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Utility Dive Names Xcel Energy “Utility of the Year.” We’re Less Impressed

Utility Dive, a website that covers the ongoings of the electric utility industry, has named Xcel Energy the Utility of the Year for 2018, commending the company for retiring coal-fired power plants and investing billions in future wind, solar, and natural gas installations. As for us, we don't think Xcel should be applauded for pursuing policies that result in higher profits for Xcel shareholders at the expense of the families and businesses who have no choice but to buy their electricity from the monopoly utility. ...

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Dayton Administration Data Breach Exposes Minnesota’s Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft

Minnesota’s most vulnerable population has been exposed to a data breach at the state agency that is supposed to guard their privacy and well-being. According to a letter mailed to Medicaid recipients on October 9th, the Department of Human Services (DHS) was hacked twice last summer. Sensitive, private information may have been compromised including name, birthdate, Social Security number, home address, telephone number, medical information, educational records, employment records, and/or financial information. ...

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Subsidized Film about Ilhan Omar: Liberals are good at capturing tax dollars to advance their agenda.

The film, "Time for Ilhan"  has been playing at festivals in Minneapolis and is playing at the Walker (the 5th district). The filmmaker has contributed cash to Omar's campaign but denies she is advancing Omar's political career. And now taxpayers, too, have contributed about $11,852 to Omar, as well....

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How government can keep housing affordable for everyone: stop making housing more expensive and stop trying to help

Before our legislature or local governments try anything new, or tap more taxpayers dollars, they should first analyze how state and local regulations drive the costs of building and maintaining rental and other housing, especially for people who are cost sensitive: students, young people just getting a start and for low-income residents, including the elderly who are in fixed incomes....

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State “IT” Services: Legislative Auditor Releases Report Detailing Serious Mismanagement, Disregard for Legal Requirements

Our state government is not good at managing simple IT functions; our confidential data is not secure, we are paying for services that we are not receiving in a timely or cost-efficient manner, and consulting companies, hired by the state, are robbing the public blind while delivering failed products. This calls for a complete overhaul starting with the next administration. ...

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Taxpayers to Get Squeezed After Minneapolis School District Mismanages Their Budget, Again…

The Minneapolis School District can't seem to get their act together. The district overspent by $21.6 million last year, now the school district is seeking to raise property taxes by $18 million in a referendum on the ballot this fall. If you live in Minneapolis, you can see what these additional levies will cost you by clicking here. The Minneapolis School District has been badly mismanaged. According to a Star Tribune article from last year, auditors highlighted seven areas of financial missteps, including problems in budgeting, payroll and approval of district purchasing cards. "Some employees remained on payroll after they left the district...

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Met Council has a new director of equal opportunity but not enough bus drivers. Some Routes Suspended.

One of the Met Council’s core functions is transit. I could not help wondering if the Council focused more on delivering good transit, rather than trying to re-arrange the metro area according to its own “progressive” political and social agenda maybe it would not find itself without enough drivers. ...

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Southwest LRT Summer Newsletter: spending, delays continue while total costs rise

For your summer reading: The Met Council's pet project SWLRT, now largely shifted onto the back of Hennepin County taxpayers, has been delayed again. And yet the Council is spending tax dollars anyway even though it has not received a federal grant. This is "good" news, as good as it gets short of a full denial by the FTA. My prediction is SWRLT will not be funded in 2018. ...

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Moody’s Warns Minnesota: 2018 Pension Bill Not Good Enough

Rating agencies like Moody’s have all threatened to ding the State of Minnesota for not properly funding pensions. This is what finally prompted the Governor and Legislature to act in 2018 (Dayton had 8 years to do it but waited until his second to last year to start to weigh in on a solution, and then his last year to sign a bill). Moody’s released yet another report critical of Minnesota policies, noting that the Omnibus bill was “far from a cure-all.”...

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Public Pools to Robotic Mowers: The Minnesota Bonding Bill

Minnesota's current bonding bill allocates $825 million, derived from the issuance of state bonds. Eventually, these bonds must be payed back with interest, making this funding scheme expensive for the taxpayer in the long run. However even knowing this, St. Paul approved some strange spending. ...

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