Dave Orrick / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL—Here's the sentence: "An intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment ... does not require the harassing conduct or communication to be severe or pervasive." And with that change in state law proposed Monday the landscape of future sexual harassment claims in Minnesota could fundamentally shift — in favor of the #MeToo movement. The proposal, which has bipartisan support, would lower the bar of proof for all employees across the state who believe they've been sexually harassed.
ST. PAUL—When Twin Cities TV reporter Courtney Godfrey lost part of her leg in a boating accident over the summer, she assumed the boat owner's insurance policy would help. But she quickly learned the boat's liability policy excluded her. Because the boat was owned by her husband. "We were like: 'WHAT?!'" says Godfrey, a Fox-9/KMSP-TV reporter who lost the lower portion on her left leg in the propellor after she was flung overboard while the boat was making a turn on Christmas Lake in September.
ST. PAUL—This year could be the year that Minnesota outlaws handling your cellphone while driving. A bipartisan proposal to mandate "hands-free" use of cellphones for drivers passed a hurdle Tuesday at the state Capitol, when the House public safety committee approved it in a voice vote without objection. Supporters called the event a "milestone" for a restriction that's been adopted by 15 states, the District of Columbia and numerous cities and towns across the nation.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota driver's licenses — as they currently are today — won't work for boarding planes starting Oct. 10. But there are options — some you might want to take right now, or at least consider, according to federal and state officials, who updated their information on the process this past week. People renewing their driver's licenses between now and October should take notice. This can seem confusing, so read carefully. Hopefully, this will help. WHAT'S CHANGING?
ST. PAUL—A Minnesota lawmaker says a state manager whose bureau oversees investigations into abuse and neglect in nursing homes was fired after she blew the whistle on a "toxic culture" that was an obstacle to ensuring that officials do a better job protecting residents of senior care facilities. "I want answers," said Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, who chairs the Senate Aging and Long-Term Care Policy Committee.
ST. PAUL—A script for a USO performance that Al Franken worked on called for "Dr. Al Franken" to perform a "breast exam" on stage before cheering American soldiers, according to Franken's own reading of the script and a video of one of the performances. The 2003 performance also included a moment where, Franken said, "I just grabbed her and kissed her, and she fights me off." The script was read by Franken in a January 2004 interview with Terry Gross' National Public Radio show "Fresh Air" in which he recalled performing it for soldiers in Iraq weeks before.