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Farms Use Boatloads of Energy

The article below is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's Today in Energy series. It was published in October of 2014, but it reinforces the points I made earlier this week about how higher gas taxes will disproportionately hurt rural Minnesotans. The second graph in this post is especially interesting because it shows that diesel fuel, is the largest energy source used in agriculture because it works. Admittedly, I am not certain if the proposed fuel-tax increase would increase the taxes for off-road diesel, but this is something agriculture interest should pay close attention to. If raising the gas tax is needed for...

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Minnesota Vikings Help Cover the Cost of Innagural Parties for Governor Walz

Governor Tim Walz capped off his first week in office with an inaugural party in Minneapolis on Saturday, treating thousands of Minnesotans to a night of food and performances meant to highlight the state’s diversity and strengths, according to the Star Tribune. That's all well and fine. Politicians have parties to thank supporters and volunteers after slogging through seemingly-endless campaign season, and as long as taxpayers are not paying for it, go for it. But if we don't pay for it, someone else does. According to the Star Tribune: The party capped a week of ceremony and celebration for the administration. After being sworn in...

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Survey Shows 40 Percent of Adults Still Can’t Cover a $400 Emergency Expense: No Wonder Politicians Can’t Pass a Balanced Budget

About 40 percent of adults said that if faced with a $400 unexpected expense, they not be able to pay it with cash or would do so by selling something or borrowing money, according to the Federal Reserve's Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017, Additionally, less than 40 percent of non-retired adults think they are on track in saving for their golden years and 25 percent have no retirement savings or pension at all, the report says. What is even more shocking than these numbers is that the savings rate for the U.S. has actually increased in the past few years. Even still,...

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Dayton Approves Huge Raises for Government Employees On His Way Out the Door

Gov. Mark Dayton has approved large pay increases for 22 government officials, including 7 employees of the Metropolitan Council, who already make well over $100,000 per year. This is why people have little faith that their government is working for them, and not the other way around. According to a CBS news report, Minnesota law says local governments cannot pay employees more than 110 percent of a governor’s salary, which is $127,000. But they can apply for a waiver. The state does give permission, but not often: out of hundreds of requests, it has agreed to only 77 times in the last 21 years:...

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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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