>>Republicans at MN Legislature pushing for immediate action on school resource officer issue
(St. Paul, MN) — The 2024 Minnesota Legislature is in session, and it didn’t take long for debate to begin on clarifying state law that governs use-of-force by on-site school resource officers — a holdover issue from last year. House Republicans attempted to bring a bill up immediately for a vote, Minority Leader Lisa Demuth arguing it can’t wait any longer. “We heard our governor say that he wanted a quick fix on this. A quick fix would have been a special session the end of August. That did not happen,” Demuth says. New Hope Democrat Cedrick Frazier responded, “We are engaging and we will continue to engage all stakeholders, which is why it’s important to have these committee hearings. We’re gonna hear from the people, all the stakeholders involved, because there are many.” Speaker Melissa Hortman indicated the goal is to have a bill on House floor next week. Democratic Majority Leader Erin Murphy says she expects a bill on the Senate floor in the next two to three weeks.
>>Legionaires’ disease outbreak in Grand Rapids traced to municipal water supply
(Grand Rapids, MN) — State health officials say 14 cases of Legionaires’ disease in Grand Rapids have been traced to the municipal water supply. Grand Rapids officials say they plan to flush and disinfect the water system to reduce risks. Legionaires can be fatal in as many as one in 10 cases. No one died in the Grand Rapids outbreak, but 11 people were hospitalized.
>>”End of Life Options” bill triggers debate on opening day of 2024 legislative session
(St. Paul, MN) — A bill dubbed “End of Life Options” is sparking controversy as the Minnesota Legislature opens its 2024 session. House Republican Minority Leader Lisa Demuth says Democrats could have had hearings over the summer on reducing taxes or the school resource officer fix, “but instead, the only bill that was given a hearing during the interim was one on physician-assisted suicide.” But Governor Tim Walz says legislation for End of Life Options is worth looking at — remembering back to when he was a teenager, his dad was dying of lung cancer, and there were “no options other than massive medical bills and pain, and a death in a hospital.” But Senate Democratic Majority Leader Erin Murphy says she suspects it will take time for Minnesotans to reconcile how they feel about it. “We’re at the beginning of a process that will probably take more than one year before we’re at a place where we can adopt it,” Murphy says.
>>Finalists for U-of-M president beginning campus visits
(Various) — Minnesotans this week are getting their first look at two of the three finalists for University of Minnesota president, with the third candidate in the state next week. Doctor James Holloway from the University of New Mexico attended an open house and campus forum this morning (Mon) in Morris and he’s in Crookston this afternoon. Holloway will be in Duluth tomorrow, and in Rochester and the Twin Cities on Wednesday. Doctor Laura Bloomberg from Cleveland State University will visit the U-of-M’s five campuses on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And Doctor Rebecca Cunningham from the University of Michigan will be in Minnesota next week.
>>Two People, One Cat Dead from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Princeton Home
(Mille Lacs County, MN) — Two people and a cat are dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in Mille Lacs County. Deputies on reports of a possible overdose went to a home in Princeton late Sunday night, where they found the bodies of 27-year-old Marcos Larson and 20-year-old Kylea May. The 911 caller was hospitalized but her current condition isn’t available — nor is the condition of a dog who was also in the home. Investigators determined propane heaters were being used, in addition to a gas-powered generator to run space heaters.
>>Police Investigate String of Robberies in Minneapolis Over Weekend
(Minneapolis, MN) — Police are investigating a series of 14 robberies in Minneapolis late Saturday night into Sunday morning. Circumstances were all similar, with a group of people exiting a vehicle to rob pedestrians — often taking purses, wallets or phones — and some victims were assaulted. Police say descriptions of the suspects vary, ranging from groups of three to six persons, male and female, all juveniles or young adults, dressed in dark clothing and masks, with guns in most cases.
>>Dems begin push at MN Legislature for ERA/abortion rights constitutional amendment
(St. Paul, MN) — Democrats at the Minnesota Legislature appear ready to move ahead to put a combined Equal Rights (ERA) and abortion rights constitutional amendment before voters. House Speaker Melissa Hortman says the legislature will vote this year to put the question on the ballot most likely in 2026. Hortman notes that because Democrats have narrow majorities in the House and Senate, “no outcome on any issue is guaranteed, but I believe that we will be putting a question on the ballot for 2026.” And is that because Democrats are worried that having an ERA/abortion constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall could pull more Trump supporters to the polls? Hortman says, “No, I think that the Biden-Trump election will be driven by the Biden-Trump issues.” Even if Democrats lose their majority in the House this fall, there would be no way for Republicans to take the ERA/abortion amendment off the 2026 ballot, because Democrats would still control the Senate — which doesn’t stand for election until 2026.
>>MN Workers, Union Leaders to Speak Out During MN’s 2024 Session Priorities Event
(St. Paul, MN) — As Minnesota’s legislative session kicks off today (MON), frontline workers, union leaders, and community supporters are wasting no time in voicing their priorities. The group will gather outside St. Paul’s River Centre tonight while the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce hosts its “2024 Session Priorities” event. They’re highlighting strides during last year’s session to uplift worker and family rights.
>>Fargo/Moorhead Salvation Army chapter reports Red Kettle donation drop
(Moorhead, MN) — The Fargo-Moorhead Salvation Army announced that there were fewer “drops” during the annual Red Kettle fundraiser for the three months ending December 31, 2023. Major Abe Tamayo said the campaign had donations totaling just over $836,000, short of the $950,000 goal. He says inflation is affecting everyone — not only those in need but those who are giving — and more people have fewer dollars. And Tamayo says bell ringer registrations were down significantly — and when there are no bell ringers at red kettles, there are no donations.