In Fergus Falls, Learning About Rural Needs We traveled to Fergus Falls last week for the summer conference of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, delivering a presentation and gathering feedback on emerging issues for our Minnesota Rural Equity Project. We heard concerns about accessibility to child-care, transportation and mobility needs, housing shortages, health-care costs and access, and lagging broadband capacity. A strong sense am... Read More
As State Budget Biennium Begins, Big Disappointments and a Few Bright Spots Overview of 2017 Legislature’s Impact, A Look Ahead Minnesota’s two-year budget period begins this month, amid a continuing dispute between the Governor and the Legislature over a handful of important tax and immigration provisions, and an impending court battle over the governor’s line-item veto of funding for the Legislature i... Read More
G&J On the Air in Greater MN Our Minnesota Rural Equity Project is catching the attention of the Greater Minnesota news media. Recently Growth & Justice President Dane Smith was interviewed on “Ag Afternoon” by Sonja Langseth of KWOA in Worthington, and on “Ox in the Afternoon” by Dan Ochsner of KNSI in St. Cloud. The podcasts of those interviews reveal strong interest by these local jou... Read More
MABC Driver Diversion Program Gains Traction The St. Paul Pioneer Press revealed in a story last week how license suspensions for unpaid traffic tickets can become a vicious circle and an unfair “debt trap” for low-income workers. The article goes on to describe a legislative effort to expand “driver diversion” programs, which allow folks to legally drive after making arrangements to gradually repay the tickets. Th... Read More
That anti-government refrain about Minnesota being too generous for workers — and thus, bad for business — always tends to grow louder as temperatures and political campaigns heat up. But so far this summer we seem to be hearing a little less exaggerating about all our “successful” people and businesses packing up and moving to low-tax states like Florida. It could be that all the economic news and statistical evidence... Read More
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