Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Residents of the Twin Cities metro area are not the only ones whose health is affected by air quality. A new analysis by the Minnesota Department of Health found in 2013 that as many as 10% of deaths and 5% of hospital visits statewide were due in part to air pollution. That means polluted air played a role in up to 4,000 deaths, 800 visits to the emergency room and 500 hospital stays statewide. The “Life and Breath” report looked at the two main types of air pollution: fine particles and ground-level ozone. The 2013 data is the latest available.
For the second year in a row, Minnesota attracted new residents from other states in 2018 and immigration continued to play an important role in the state’s population growth. Last year, about 17,000 of the more than 43,000 new Minnesota residents came from other states or countries, according to population estimates released Thursday, April 18, by the U.S. Census Bureau.
ST. PAUL — As many as 800,000 low- and middle-income Minnesotans could get free help filing their taxes, but don’t take advantage of it. Tax-preparation companies and nonprofits offer free software and services that nearly 65 percent of Minnesota taxpayers may qualify to receive. Services are income dependent and available across the state.
ST. PAUL -- Federal employees are working without pay, farmers can’t borrow money to buy seed, Native American communities have limited access to health care — these are just a few of the ways the monthlong federal government shutdown is hurting Minnesotans. The state is home to about 17,000 federal workers, and about 6,000 of those are either furloughed or working without pay. Hundreds of government programs also are not receiving money.
ST. PAUL -- The longest federal government shutdown in U.S. history is now a month old with no end in sight. How did we get here? What services are impacted? What are local leaders doing to help? Here’s a primer: What happens in a government shutdown? When Congress and the president cannot agree on spending plans for various state agencies, those agencies run out of money and have to furlough workers and stop providing all but essential services. The departments cannot fully reopen until a new budget becomes law.
ST. PAUL — Health care was a top issue during the 2018 campaign and Minnesota lawmakers have wasted no time detailing their ideas for improving the system by making it more affordable and accessible. The challenge is Republicans and Democrats have vastly different ideas on the best ways to accomplish those goals. Members of the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 16, pitched the idea that patients with better relationships with their doctors and a clearer understanding of the price of procedures and drugs would lower overall health care costs.
ST. PAUL -- People who rely on food stamps to eat have until Tuesday, Jan 15, to make sure their eligibility is in order to guarantee their federal benefits in February. That was among the warnings Minnesota lawmakers heard Monday from state leaders working to manage the longest partial shutdown of the federal government in U.S. history. Monday was the 24th day of the shutdown of nine federal agencies.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers spent the first two days of the new legislative session detailing their top priorities, but there’s a lot of other things they also want to do. During short floor sessions in the House and Senate on Thursday, Jan. 10, lawmakers introduced a total 122 bills. The first 10 in the House and the first five in the Senate encompass what Republicans and Democrats say are the most pressing needs facing the state.
ST. PAUL — Kirsten Rogers had such a hard time getting a teacher’s license in Minnesota, she quit teaching for a while. Rogers is now back in the classroom, thanks to completion of a seven-year effort to overhaul the state’s teacher licensing system. This fall, a new state agency adopted a four-tiered licensure system. The rules took effect Oct. 27. “It is a surprisingly effective improvement on what was a broken system,” Rogers said.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Republicans had high hopes this would be the year they would break the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s grip on the state’s constitutional offices. An open race for attorney general seemed like their best bet. But Democratic candidate Congressman Keith Ellison was poised to disappoint them, according to election results late Tuesday, Nov. 6.