Minneapolis Star Tribune
Eliot Seide, the powerful leader of one of the state’s most important unions and a kingmaker in DFL politics for a generation, will retire at the end of October, he said Wednesday. Seide has been executive director of the Minnesota chapter of American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, since 2002. Its 43,000 members have long been a crucial base of support for the DFL.
A federal judge has ordered the Minnesota Department of Commerce to pay nearly $1 million in legal fees racked up by a windshield-repair company the department had challenged over its business tactics.
Health insurers and the companies they hire to manage pharmaceutical benefits are reporting early success in efforts to better manage access to opioid medications. OptumRx, which is the pharmaceutical benefits manager at Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, said this week that a pilot program has helped reduce inappropriate consumption of opioid painkillers at the heart of an addiction and overdose epidemic.
Minnesota employers added 7,700 jobs in July, faster than the average rate over the past year and above the national growth rate for the second month in a row. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday it also revised its June data sharply higher. The agency a month ago estimated that the state added 4,400 jobs. But it now says the gain was more than twice as high, at 9,300 jobs.
AmericInn, the 200-hotel chain that is the flagship brand of Chanhassen, Minn.-based Northcott Hospitality, has been purchased by Wyndham Hotel Group for $170 million. The transaction, which was announced last month, included the hotel's management company, called Three Rivers Hospitality. AmericInn is known across Minnesota and upper Midwest for suburban and small town hotels with well-insulated rooms that are quieter than most.
While the Trump administration battles Minnesota for its voter data, a local conservative group is filing suit, demanding its own chance to scrutinize the voter rolls. The Minnesota Voters Alliance announced plans Friday to sue Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who denied the group's request for voter registration data. Among other things, the group wanted to examine the names, addresses, voting history and every registered voter's current status as well as any challenge to that status, all in search of fraudulent votes that may have been cast.
Money coming into Minnesota's state coffers in July was well below government forecasts, continuing a trend that began in April, setting off a fresh debate about the health of the state's economy and budget. The shortfalls come amid volatility in Washington and the global economy that has some officials concerned about the state's budget situation, despite its $2 billion rainy day fund. "It underscores the danger of the budget we passed this year," said Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, citing substantial tax cuts and spending increases.
Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Scott Pruitt's visit to Minnesota this month yielded an unexpected boon for those who care about clean water. In an interview with a Star Tribune reporter, Pruitt affirmed his support for federal funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which provides landmark protections for Lakes Huron, Erie, Michigan, Ontario and, most treasured by Minnesotans, Superior.
WASHINGTON — Even as deaths by opioid overdose rise in Minnesota and around the county, treatment advocates and public officials in the state are looking to Washington with concern that federal spending reductions under President Trump and the Republican Congress could damage efforts to stem the crisis.
MINNEAPOLIS — The conference call had begun, and a voice in New York was slowly and deliberately taking roll call, making sure each major-league team was connected, could hear clearly, and was ready to start. The 2001 MLB draft was about to begin, and the Minnesota Twins still didn't have an answer. "Cleveland ... ready. Colorado ... ready. Detroit ... ready," the voice over the speakerphone squawked into a large, windowless conference room in the basement of the Metrodome, the volume cranked to be heard over the clatter of the stadium kitchen in the next room.