News Tribune Editorial Board
It's sad how slick the responses and apologies are becoming from those accused of sexual improprieties, how all the right things are now being said. It's sad because such misconduct apparently is so commonplace a script has been able to be honed that can be followed when victims brave enough to come forward rightly demand accountability.
Yes, of course workers in Duluth should be allowed to bank paid days off to take when they're ill, when a family member is ill, or when they have to deal with an emergency related to their safety or the safety of loved ones. But the reality is that most full-time workers in Duluth already have and enjoy this benefit.
He's been through it, what we here in Duluth are going through and soon could be going through with regard to workplace mandates and how — or, first, whether — they should be written into our local laws. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has experiences from his city worth considering and advice worth heeding. First, he said in an interview this week with News Tribune Editorial Board members, understand where the issues are coming from.
With a police presence in the area, a single protester held a sign outside Duluth's Kitchi Gammi Club over the noon hour Tuesday.
A new city law requiring businesses in Duluth to provide paid sick days is likely a foregone conclusion. With commitments of support from enough city councilors, the ordinance is expected to cruise to passage, a several-meetings process that can begin Monday night with the receipt of Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force recommendations. The support is even though the mandate could apply even to interns and temporary workers and could do bottom-line harm to local businesses, especially smaller ones.
The Duluth City Council opted to wait until after the election to consider an ordinance mandating paid days off for Duluth workers — all Duluth workers, even, possibly, part-timers, seasonal employees, and interns. Whether or not politics remain a consideration, councilors can continue to hold off on an ordinance and mandate — that is, if they hope to make good anytime soon on a sales tax to fund street repairs, a plan demanded by Duluth voters last week when greater than 75 percent endorsed it.
Duluth voters really, really want their pockmarked, tire-flattening, suspension-busting, teeth-rattling roads repaired: On Election Day Tuesday, they overwhelmingly endorsed a plan pitched by Mayor Emily Larson to pour approximately $8 million a year into street improvements. The hefty, responsible commitment of funds compares to the just-not-keeping-up $2.8 million now being spent per year and is expected to be enough to more than triple the number of miles of roads repaired annually, from about three miles currently to 16 to 18 miles.
A tax credit that for years has been helping lower-income Minnesota families afford child care is about to begin helping middle-class families, too. That bodes well for our state's future. "A lot of child care nowadays is really very education-focused. These children are learning great skills, including socialization skills, sharing skills, and some early learning that will help them be better in school when they get there," Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly said in an exclusive interview this fall with members of the News Tribune Editorial Board.
This one actually means more. While all elections are important — they determine who'll lead us, who'll make decisions on our behalf, and who'll shape our communities and nation in the ways we want — elections that pick local leaders have the most and most-direct impact.
The start of open enrollment for the half million Minnesotans who don't get their health insurance from an employer or through public programs went "smoothly" last week, according to MNsure Media Relations Specialist Marie Harmon. What a relief. That's in stark contrast to past years and despite confusion and uncertainty this year over Minnesota's public health exchange, created under the federal Affordable Care Act, sometimes called Obamacare.