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Minnesota to throw open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Minnesota to throw open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Minnesota will expand COVID-19 vaccination to all state residents 16 and older starting Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for Gov. Tim Walz.The expansion marks a major milestone in Minnesota's vaccine strategy. Currently, only people with certain underlying health conditions, as well as those with jobs or living arrangements that put them at highest risk of getting COVID-19 have been eligible for vaccination.Walz plans to outline the changes and the reasons he’s going this direction during a speech late Friday morning. In a regular call with reporters ahead of the announcement Thursday...

Mar 25
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Businesses destroyed in riots ask for state help

Businesses destroyed in riots ask for state help

Owners of businesses ransacked during last year’s Twin Cities riots made personal appeals Tuesday to Minnesota lawmakers for help with rebuilding.The House Capital Investment Committee heard from several store owners from Minneapolis and St. Paul who could benefit from a proposed $300 million borrowing package. The plan advanced to another panel on an 11-8 party-line vote.The bill would designate $200 million from the bond sale proceeds to Minneapolis redevelopment efforts and $100 million to St. Paul.“This fund can definitely be a lifeline for our small businesses, particularly those that...

Feb 16
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Minn. Sen. Jerry Relph dies of COVID-19 complications

Minn. Sen. Jerry Relph dies of COVID-19 complications

Jerry Relph, a first-term state senator from St. Cloud, died Friday of complications of COVID-19, his family and the Senate majority leader confirmed.“Jerry dedicated his life to service, and representing Senate District 14 was one of the highest honors he had,” his wife, Pegi Broker-Relph, said in a statement released Friday night. “I can’t count the number of times he would come home at night and tell me about helping solve a constituent’s problem, or a story he heard from someone in a parade or at a public event, or even just someone he met during a ‘day on the hill’ event. He loved...

Dec 18
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Walz extends curbs on bars, eateries; grade schools OK'd to reopen

Walz extends curbs on bars, eateries; grade schools OK'd to reopen

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday extended his through the year-end holidays, a move he described as a painful but necessary step as they state continues to struggle to stem the spread of COVID-19.The current restrictions limiting bars and restaurants to takeout-only were set to expire on Friday. Walz’s revamped order will continue to prohibit indoor service at bars and restaurants. It allows limited outdoor seating — a request he said that came from the state’s brewpub industry — but they can’t be fully enclosed, making dining unlikely in a Minnesota winter.The restrictions will stay in place...

Dec 16
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Gazelka suggests speedier vaccinations at Capitol

Gazelka suggests speedier vaccinations at Capitol

The top Republican in the Minnesota Legislature suggested Friday that some Capitol employees be considered for quicker COVID-19 vaccination as a way to facilitate more in-person meetings.In a forum hosted by Fluence Media, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said he expects the 2021 session to be done in hybrid fashion with some hearings done virtually and others in person. Much of the legislative activity since March has been done in remote fashion or with limited attendance by lawmakers.Gazelka, of East Gull Lake, said the contour of the upcoming session will depend somewhat on the pace...

Dec 4
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Minnesota Supreme Court tosses GOP election lawsuit

Minnesota Supreme Court tosses GOP election lawsuit

Minnesota’s Supreme Court rejected a Republican challenge Friday to certification of the 2020 election results.A said the candidates and voters who petitioned for an injunction to block certification failed to file their case properly.Justices said the objections to new rules around absentee voting came too late and the remedy sought wasn’t viable.“Petitioners' proposed recount of the entirety of the 2020 general election results would cast an unacceptable degree of uncertainty over the election, potentially leaving Minnesotans without adequate elected representation,” the order signed by...

Dec 4
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Walz hits the brakes on Minnesota social life as COVID-19 rages

Walz hits the brakes on Minnesota social life as COVID-19 rages

Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday rolled out a order that prohibits all in-person social gatherings with people outside your household for four weeks. It restricts bar and restaurant service to takeout and delivery. Theaters and gyms must close, although retail stores can be open. Organized sports for youth and adults are on hold. Collegiate athletics and professional sports can continue but with new spectator limits. Places of worship and child care can stay open with the proper precautions in place.“We’re at a dangerous point in this pandemic,” Walz told Minnesotans in his address announcing the...

Nov 18
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2 DFL state senators quit caucus, become independents

2 DFL state senators quit caucus, become independents

Two northern Minnesota state senators broke Wednesday from the Senate DFL and formed their own independent caucus in a closely divided legislative chamber.Longtime Iron Range Sens. Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni said in a written statement that they’ll exit the DFL caucus to start a caucus for moderate-minded lawmakers. For now it includes only the two of them.Their departure from the DFL gives Republicans a bit more breathing room heading into a session where they were facing a single-seat majority. Now, it’ll be 34 Republicans, 31 DFLers and the two independents.The Iron Range has been...

Nov 18
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Minnesota GOP senators had COVID, but GOP caucus didn’t tell DFLers

Minnesota GOP senators had COVID, but GOP caucus didn’t tell DFLers

Controversy over how Minnesota Senate Republicans notified others of a COVID-19 outbreak in their caucus spilled into a second day Saturday, with top elected officials trading accusations of poor handling of the pandemic.After several Minnesota Republican senators and staff tested positive for COVID-19, a top GOP caucus leader emailed Republicans on Tuesday to give them a heads up on the news. Senate Democrats, though, were not told their GOP colleagues had contracted the highly contagious disease before .The internal email obtained by MPR News said a number of cases had been identified...

Nov 14
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Judge: Winner of CD2 race must be decided in November

Judge: Winner of CD2 race must be decided in November

A federal judge ruled Friday that the votes cast in November's election for Congress in Minnesota's 2nd District will count, even though a state law said the race should be delayed until a February special election.The uncertainty arose because of the death of a third-party candidate. Democratic Rep. Angie Craig and a constituent filed a lawsuit saying that delaying the election until February would leave the seat unfilled at a crucial time. Republican candidate Tyler Kistner argued the state law should be followed and has filed an appeal. In her 24-page decision issued two days after...

October 9, 2020
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