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Communities Still Wary of GreenStep Cities Program at 10 Year Mark

This week the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) heralds the ten-year anniversary of the GreenStep Cities climate change program that presses local governments to factor environmental sustainability into everything from budgets to ordinances, land use and long-range planning. The program offers more than two dozen so-called Best Management Practices with 175 actions and lots of paperwork for participating communities. The recommendations include options that could significantly alter daily life like limiting parking places, reducing salt use in winter, mandates and bans on consumer products and packaging,  monitoring wood burning in fireplaces, encouraging keeping chickens and bees, even phasing in “bike, foot...

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California state law meant to protect gig economy workers is crushing them

California's law, limiting employers' use of classifying workers as contractors rather than employees is hurting the same people it intended to protect. The law, termed AB-5, meant to provide gig  economy workers the same benefits as regular employees has caused some  Freelancers to see a  decline in business and income....

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Costly Surcharges on the Menu as Diners Pay for Restaurant Regulations

Diners may find more offerings on the menu at an increasing number of Twin Cities restaurants these days but not necessarily the usual gourmet fare. In addition to entrees, drinks and desserts, the tab now often includes a health care or other surcharge as restaurants seek to recover higher costs due to minimum wage hikes, paid time off and other costly new local government regulations. The trend remained largely under the radar until a diner surprised by a three percent surcharge tacked onto the cost of his meal filed a law suit, according to the Star Tribune. Christopher Ashbach, 40, of Arden...

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As well as looming federal tax hikes, Minnesota’s microdistilleries are threatened by antiquated state regulations

Minnesota’s microdistilleries are under threat from laws designed to protect the indefensible three-tier distribution system, an obsolete bit of rent seeking legislation which exists solely to preserve the market share of liquor distributors. ...

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