Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic could be ‘devastating’ in rural areas

BY: - March 19, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is not hitting greater Minnesota as early or as hard as the metro yet, but rural health care systems may be ill-equipped to deal with the outbreak, with fewer health care workers and hospital beds than cities. One-third of Minnesota counties — all of them rural — have fewer than about 25 […]

Minnesota now has 89 confirmed COVID-19 cases

BY: - March 19, 2020

The number of confirmed COVID-19 in Minnesota has reached 89, the state announced Thursday, up from 77 the day before. A total of 3,038 people have been tested, an increase of 276 tests, about 9%, from Wednesday according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Officials said the number of confirmed cases is likely an undercount […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: In the absence of federal guidance, governor and private sector step up

BY: - March 13, 2020

Good morning.  Another Reformer EXCLUSIVE. Today Ricardo Lopez reports on the financial and membership problems at AFSCME Council 5, a heavyweight in DFL politics in both fundraising and organizing. Ricardo obtained internal documents. The Minnesota politics must read of the day.  As promised Thursday I brought you a piece exploring Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers […]

What are the governor’s emergency powers? Can he really tell us not to gather?

BY: - March 12, 2020

This post has been updated.  Minnesota may soon be entering slippery constitutional ground if and when Gov. Tim Walz follows the lead of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and forbids large gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus. If Walz declares a peacetime emergency, as he is expected […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Cancellation of large events in Washington. Coming here?

BY: - March 11, 2020

Good morning! Wow a lot of bills being heard in committee rooms on the Capitol campus today. Capitol readers: Who can tell me which ones matter? [email protected] Extra points for the ones that seem like they don’t matter, but actually matter. No Mariners games in Seattle for now Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington will order […]

COMMENTARY

The virus lays bare a broken political and economic system

BY: - March 11, 2020

The Minnesota Senate’s Republican leader stumbled into the truth this week, like a blindfolded man who hits his head on a fire alarm. When Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-E. Gull Lake, was asked about potential help for workers affected by the coronavirus, he told the Star Tribune, “What do we do when people are sick with […]

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 […]

GOP lawmaker: Expect limits on large public events like concerts, ballgames

BY: - March 11, 2020

A Republican lawmaker said Minnesotans should expect significant changes in their daily lives in the coming weeks and months due to the coming outbreak of novel coronavirus, including limits on large public events like games and concerts.  “When we reach that point — and we will reach that point — Minnesota will know it’s being […]

Congress rebukes Trump’s bid to slash CDC funding amid outbreak

BY: - March 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. House lawmakers resoundingly rebuffed a Trump administration request to cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention amid the coronavirus crisis. The CDC director testified Tuesday before the House Appropriations Committee, where Republicans and Democrats alike said Congress won’t comply with the budget cuts requested in Trump’s fiscal year 2021 […]

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 […]

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 […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Coronavirus is coming

BY: - March 6, 2020

With Super Tuesday over we turn our attention to the most important event happening in American politics: COVID-19. The reason I say that is because of its economic effects, which are already massive, and we haven’t even felt the brunt of it yet.  The Wall Street Journal details how “the carefully calibrated logistics of global […]