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Shutdown Leads to Cuts in Staff and Services, Higher Property Taxes for Local Governments

The city of Mankato provides a snapshot of the economic reality many local governments statewide can expect to confront over the next few years--and it isn't pretty. The projected deficits facing Mankato due to the financial fallout from Gov. Walz's  prolonged COVID-19 shutdown look so daunting the city council met in person for the first time since March to discuss the anticipated impact on the city budget, services and taxpayers. One of the realities is that city employees will take a hit, according to the damage estimate in the Mankato Free Press. The proposed reorganization plan developed by Hentges and Zelms...

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Minnesota had a nearly 50% decrease in Leisure and Hospitality Employment from May 2019 to May 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier today released data on the change in employment in the leisure and hospitality industry. As to be expected the changes in the industry are high when compared to changes in the entire labor force. This is potentially due to the fact that lockdowns largely targeted businesses in the leisure and hospitality industry....

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Xcel Proposes $3B in Renewable Projects to Bolster Corporate Profits During Pandemic

Last week the Minneapolis Star-Tribune ran an article entitled "Xcel Proposes $3B in Renewable Projects to Bolster Economy Dogged by Pandemic." In the article, the author discusses Xcel's plan to spend billions of dollars on renewable energy projects. What is missing from the piece is Xcel's underlying motive for fast forwarding the projects, exploiting the high unemployment caused by the COVID-19 shutdown to increase their government-guaranteed corporate profits. There is No Free Market for Electricity in Minnesota One of the single-most important things conservatives need to know about Minnesota’s electric system is that there is no free market for electricity, and investor owned...

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Walz’s COVID “Science” Was Always a Smokescreen

At the end of May, my friend Todd Myers, of the Washington Policy Center, wrote an excellent piece for The Wall Street Journal detailing how Washington Governor Jay Inslee's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was anything but scientific. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz has claimed he is "following the science," but nearly all of the decisions he's made have been arbitrary value judgments based on his own political worldview. In his piece, Mr. Myers explains how politicians abandon the scientific method and data-driven policymaking when the numbers don't support the actions they want to take. You'll see there are many parallels between...

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