‘Successful’ legislators still left key issues unresolved

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When this year’s legislative session ended, the governor and leaders of both political parties touted the new laws passed and their successes producing results for the people of Minnesota. Unlike 2018 and several years before, there were no deadlocks that lead to public frustration, lack of action on key issues, contentious special sessions or a government shutdown. Even with divided government

What has always and never been?

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Graduation. For parents it’s a time of pride. For students, it’s a time to celebrate achievements past and the adult challenges ahead. As we mark this annual passage for our community’s young people, it’s time for the rest of us…friends, family and coworkers…to examine the mindset of this year’s high school seniors. For the last 20 years, Beloit College has

As session deadline nears, budget deal pushes aside policy goals

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The end is near. Legislators are heading toward a deadline of midnight Monday, May 20, to finish their work. Despite the best intentions at the start of the session to look for early compromises and stick to a deadline to wrap up committee work, the big decisions will happen at the last minute. Last year, the Republican-controlled Legislature and DFL

Minnesotans last to agree on election security

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Minnesota usually shows up near the top, if not No. 1, in rankings of the states. But on the urgent issue of election security, Minnesota is dead last. Despite pledges of bipartisanship for this legislative session, Democrats and Republicans are deadlocked over how to spend a potential $6 million to improve election security. Minnesota is the only state that has

Handheld phones aren’t the only driving distraction

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Put down the phone and drive. That’s now the law in Minnesota. The Legislature passed and Gov. Tim Walz signed the bipartisan hands-free bill that bans the use of handheld cell phones. The measure aims to reduce distracted-driving crashes.  The bill requires drivers to be hands-free, but allows use of voice-activated command calls and other functions such as GPS navigation

Ban e-cigarettes in public places, raise tobacco sales age

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There’s smoke in the air at the state Capitol this spring as the Legislature grinds toward a May 20 adjournment. Two measures that would protect our clean indoor air and health are up for debate. The Legislature should pass and Governor Walz should sign these actions. The House overwhelming passed HF349 that expands the definition of smoking to ensure Minnesota’s

Gun safety skeptics weren’t entirely right

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A year has passed. A year ago, we were focused on demonstrations and rallies supporting gun control safety legislation following the killing of 17 people at a Florida high school. Skeptics doubted the public support would result in laws such as universal background checks, bans on assault-style weapons or high capacity magazines. These measures are widely supported, for example, more