Minnesota

Rural Public Health Staff Strained by Covid Surge, Public Backlash

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Two Minnesota state senators switch from Democratic caucus to independents, citing polarization … Plans for historic dam removal moving ahead … Matthew McConaughey for Texas governor?

In One State, a $100 Million Push to Keep the Heating on This Winter

Minnesota is encouraging residents to take advantage of more than $100 million in grants to pay for their heating bills. Several other states, cities, and counties are doing the same.

These State Legislative Chambers Are Most Likely to Flip Blue

Democrats could take control in a handful of states, including North Carolina and Texas. But it won't be easy.

A State Provides an Online Option for Driver's License Tests

Prospective drivers in Minnesota can now take their learner's permit knowledge test online, one of several state initiatives deployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shrinking State and Local Government Office Space

COMMENTARY | With states and local officials searching for ways to cut budgets, many are looking to reduce how much real estate they occupy.

This Rural Town Swelled With Immigrants. But Will the Census Count Them?

“They’ve saved our community,” Milan, Minnesota's mayor says about a group of people from the Federated States of Micronesia now living in his small town.

Minnesota Lawsuit is Latest to Challenge a Face Mask Mandate

Across the country, state and local directives imposing face mask requirements have been met with repeated court challenges.

States Crack Down on Large Gatherings as Covid-19 Continues to Spread

Minnesota officials are seeking damages from a ranch owner who held a three-day rodeo in defiance of state regulations on large gatherings. They say at least one attendee tested positive for Covid-19 days after the event.

States Warn Residents About Unsolicited Seed Packages Sent From China

People have received the mysterious shipments in at least 22 states. The seeds could pose threats to the environment and agriculture. Federal authorities are investigating.

State Fairs Are the Latest Casualty of Covid-19

At least 15 states have canceled their annual fairs due to public health concerns amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while others are moving ahead with modified, pared-down events.

Minnesota Presses for Oversight of Minneapolis Police—Will Other States Follow?

In the absence of federal civil rights investigations into the conduct of local police departments, some states may begin to implement their own consent decree programs.

Defying State Orders, Church Leaders to Hold In-Person Services

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Connecticut recovery centers not filling up … Endangered Species Act challenge can continue … A mayor offers up free milk.

Vermont and Minnesota Now Recognize Grocery Employees as Emergency Workers

Minnesota and Vermont declared some food workers "essential personnel," giving them access to child care during working hours.

Why One City is Prioritizing Financial Empowerment

St. Paul, Minnesota created a city office that aims to lift up residents who are struggling the most, while also addressing the ways city penalties might be keeping them down.

A Plan to Reduce Bench Warrants—By Text Message

After success in one county, Minnesota is rolling out a statewide program that sends reminders to defendants about their court appearances.

What to Do with All This Broken Stuff? Cities Aim to Help People Fix It

Across the country, municipalities are helping residents repair mendable belongings, keep material out of landfills and save money.

How Residents Help Replenish One State's Seed Stores

Minnesota recruits "private pickers" to harvest cones and seeds for reforestation projects by paying by the bushel.

State Savings Policies Evolve Amid a Decade of Economic Growth

The amount states have in reserve is at a high mark and savings practices have become more sophisticated. But lawmakers are at times still drawn to tap the large pots of money.

To Raise Money to Combat Opioid Addiction, One State Hikes Licensing Fees for Drug Companies

A new Minnesota law will increase prescription opioid manufacturer licensing fees from $235 to $55,000 and is expected to generate about $20 million that will fund the state’s opioid prevention and treatment strategies.

State Lawmakers Seek to Close Marital Rape Prosecution Loopholes

Marital rape is technically illegal in all 50 states, but some have legal exemptions that make it difficult to prosecute offenders.