MN Secretary of State Gets Upgraded Security Clearance

“It was revealed earlier this month that Minnesota was one of 21 states targeted by election hackers in 2016, though fortunately they were unsuccessful.

Now efforts are being made to increase communications between national intelligence agencies and state-level election officials ahead of November’s elections, to ensure states can react in a timely manner when a security threat presents itself.” ~BringMeTheNews, March 26th

MN’s GOP-Lead Safety Committee Blocks Basic Gun Control Measures

“Unlike other states, Minnesota is not likely to pass any new gun laws. In the Republican-led Minnesota House and Senate, there are currently 26 separate bills pending that restrict guns and gun violence — 21 of them introduced after the Florida school shooting last month.

The bills range from gun violence protective orders (HF1605/SF1262) to universal background checks (HF1661/SF1261) to a ban on bump stocks (HF2781/SF2601) and assault-style weapons (HF3022).

Only two of the 26 gun bills at the capitol even got a hearing — one for universal background checks and one for gun violence protective orders. They were voted down — twice.

That’s despite 85 percent of Americans who favor stricter gun laws, according to a recent CBS News Poll. That poll also found 87 percent favor better mental health screening, 75 percent favor tougher background checks, 56 percent favor a bump stock ban and 53 percent agree with a ban on assault weapons.” ~Reality Check, WCCO, March 21st

Minnesota Medical Association Calls for Assault Weapons Ban

“The Minnesota Medical Association, the largest physicians’ organization in Minnesota is calling for a ban on “assault weapons” or semiautomatic weapons. Following the school massacre in Florida last month where 17 students and educators were killed, the group says there’s no time for inaction and that gun violence has become a public health crisis. . .

Gun violence and firearm-related accidents kill more than 30,000 Americans each year. In Minnesota, there were more than 400 firearm-related deaths in 2016. The doctors are calling for a “renewal and strengthening” of the assault weapons ban, including the high-capacity magazines guns like the ones used in the Parkland high school shooting, and the Las Vegas concert massacre that claimed 58 lives.” ~KTTC, March 8th

MN GOP Reps Copy Bills for Medicaid Work Requirements

“House Speaker Kurt Daudt joined Rep. Kelly Fenton, R-Woodbury, in sponsoring a bill that would impose work requirements for those receiving public health care assistance who are not the sole caregiver for a child nor someone with disabilities. They believe the requirements will boost the number of people participating in the state’s workforce.

Similar legislation is proposed in the state Senate and has the support of Sen. Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, and Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, who chairs the health and human services committee.

The proposal comes just two months after President Donald Trump’s administration signaled it supported work requirements to obtain taxpayer-funded medical coverage. Several states are considering similar rules.” ~Pioneer Press, March 13th

MN Cities Prepare for Climate Change

“With global temperatures rising and federal action evaporating, Minnesota cities are taking it upon themselves to cut emissions and prepare for a climate they weren’t built for. . .

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of rainfall in Minnesota, bringing with it a greater risk of flash flooding that threatens cities whose current infrastructure has never weathered a 100- or 500-year flood. Since 2000, the state has had eight “mega-rain events,” when at least six inches of rain fell in an area greater than 1,000 square miles, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. There were only three in the 30 years between 1970 and 1999. The eight since 2000 included the largest, earliest and latest mega-rain events on record — in keeping with the longer, more severe rainy season climate scientists expect to become the new normal.” ~City Pages, March 12th

Minnesota Students Demand Gun Control Reforms

“At least 21 threats have been made against Minnesota schools in the last three weeks, resulting in recent lockdowns and school closures at Minneapolis’ Patrick Henry High School, schools in the Cambridge-Isanti Public Schools and Orono Public Schools districts.

While these responses have helped curb any fatalities from occurring, Minnesota schools are not immune to gun violence. In 2005, a shooting at Red Lake Senior High School claimed 10 lives. And two years before that, in Cold Spring, a Rocori High School student shot and killed two of his peers at school. ” ~Minnpost, March 8th

MN Lawmakers Introduce Net Neutrality Bills

“State Rep. Paul Thissen and state Sen. Ron Latz announced Thursday that they were sponsoring bills that would require companies that do business in Minnesota to comply with “commonsense net neutrality principles.”

“Every day we inch closer to restricting consumers from having free and fair access to the internet,” said Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. “The FCC has ruled in favor of special interests in the telecommunications industry, but that does not mean Minnesota will concede without a fight.”

Their bill improves protections for consumers, combats fraud and increases competitiveness, the lawmakers said in a statement.” ~Pioneer Press, March 1st

Minnesota Moms Demand Action at Capitol Gun Control Rally

“Before the most recent mass school shooting in Florida, the gun control group known as Minnesota Moms Demand Action expected about 30 people to show up for their February rally at the state Capitol.

That rally took place Tuesday. An informal headcount easily topped 200, and organizers said the 400 leaflets they brought were quickly snapped up by the sizable crowd.”

The Pioneer Press reports that Minnesotans—especially moms!—are mobilizing to make Gun Control a central issue in the upcoming 2018 election.

CNN: MN Now ‘Ground Zero For 2018 Midterm Election’

With the announced resignation of Al Franken from the Senate, CNN went so far as to say that:

 Minnesota is now ground zero for a 2018 midterm election that could change control of Congress.” ~CNN, Dec 8

It’s a powerful assessment—and that makes our mission to have vital issues represented in the election even more important.

DFL Candidates Agree: MN’s Next Governor Should Advance A Single-Payer Health Care System

“When it came to issues, the candidates frequently agreed. They supported raising the minimum wage, expanding free access to higher education and protecting public pensions. Minnesota’s next governor, they agreed, should get the state on track to a single-payer health care system, crack down on wage theft and make needed investments in infrastructure and public schools.”

DFL candidates for governor met for the AFL-CIO forum and discussed some of the issues both important to their constituency and the entire state, including moving towards single-payer healthcare. Watch the whole discussion.