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Session Daily Archive

A compendium of Session Daily articles dating back to 2004

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MN-based corporations talk up commitments to renewable energy

On Thursday, the House Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee heard about commitments that companies like 3M, Ecolab and Cargill are making to convert to entirely renewable energy, with Best Buy and Target sending in information about their efforts.

‘Finding the right balance:’ state office supports long-term-care facility residents during pandemic

COVID-19 poses a particular threat in long-term care facilities, both due to the congregate settings and the fact that residents are typically older and have underlying medical conditions, putting them at risk.

Early childhood investments should include support for caregivers, panel hears

To inform policy priorities during this session and beyond, the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee dedicated its Thursday meeting to better understanding the data and neuroscience of children.

Overburdened public defenders, legal aid lawyers air concerns before House panel

Minnesota’s public defenders are overworked and underpaid, and the COVID-19 pandemic has added to the challenges they face when representing clients at criminal trials.

Budget officials: low interest rates serve state well at bond sale

When Minnesota sells general obligation bonds, it’s best for its budget to do so when interest rates are low. That way, the state will hold down its debt and make more money available to the General Fund over time.

Spread of state’s coronavirus relief funds deemed a success

A fast-paced, five-month process got federal money to programs for residents, small businesses and nonprofits in need, with 99.6% of the money successfully meted out between June and December.

Health officials update lawmakers on wide-ranging pandemic response

More than 400,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been identified in the state and responding to the pandemic has proven to be the Minnesota Department of Health's largest endeavor ever, Deputy Commissioner Margaret Kelly told the House Health Finance and Policy Committee Wednesday.

State modifies schools plan with goal of more young learners back in classroom

State officials have modified a plan they hope will help get more children safely back in classrooms.

Ag officials detail efforts to help meat processers, providers

Since Minnesota farmers were forced to euthanize tens of thousands of hogs and turkeys last spring because of COVID-19-related closures of processing plants, state leaders have been looking to make the processing industry more resilient.

DFL leaders outline top early priorities for 2021 session

After 2020 was dominated by the coronavirus, top House DFLers say their immediate 2021 priorities are to assist people most impacted by COVID-19.

Homelessness in MN sees slight decrease, but advocates say troubling trends persist

The number of people experiencing homelessness in the state has decreased about 5% since 2014, when the agency launched a plan to end and prevent homelessness, officials said.

New House panel to focus on addiction, mental health services

The House Behavioral Health Policy Division – new this session – will allow lawmakers to focus on bringing improvements and innovation to a system that is key to helping people in need, but that has major gaps.

After spring concerns, budget officials say Legacy balances are healthy

When Minnesota Management and Budget projected last May that state sales tax revenues would likely plummet, there was a big ripple effect for Minnesota’s artists, museums, libraries, zoos, parks, trails, wetlands, forests, prairies, and efforts to keep the state's waters clean.

Industrial education committee hears proposal to address teacher shortages

The goal of the legislation is “to ensure that every high school senior in Minnesota would have the option of graduating not just with a traditional degree, but also with an employable skill set,” Rep. Gene Pelowski said.

Students give distance learning model a failing grade

Many school districts have been operating within a distance-learning model since the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring. Nearly a year into the modified instruction, students say it isn’t measuring up.

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