Latest Posts





Column: Are we capable of sacrificing well enough long enough?

This op-ed originally appeared in the Duluth News-Tribune on March 26, 2020. The United States is in the early stages of what may well be the longest period of widespread disruption and sacrifice since World War II. That’s not to say losses and pain caused by the coronavirus will equal those of the Second World War. It is to say that not since the 1940s will such large proportions of Americans be expected to so significantly rearrange, voluntarily or not, their everyday lives for the greater good. What time spans over the last 80 years might compare? We’ve lived through many crises, manmade...

Continue reading

Minnesotans can now receive mental healthcare from out-of-state providers

On April 6th, Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order that authorized out of state mental health service providers to treat Minnesotan patients. This is to ensure Minnesotans continue to receive mental services, especially those who live out of state but have moved back to Minnesota due to the virus. Patients will be able to utilize telehealth services, connecting with their providers remotely. Executive order 20-28 also waives late fees for licenses for some businesses like dentists, barbershops and cosmetologists. Governor Walz Stated; Many Minnesotans receive mental healthcare services from providers in neighboring states. Additionally, Minnesotans previously living out-of-state, including college students...

Continue reading

Minneapolis Not Enforcing Plastic Bag Fee Through At Least July 1, 2020

Yesterday I wrote about how the City of San Francisco has not only revered their ban on single-use plastic bags to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, but they have also banned the use of reusable bags due to concerns that these bags may be less sanitary than single-use plastic bags. Locally, it appears that the City of Minneapolis is suspending enforcement of a mandatory 5 cent bag fee until at least July 1, 2020. This information was obtained via an email request, and you can read the entire response below: "Effective January 1, 2020 retail establishments are required to charge...

Continue reading

Governor Walz should allow Minnesota’s breweries, bars, and restaurants to sell alcohol in any size package for at-home consumption

Many Minnesota breweries, bars, and restaurants are sitting on perishable product that they are not legally allowed to sell under current regulations. This temporary regulatory relief would allow them to sell that product, rather than wasting thousands of dollars....

Continue reading

States are suspending rules to ensure access to childcare

Numerous states have taken steps to loosen regulation for childcare providers. Here I include some of the states that have taken those steps to make it easier for childcare providers to respond to the pandemic. In Connecticut, the Commissioner of the Office of Early childhood education has granted specific waivers of licensing requirements. The waivers will cease when the state of declared emergency ends.The state of Florida is permitting waivers for specific standards in order to make sure providers stay open and also asking providers considering closure to contact their licensing specialists to discuss a plan to stay open. The state of...

Continue reading

Limited Access to Government During Shutdown Raises Transparency Concerns

Some might question how much of the government should in fact fall under the banner of "essential services" during the coronavirus shutdown. Yet government entities at every level continue to conduct the people's business in many respects without the scrutiny of the  people, given the restrictions that go with social distancing. Vast sums of taxpayer dollars being allocated by politicians with little public attention have raised transparency and accountability concerns among media outlets like the St. Cloud Times. It's important to combat the coronavirus pandemic and protect people. But it's also disconcerting to democracy that governments of, by and for the people are...

Continue reading

In The Tank (Ep237) – Coronavirus Response: Modern Monetary Theory

Hello! This week, Isaac Orr is joined by Heartland's Donald Kendal, Justin Haskins, and Jim Lakely for episode 237 of the In The Tank Podcast. How far away is the light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel? Is the government's response to the Coronavirus essentially Modern Monetary Theory? The crew weighs in on this and more on this episode of the In The Tank Podcast.   https://soundcloud.com/user-694711047/in-the-tank-ep237-coronavirus-response-modern-monetary-theory?in=user-694711047/sets/in-the-tank-podcast   WHEN TO RETURN TO NORMAL? Heritage Foundation - When Can Life Return To Normal: 4 Signs to Monitor www.heritage.org/public-health/co…-4-signs-monitor University of Washington - COVID-19 data covid19.healthdata.org MMT Justin and Donald take apologies from Jim for rolling his eyes when we talked about...

Continue reading