids are in the care of family child care providers. When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, and the state shut down, we were not only asked to […]

In an unprecedented economic recovery, why are we only talking about inflation? | Opinion

BY: - May 19, 2022

The latest jobs report shows that the U.S. economy continues its rapid recovery from the pandemic crisis. Employers added 428,000 new jobs in April, continuing a now-year-long streak of similarly strong job growth. After surging to a post-World War II high of 14.7% in 2020, unemployment is now down to 3.6%, the lowest level in […]

The burden of Minnesota’s air pollution is unequal | Opinion

BY: - May 18, 2022

In February, the Minnesota Department of Health released the results of a pioneering study that examined chemical exposure from air pollutants in preschool-age children. The report received scant attention, despite the fact that the results were quite shocking, and this was the first comprehensive study of its kind that focused on pre-K children in Minnesota. […]

Disregard for essential workers will hurt us all | Opinion

BY: - May 17, 2022

On April 29, the Legislature agreed to spend $2.7 billion of the state’s $9.2 billion surplus to replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund rather than having businesses pay higher tax rates to refill it themselves, as normally required by law. The move, which will generate considerable savings for businesses following one of the most profitable […]

Cost of living is our harshest tax | Opinion

BY: - May 16, 2022

Sometimes I think about the one bedroom apartment in Hibbing, Minnesota, where my wife and I first lived. We weren’t married yet, just two kids playing house. The rent was about $325 a month. Our utilities cost even less.  It was the dawn of the 21st Century. She was a newspaper reporter earning about $22,000 […]

To win the culture war, choose your words wisely | Opinion

BY: - May 13, 2022

There’s a bit of wisdom in the ad business that “new” is the most powerful word you can attach to a thing you want to sell.  Persuading the mass public is more complicated than that, but it does offer a simple explanation for why midterm elections are a time of dread for the governing party. […]

Elections explained: Who can vote in Minnesota?

BY: - May 12, 2022

This is part of an occasional series on election administration. Who can vote in Minnesota? That’s a simple question with three not-so-simple answers: a constitutional answer, a legal answer, and a realistic answer. The constitution defines who is eligible. The law specifies the procedures voters must follow to demonstrate their eligibility. And the reality is […]

To stop democratic backsliding, vote this November | Opinion

BY: - May 11, 2022

The 2022 election in Minnesota will be very consequential for democracy. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party controls the House of Representatives and the governor’s office at present, and the Republicans control the state Senate.  The legislative margins are small in both chambers. Many are predicting the possibility of a conservative trifecta, or control of both chambers and […]

The Supreme Court shouldn’t be shrouded in secrecy | Opinion

BY: - May 10, 2022

The firestorm arising out of the recent leak of a draft of the Supreme Court opinion — purporting to eliminate constitutional abortion rights established 49 years ago in Roe v. Wade — has generated fury for different reasons from various quarters. But the consternation ought to serve another useful purpose: Highlighting the secrecy of how […]

Teacher: Spend the surplus right and we can bring joy and stability back to students | Opinion

BY: - May 9, 2022

I went into the field of special education because I wanted to support and advocate for kids with disabilities. School is hard for most of my students due to their disabilities, and that is exacerbated by insufficient state funding. When schools don’t have the resources they need, all kids pay the price, but our students […]

If we really love moms and babies, here’s what we’ll do | Opinion

BY: - May 9, 2022

Since a Supreme Court draft overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked to Politico, I’ve heard Republican politicians claim that they “love women and babies” and will support women who, post-Roe, cannot get abortions. This claim puzzles me. Outlawing abortions seems not supportive at all but in fact the cruelest way to lower abortion numbers in […]