>>$900M bonding bill awaits vote in MN House, Repubs could use as negotiating leverage

(St. Paul, MN) — A 900-million-dollar bonding bill for state public works projects awaits a vote in the Minnesota House after clearing a key committee today (Wed), but Capital Investment Chairman Fue Lee says about negotiations with Republicans, whose votes are needed to pass the bill, “I think there’s still ongoing conversation about the size and scope of a bill, but we need to continue to push this forward.” Senate Republican Minority Leader Mark Johnson says if Democrats would negotiate with Republicans on other bills, “I don’t foresee any issue of getting the bonding bill done… but if they say, we’re gonna pass our entire agenda — oh, plus you’re gonna give us the entire bonding bill that we want — what kind of a deal is that?” Under two weeks remain to the legislature’s May 20th adjournment deadline. Chairman Lee says his bill helps protect the state’s assets and will fund clean water efforts, plant trees and restore natural spaces, prevent flooding, improve air quality, make investments in recreation and pay for facilities for servicepeople and veteran care.

>>Two People Arrested in Gift Card Scam in St. Paul suburb

(Inver Grove Heights, MN) — Two people are in custody for allegedly putting scam gift cards on store shelves at a Cub Foods Friday in Inver Grove Heights. Police say they were charged with felonies but, more importantly, want the public to be more aware of such scams. Officials say once the fake gift cards are activated, the money put on the card goes straight to the scammer. The two suspects were caught with nearly 100 pounds of cards. The Better Business Bureau recommends purchasing gift cards directly from a retailer for safety, rather than from a gift card kiosk.

>> Teen Who Plead Guilty to 2022 Murder of Brooklyn Park Woman Sentenced

(Minneapolis, MN) — A 17-year-old who pleaded guilty to murdering a Brooklyn Park woman in 2022 has been sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison. Foday Kamara, who was 15 at the time of the shooting, was charged in March as an adult with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Zaria McKeever. Kamara’s sentence comes as part of a plea deal in exchange for testimony against others in the case, including McKeever’s ex-boyfriend, Erick Haynes, who was sentenced to life in prison in April.

>>Faith groups at MN Capitol say proposed ERA/abortion rights constitutional amendment doesn’t ban religious discrimination

Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical Christian advocates are at the State Capitol this afternoon, calling out a proposed E-R-A (Equal Rights) and abortion rights constitutional amendment because it would not prohibit discrimination based on religion. Jason Adkins with the Minnesota Catholic Conference says because the proposed constitutional amendment *would* protect abortion rights and gender ideology from discrimination — but *not* the rights of traditional people of faith……”the perverse reality and outcome… is that all Minnesotans regardless of background are going to be affected…, because they won’t have that legal remedy to combat Islamophobia, anti-Semitism [and] religious bias in all its forms.” Sponsors of the proposed constitutional amendment weren’t immediately available to comment.

>>Union members deliver petition to Mayo demanding wage increases

(Rochester, MN) — SEIU union members at Mayo St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester delivered a petition of nearly 500 signatures to Mayo leadership today (WED) urging the hospital to meet employees’ demands. Certified Surgical Technologist Ashley Rohwer says wages are a huge problem and “instead of investing in our dedicated staff, Mayo pays travelers twice the hourly salary that our employees make.” Rohwer says on top of wages, worker shortage has led to a number of inexperienced employees filling roles in operating rooms. The two sides have bargained seven times since their current contract expired April 22nd, with that agreement continuing as-is until a decision is made.

>>South St. Paul Woman Charged with 10 Counts of Felony Tax Fraud

(South St. Paul, MN) — A South St. Paul woman faces ten counts of felony tax fraud. According to the criminal complaint, Claudia Gutierrez Mendez failed to properly file sales tax returns for her business, Hamburguesas El Gordo restaurants in Dakota, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties, from 2018 through 2022. Guiterrez Mendez was also found to have not filed any tax returns despite running business as usual from December 2022 to February 2023. Officials say she owes around $260,000 in outstanding sales tax. Guiterrez Mendez’s next court appearance is June 18th.

>>Lakeville Couple Charged with Felony Tax Fraud

(St. Paul, MN) — A Lakeville couple, Daniel and Mary Brouillet, are each charged with five felony counts for allegedly failing to file tax returns from 2018 through 2022. Daniel is also charged with an 10 felony tax fraud counts for failing to file for his business or pay income tax on money earned. The Brouillets are believed to have had a combined annual income ranging from $166,000 to $392,000 during those years.


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