Mar 8, 2013
House File 880 proposes to modify the state’s Renewable Energy Mandate primarily by increasing the percentage of renewables required and by requiring a specific percentage to come from solar.
Mar 7, 2013
A couple of weeks ago, a minor kerfuffle arose here in Minnesota over something as seemingly mundane as a “tax incidence” study. Democrats wanted to study only the impact on taxpayers of state and local taxes. Republicans wanted to include the impact of Federal taxes.The dispute may have been minor, but the impact is major.
Mar 2, 2013
Legislation adds union negotiators that represent Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) to the MSRS defined benefit public pension which is a guaranteed pension no matter how much the state and employee put in the account, how well the funds do in the market or how much money is actually in the pension funds.
Feb 28, 2013
The law to require an excuse to obtain an absentee ballot is unenforceable and, therefore, unenforced. No one actually checks to see whether voters meet these eligibility criteria -- it would be virtually impossible. Nevertheless, conscientious citizens have not necessarily recognized this fact, and, consequently, the current law probably has deterred some people from voting.
Feb 22, 2013
There has been a lot of buzz in the media the past few months about the failure of electronic pulltabs to generate the revenue necessary to cover the state’s share of a new Vikings stadium. Media folks have been covering the story as if the news was unexpected, and lawmakers have been wringing their hands in public about how disappointed they are with the results.
Feb 20, 2013
The February 2nd edition of The Economist carries a 14-page special report on the political and economic reforms underway in the four Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland). Just as the U.S. and Minnesota are moving toward more social democracy, it turns out the birthplace of the Scandinavian-style welfare state is moving in the opposite direction.
Feb 18, 2013
As the key months for implementing the Affordable Care Act begin, 30 governors are resisting key provisions of the law. But these leaders don't need to act just as a phalanx of opposition; if they work with President Obama and Obama works with them, they can change the law's future for the better.
Feb 14, 2013
Like most Minnesotans, we cherish a special Snowbird (in our case, Nana) who visits us each summer. She retired to Florida to take advantage of the sunny days—and declared herself a Florida resident-- not just to avoid our income tax but because she is there a good chunk of the year. That is where she votes, pays taxes and volunteers.
Feb 13, 2013
As best I could, I watched the president’s State of the Union address from a non-ideological viewpoint, detaching my personal views from my opinion about his delivery. Of course I couldn’t help but instinctively decipher his rhetorical code
Feb 13, 2013
It's time to join the pause in global luke-warming and also pause in the building of multibillion-dollar projects like Cape Wind and Ivanpah Solar that produce modest amounts of usable energy. There is time to spend some of the money on research into what is really happening with our climate.Adaptation will be as effective as the costly mitigation programs that are currently in vogue.