Don’t let Xcel kill the EV charging market

BY: - March 7, 2023

I bought and installed a high-speed electric vehicle charger at my convenience store, 36 Lyn, in Minneapolis back in early 2014. The charger cost me $100,000, and I knew that I wasn’t going to have a massive line of customers to immediately offset that investment. So why did I do it? I was partially motivated […]

How does our infrastructure work?

BY: - March 6, 2023

Editor’s note: This is the first in an occaional series of guest commentaries by former Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, who is a civil engineer and will help explain features of Minnesota infrastructure — and why they’re so important. Related: The Minnesota House will take up a major public works bill Monday aiming to maintain and […]

There’s no free speech in our court system

BY: - March 3, 2023

Freedom of speech, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, is essential for democracy to function as intended. Every society will have its internal disagreements, its conflicts. But unlike in autocratic governments where there may be repercussions to offering dissenting views, in democracies it is presumed that open debate best reveals the relative strengths and weaknesses […]

Minnesota Department of Health isn’t properly enforcing drinking water law, and kids will suffer

BY: - March 2, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Health recently began a formal rulemaking process to establish safe drinking water standards for 17 contaminants and update 19 other existing standards. These standards are called health risk limits, or HRLs. When the process is complete, Minnesota law says that these rules “shall have the force and effect of law.”  That […]

I have paid sick time, and so should you

BY: - March 1, 2023

The past few years have shown us that our jobs, health and care responsibilities are deeply intertwined. We’ve heard over and over that workers and kids should stay home when we’re sick — especially since the global pandemic. Yet far too many Minnesotans still have to go to work when they’re sick because their employer […]

Why Hastings Public Schools workers are on strike

BY: - February 28, 2023

You may have seen recently that a group of us who serve food to students in Hastings have been on strike for going on three weeks. You may be wondering: I thought we gave the schools a bunch of money during COVID and through recent legislative investments? Well, you are right. Yet the district is […]

A Minnesota Miracle 2.0: fair health care reforms for all

BY: - February 27, 2023

In 1971, after a long legislative session, Minnesota passed a historic tax bill that later helped land Gov. Wendell Anderson on the cover of Time magazine. The North Star State was enjoying the fruits of the so-called Minnesota Miracle. The miraculous part — especially in the current context of polarized partisan politics — was that […]

Here’s what we mean by prevailing wages, and why it’s so important

BY: - February 24, 2023

I’ve been watching committee hearings over the past few weeks, and I’m beginning to suspect there are some legislators who don’t understand what “prevailing wage” laws are, or why we have them. And if they don’t, there’s a good chance most of the general public doesn’t either. But these laws are incredibly important protections for […]

Minneapolis needs to update zoning rules to make complete neighborhoods

BY: - February 23, 2023

The nationally-lauded Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, passed in 2019, included a promise to create “Complete Neighborhoods,” defined as places where residents could access services, jobs and daily needs nearby. This year, we have a significant opportunity to build toward this promise. Implementation of the plan is underway and from now until March 26 the city […]

Tax cut on Social Security benefits doesn’t help those who most need it and is too expensive

BY: - February 22, 2023

If you’ve heard anything at all about state tax policy this year, you have heard that Minnesota legislators are considering cutting state income taxes on Social Security benefits. At $1.26 billion and with 70% going to the top-earning 20% of seniors, exempting Social Security benefits from the state income tax is a bad idea that […]

Bog is dead: The waning defense of Minnesota wetlands

BY: - February 21, 2023

Early one Sunday morning my son’s Boy Scout troop toured a small research facility in the middle of the Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota. As the presentation began, someone handed me a chunk of wood.  Researchers sawed this simple round from a tree pulled out of a nearby bog. It was perfectly preserved, even […]

As Minnesota legalizes marijuana, immigrants must be cautious

BY: - February 20, 2023

As the Minnesota Legislature considers legalizing cannabis, following 21 states and the District of Columbia, I urge lawmakers to consider safeguards for immigrants who are not yet U.S. citizens (not just undocumented Minnesotans).  What many people do not know is that while states are decriminalizing cannabis — in part to redress racist failures of the […]