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
Immigrants Boosting Economy in Rural MN Check out this hopeful and inspiring story about Isabel and Raul Castellano’s start-up of Chabelita’s Yummy Foods and Fruits, a new business in rural LeSueur Minnesota, enabled in part with assistance from the Region Nine Development Commission. Research consistently shows that immigrants provide a net gain for Minnesota, from high rates of entrepreneurialism, to filling agribusines... 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
Despite the specter of lawsuits and a potential second special session, the Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton appear to have concluded their work on Minnesota’s 2018-2019 budget, as well as on separate omnibus tax and bonding bills. A general agreement was reached between the governor and legislative leaders on the final day of session, with details worked out and bills passed in an immediate special session spanning the week of Ma... Read More
Minuses and Pluses of the 2017 Session As you receive this week’s E-News, the Minnesota Legislature is grinding through an overtime special session, working through the details of an overall budget agreement that will at least avert a state government shutdown. We’ll be analyzing the outcomes with our partners in various coalitions for the next few days and weeks. We know enough to be concerned. Despite a large pro... Read More
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