Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's job market has improved to record levels for black residents although their jobless rate remains more than double the state average. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, or DEED, released a jobs report Thursday, Jan., 18, that showed 7.5 percent of black Minnesotans were unemployed in December. That's the lowest jobless rate for black residents since the state began keeping records in 2001.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's individual health insurance marketplace, MNsure, saw record enrollments and the smoothest annual sign-up period since the agency's troubled launch in 2013. MNsure announced Wednesday, Jan. 17, that more than 116,000 people purchased insurance through the state market created under the Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare. That's slightly higher than last year, when 114,810 people bought plans, but it falls short of the 5 percent growth agency officials anticipated.
ST. PAUL—To combat the growing opioid crisis Minnesota needs more funding and flexibility from federal officials to support unique and successful prevention, treatment and law enforcement strategies. That's the message state experts asked Democratic Sen. Tina Smith to take back to Washington D.C. as federal lawmakers debate the best way to address what has become a public health crisis.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton's administration says its efforts to make state hiring and contracting more inclusive are paying off, but there is still a long way to go before all Minnesotans have equitable representation in the government workforce. Last year, state contracts awarded to businesses owned by people of color, women and veterans grew an average of 89 percent over 2015, an increase from $40 million to $75 million. While that's impressive growth, it represents a fraction of the roughly $2.5 billion Minnesota spends with contractors each year.
MINNEAPOLIS — An Inver Grove Heights, Minn., man and former Allina Health vice president faces seven felony charges that accuse him of embezzling $269,000 from his former employer.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans could pay up to eight times more for certain medical procedures depending on the hospital they choose, but it's hard to know which facilities offer the most affordable services. That's the takeaway from a report released Wednesday, Jan. 3, by the Minnesota Department of Health aimed at making health care costs more transparent. Researchers examined the wide range of prices Minnesotans pay hospitals for four procedures — hip and knee replacements and normal and C-section births.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has work to do on its new plan to grade public schools and ensure every student has the chance to succeed. The U.S. Department of Education wrote to state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius in mid-December asking state leaders to clarify several points of Minnesota’s new school accountability plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.
ST. PAUL—Having the state-run health care exchange MNsure means Minnesotans who buy insurance on the individual market have more time to enroll in a plan than much of the rest of the nation. But if they want to be covered by Jan. 1, they had better act fast. Wednesday is the deadline to enroll for coverage that's effective the beginning of the year. Procrastinators have until Jan. 14 to pick a plan, but it won't be effective until Feb. 1.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's educators need to do a better job recognizing students' unique attributes and challenges and modify their instruction so all children can reach their full potential. That conclusion drives the mantra "See All, Serve All, Support All," at the heart of the new "Reimagine Minnesota" report that a collaborative of Twin Cities superintendents unveiled Friday, Dec. 8. The report is the result of nearly a year's work guided by the Association of Metropolitan School Districts.
ST. PAUL—Republicans in Congress are close to a sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code that will have long-term implications for Minnesotans. The $1.5 trillion tax cut bill approved by the Senate early Saturday and a similar bill approved by the House of Representatives in November represent the largest changes to the tax code in three decades. Both were passed without any Democratic support. The bills differ, but would essentially: