Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
EAGAN, Minn. — In less than a week, veterinary technology students Mariah Banks and Bethany Einer went from attending classes and taking tests to not having a school to go back to. “I was in class in the morning and I got an email that evening saying, ‘Don’t come back,’” Einer said. Banks found out when someone shared the information on Facebook. Einer and Banks were two of nearly 1,000 students at Argosy University in Eagan shut out in March when the school closed its doors with almost no warning.
ST. PAUL — Retirees of 3M Co. learned in late May the company was cutting their life insurance policies nearly in half. A letter said the maximum life insurance payout would fall to $8,000 from $15,000 on Aug. 1. The change affects about 28,000 retirees, a company spokeswoman said. Dick Hansen, who worked for 36 years in the company’s health care unit, said the change came as a surprise. Hansen is now living on the Florida Gulf Coast.
Undignified living conditions, holes in walls, a resident found wandering outside confused — those are some of the reasons federal regulators are scrutinizing 11 Minnesota nursing homes. The focus on those facilities recently came to light after leaders of a select U.S. Senate Committee on Aging released what they characterized as a “secret” list of 400 nursing homes across the nation the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, said had patterns of health and safety violations and need tighter oversight.
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.
ST. PAUL -- Former students who borrowed money from a now-defunct for-profit college chain could get refunds thanks to a Minnesota Appeals Court ruling. An appeals court panel ruled on Monday, June 3, that Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business made illegal loans that had interest rates significantly higher than the maximum of 8 percent allowed by law for unlicensed lenders.
ST. PAUL — A nearly 30-year-old tax on medical providers is at the center of increasingly tense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans for the next state budget. The 2% provider tax will sunset at the end of the year if lawmakers do nothing. It currently raises about $700 million for a Health Care Access Fund that is spent on a variety of programs to keep health care accessible and affordable.
ST. PAUL -- They’re stuck at the Capitol. Minnesota lawmakers are trying to come to terms on the next two-year state budget. But what divides Republicans and Democrats is more than just numbers. They disagree on how government should grow. That’s nothing new, but it is good to understand why. Minnesota’s current general fund budget is $45.5 billion. Lawmakers hope to replace it by May 20, when their lawmaking session ends, or else they’ll need to go into overtime to find an agreement before the budget expires June 30.
Minnesotans know it’s impolite to brag, but that didn’t stop us in 2017 when trying to lure Amazon’s second North American headquarters to the Twin Cities. Instead of getting out taxpayers’ collective wallet to entice the online retail behemoth, state boosters tried more of a humble brag — Minnesota Nice. While other communities offered huge amounts of money — more than $1.5 billion in the case of New York City’s now infamous bid — to attract the retailer, Minnesota’s 122-page bid for the company, released Monday after months of secrecy, leaned heavily on the state’s quality of life as a s
ST. PAUL — Is this the year Minnesota lawmakers agree on a long-term plan to repair and improve the state’s transportation system? Chances are slim, but if they don’t pass a plan, it won’t be for lack of trying. Republicans and Democrats agree Minnesota’s roads and bridges need more investment, but again this year the parties are starting negotiations far apart. The GOP-led Senate and DFL-controlled House proposals for the state’s next two-year transportation budget differ by more than $800 million.
Republicans in the Minnesota Senate hope to wipe out city-specific labor rules, like the $15 per-hour minimum wage, in the name of protecting the state’s economy. A provision in the Senate jobs, energy and commerce budget would stop cities from requiring higher minimum wages or sick time for workers that are different than what is already in state law. The proposal would be retroactive to 2017 and would undo minimum wage and other laws passed in St. Paul and Minneapolis.