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Health care and health insurance are volatile topics. Everyone has an opinion, no one thinks the present system is good enough, but no one seems to have the perfect answer on how to make it better. The issue of health care resonates with people across the region and across the country. Many people in agriculture are self employed. Many ag businesses and rural businesses are small. Many rural communities lack nearby health care. So while the issue of health care tends to be contentious for people nationwide, for those of us in rural areas, it's a top problem.
Minnesotans will have a chance to keep their vehicle after someone else is convicted of drunk driving in it. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law Monday, April 3, protecting an innocent vehicle owner when someone else uses it without permission or knowledge. Existing law allowed the vehicle to be forfeited even if the owner was not the driver. "This reform reflects the important balance between public safety and the rights of innocent vehicle owners," Dayton said, adding the new law provides fairness.
In Washington, a vote on repeal-and-replace was postponed this week. A bill to scrap the state's health exchange, MNsure, in favor of the federal version is being debated in St. Paul. Clearly, "It is time to pay attention to this because it's going to have a big impact on Minnesotans," as MNsure CEO Allison O'Toole said in an interview late last week with the Duluth News Tribune editorial board. "We know most Minnesotans interact with their health insurance (later in the year) around open enrollment. That's going to be too late. It's time to pay attention now."
Are owners of agricultural land being asked to shoulder an unfair portion of the taxes to pay for school building projects? In some cases, yes — and that's why so many school capital referendums are defeated in Greater Minnesota. Not because they're not needed but because it's difficult to get support from farmers when they know they'd have to pay the bulk of the cost.
By voting to allow liquor sales on Sunday, the Minnesota Legislature is reminding Americans of why our country remains a superpower and a destination for immigrants from around the world. Wait a minute. Sunday liquor sales means all that? Really? You bet. But read the first sentence again. It's not the Sunday sales themselves that have this power. It's the vote: the fact that the Minnesota Legislature took up a contentious issue—one that had been quarreled about in many previous sessions—and passed it this time around.
Whether there should be laws requiring businesses to give their workers paid days off when they're sick or when they just need a day is being debated across the state. So imagine if you do business across city lines, like most businesses do, and all of a sudden, Minnesota's 850 cities each started enacting their own so-called sick and safe time rules or other workplace mandates. Imagine the mess. Imagine the confusion. Fortunately, a better way has emerged.
The woman killed Saturday night in a pedestrian train accident has been identified by authorities as 56-year-old Lynn Alexander of Detroit Lakes.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota legislators should be in a happy mood. They have returned to a spectacularly renovated Capitol building. The coffers are more than full, thanks to a surplus surpassing a billion dollars. The state's business climate, job growth and status as a great place to live have rarely been better.
Breckenridge, Minn. - A manhunt is underway for a suspect in the shooting of a male in a Breckenridge home on Thursday, Dec. 29. Law enforcement officials are searching for Matthew David Allard, 27, of Breckenridge, the Breckenridge Police Department said in a news release. Allard is considered armed and dangerous, Breckenridge police said.