Industry, Business Groups Optimistic on Nickel Mining Bordering Lake Superior

Geologists and mining experts say Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula may provide a solution for an obstacle facing the electric vehicle transition.

Minerals are needed, and this area has them.

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Minnesota State Lawmaker Promoting Child Sex Changes Gets ‘Children’s Health’ Award

The Children’s Minnesota Hospital system gave Democratic Minnesota State Rep. Leigh Finke an award Tuesday for her work in children’s health after she authored a bill designed to protect child sex changes.

Finke, who is transgender, was the chief author of HF146, Minnesota’s “trans refuge” legislation, which would prevent the enforcement of out-of-state laws that would remove a child from their parent’s home for receiving transgender medical interventions, such as hormones or puberty blockers. Finke received the “Children’s Health Hero” award from the Minnesota hospital system for her work on the bill, according to a release from Children’s Minnesota.

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Minnesota Lawmakers End Session with $2.6 Billion Bonding and ‘Cash Only’ Capital Investment Package

It’s not a bonding year at the legislature, but that didn’t stop lawmakers — every Democrat and a number of Republicans — at the Minnesota Capitol from giving the green light to about $2.6 billion worth of bonding and “cash-only” capital investment projects across the state before time ran out on the 2023 session.

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Legislators Finalize HHS Bill That Expands MinnesotaCare to Illegal Immigrants

Minnesota is poised to become the second state in the nation to allow illegal immigrants to enroll in a state health insurance program for low-income earners.

That’s according to a provision found inside an 844-page omnibus health and human services conference report that passed in the DFL-controlled House and Senate on Monday afternoon, during the final hours of the 2023 legislative session. The House passed the bill on a mostly party-line 69-64 vote. Rep. Dave Lislegard, of Aurora, was the lone Democrat who voted against the bill. The Senate voted to pass on party lines.

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University of Minnesota Scrubs Information on Racially Segregated Event After Federal Complaint

The University of Minnesota recently held an event just for “BIPOC students” considering grad school, prompting a complaint to be filed with the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights alleging racial discrimination.

As the feds review the complaint’s merits, the university scrubbed the event page and wiped information about the gathering from its website.

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DFL-Controlled Legislature Hands $8 Billion Transportation Bill to Walz for Signature

A nearly $8 billion finalized transportation bill has cleared the House and Senate and is on its way to the desk of Gov. Tim Walz to be signed into law.

On Sunday, the DFL-controlled House and Senate voted along party lines to pass the conference committee report for HF2887. That omnibus transportation finance bill includes nearly $1 billion in new taxes and fees dedicated to transit and roads that will come from three sources: a new metropolitan area sales tax increase of 0.75 percent, a 50-cent fee for all deliveries of retail goods over $100 and a gas tax increase indexed to inflation. An increase in fees for automobile registrations and a sales tax increase for purchase of automobiles will also add more than $340 million in new revenues for transportation expenditures over the next two years.

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Legislature Passes Broad Bill Package Increasing State Government Operations by 40 Percent

Is HF1830 a bill that funds state government operations? Or is it an “elections bill?”

It depends who you ask.

Rep. Ginny Klevorn, DFL-Plymouth, who carried the bill in the House, says it’s maybe a little bit of both.

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Analysis: Minnesota Estimated Lifetime Earnings Losses Exceed $23.7 Billion

Learning losses for Minnesota students during the COVID-19 pandemic could result in a combined lifetime income loss exceeding $23.7 billion, according to research from Harvard and Stanford universities.

The Education Recovery Scorecard was released this week by Harvard’s Center for Education Policy Research and the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford. The scorecard measures learning loss in 40 states between 2019 and 2022, and estimates how much earnings will be subtracted from students’ lifetime earnings.

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Minnesota Legislature Repass Paid Family and Medical Leave with 2026 Implementation Date

The House and Senate voted this week to pass a conference report amending HF2, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, that will tax employers and employees to help fund a new, state-run paid leave insurance program.

As amended by a DFL-only conference committee, the version of the bill that will head to Gov. Tim Walz for signature now includes a provision agreed upon by conferees to implement payroll taxes for the program on Jan. 1, 2026. Conferees also agreed to dedicate nearly $650 million in existing state revenue in 2024 as “seed money” for the program so that the state can begin providing those benefits in 2026.

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Minnesota HOA Fines Retired Cop for Flying Pro-Police Flag

A retired St. Paul police officer has been fined by his homeowners association for flying a thin blue line flag in support of police outside his home, he told Alpha News.

“I will give you one hour to take that down,” Archie Smith, a police officer of over 30 years, alleges was the message delivered to him via a phone call from the Orleans Terrace Homeowners Association.

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Charges: Minneapolis School Employee Brought Guns to Elementary School

A Minneapolis Public Schools employee has been charged after a student found a bag containing two loaded guns inside Loring Elementary School on the city’s north side.

Charges say Derrick Lee Lind, 20, brought a backpack into the school on April 23, 2023, that contained a stolen gun and another gun with a “switch” that modifies a gun to fire automatically.

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Minnesota Democrats Remove Sales Tax Exemption for Baby Products from Tax Bill

Republicans are speaking out against the DFL majority’s decision to remove a bipartisan proposal to expand the sales tax exemption for baby products from an omnibus tax bill.

“Who was against this?” asked Sen. Julia Coleman, R-Waconia, during a Monday press conference. “It passed with unanimous bipartisan support. It has a relatively small fiscal impact. So where was the controversy?”

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Chaos Leads to Melee, Local Minneapolis DFL Convention Shut Down

The Minneapolis DFL Ward 10 convention ended in chaos Saturday afternoon as fights broke out and a large police presence responded to the scene.

The convention was gaveled to a close before either City Council Member Aisha Chughtai or candidate Nasri Warsame received the endorsement.

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Catholic University in Minnesota Doesn’t Tell Girls If They’re Assigned to Room with Biological Male

A new O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) video shows University of St. Thomas Associate Director of Residence Life Zoe Chang stating that the school allows biological males who identify as women to share living spaces with females.

This, according to Chang, is done as discreetly as possible in order to avoid upsetting parents. The video, OMG said in an email, documents the “mountain of rule changes and preferential treatment provided to trans students when it comes to their housing accommodations.”

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Minnesota Omnibus Legislation Proposes Universal Gun Background Checks, ‘Red Flag’ Laws

Minnesota legislators are instituting universal background checks for handgun sales, further limitations regarding no-knock warrants, “red flag” laws, increase funding for public defenders, reform sentencing, and several other restrictions.

Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, and Rep. Kelly Moller, DFL-Shoreview, led the conference committee that met Wednesday night regarding the measures, via omnibus bills HF2890/SF2909.

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Minnesota’s ‘Take Pride Act’ Forces Nonprofits to ‘Abandon Their Values,’ Attorney Says

by Hayley Feland   The Minnesota DFL’s controversial “Take Pride Act” seeks to abolish existing state law allowing nonprofits that serve minors to uphold sex distinctions in hiring practices, such as scouting and youth sports organizations. Renee Carlson, general counsel of True North Legal, called the legislation a “significant encroachment on the…

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Minnesota Democrats Scoff at Paid Family Leave Proposal’s Impact on Small Businesses

There was no disagreement among DFLers and Republicans on the Senate floor Monday over whether Minnesota workers across all industries want and need expanded access to paid family and medical leave benefits.

To what degree the state should provide those benefits is where the differences between caucuses were stark and along party lines, as senators debated the highly controversial HF2 for more than six hours before the DFL’s one-vote majority held together to pass the bill.

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Minnesota State Representative Beats ‘Meritless’ DFL Complaints

Former Republican attorney general candidate Jim Schultz said he has reached “successful outcomes” in two complaints made against him in the final days of the 2022 midterms.

In late October, the Minnesota DFL accused Schultz of illegally coordinating with an independent expenditure group, Minnesota for Freedom, by purchasing ads using the same agent.

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Minneapolis Residents Plan ‘Pilgrimage’ to George Floyd Square

Two Minneapolis neighborhood organizations are inviting residents to participate in a “pilgrimage to George Floyd Square” along with a visit to the nearby “Say Their Names” cemetery.

George Floyd Square is the name given to 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the intersection where Floyd died in May 2020. The intersection, officially recognized as “George Perry Floyd Square” by the city of Minneapolis last year, is revered by left-wing activists as a “sacred space” where baptisms and even “miracles” have taken place.

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Feds Announce Indictments Against 45 Minneapolis Gang Members

U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota Andrew Luger announced on Wednesday the indictment of 45 Minneapolis gang members and associates in what he described as a years-long pattern of violence including murders, numerous shootings, acts of retaliation against rival gang members, drug dealing, and robberies.

A press conference held by Luger and several local and federal authorities described two indictments that were unsealed Wednesday in the District of Minnesota charging 30 members and associates of two Minneapolis-based street gangs — the Highs and the Bloods — with racketeering (RICO) conspiracy.

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Former Biden Appointee and Nurses Union President Will Join University of Minnesota Board of Regents

The president of the Minnesota Nurses Association — a one-time appointee of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Health Equity Taskforce — has been elected to serve on the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Mary Turner, an ICU nurse at North Memorial Medical Center, has led the nurses union since 2015. Last fall she helped lead a strike of more than 15,000 nurses across the state as they negotiated with hospital employers for higher wages and what they described as workplace safety improvements.

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‘Proud of Minnesota’: Children’s Hospital Endorses ‘Trans Refuge’ Legislation

Children’s Minnesota celebrated Gov. Tim Walz signing a bill into law last week that makes Minnesota a “safe haven” for children seeking puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.

Two “kid experts” from Children’s Minnesota, a pediatric health care organization, were invited to “witness” the governor sign two bills into law.

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Lawsuit Claims Minnesota School Board Retaliated Against Outspoken Member

A lawsuit filed last week accuses the Rock Ridge school board of retaliating against an outspoken board member who was banned from all of her committee assignments for 17 months.

Director Pollyann Sorcan has served on the Rock Ridge Public Schools Board (formerly Eveleth and Eveleth-Gilbert) for more than 20 years without any issues, according to the lawsuit.

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State Senate DFLers Vote to Abandon Electoral College for National Popular Vote

DFLers in the Minnesota House and Senate voted this month to transform American presidential elections by abandoning the Electoral College.

The Senate voted along party lines, 34-33, on Wednesday to pass an elections omnibus policy bill that includes a provision that would have Minnesota award its presidential electors to the candidate with the most votes nationwide. Republicans unsuccessfully tried to remove that language from the bill.

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Minneapolis Star Tribune CEO Apologizes for ‘Pain’ Caused by Cartoon Poking Fun at Muslim Call to Prayer

Star Tribune CEO and publisher Steve Grove has apologized for the “pain” caused by a cartoon that made some readers feel “targeted and mischaracterized.”

Mike Thompson’s debut cartoon for the paper featured a man telling his wife: “Broadcasting the Muslim call to prayer at all hours will make Minneapolis too noisy.”

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Minnesota Legislators Spar over Nursing Homes Funding in Passing Omnibus

Minnesota taxpayers would spend $6 billion on nursing homes if a bill the Minnesota House of Representatives passed Tuesday becomes law.

Human Services Finance Committee Chair State Rep. Mohamud Noor, DFL-Minneapolis, is a House author of the bill, SF2934/HF2847, which passed 70-60 Tuesday.

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Minnesota House Passes Red-Flag, Universal Background Check Proposals

The Minnesota House passed an omnibus judiciary and public safety bill Wednesday that contains two controversial gun-control measures.

The Senate version of the omnibus bill, which passed earlier this month, doesn’t include the gun-control proposals and the differences between the two bills will have to be sorted out in a conference committee in the coming days, Session Daily reported.

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Minnesota Family Receives Reimbursement After COVID-19 Booster Death

In a rare move acknowledging a death caused by the COVID jab, a Minnesota family has received $9,000 from the federal government to reimburse them for funeral costs.

Darlene Carlson, 82, died at a Twin Cities hospital on June 2, 2022, days after receiving the Pfizer booster.

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DFL Wants to Strike Anti-Pedophile Language from Minnesota Statutes

Minnesota Democrats want to remove language from the state’s Human Rights Act which clarifies that pedophilia is not included in the protected “sexual orientation” class.

“‘Sexual orientation’ does not include a physical or sexual attachment to children by an adult,” the Human Rights Act says. HF 1655, a bill carried by Rep. Leigh Finke, DFL-St.Paul, seeks to remove that language from state statutes.

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Gays Against Groomers to Open Minnesota Chapter to Fight ‘Grave Abuse Being Done to Children’

An organization that fights against the “sexualization, indoctrination, and medicalization” of children is speaking out against the “freak show” in St. Paul.

Jaimee Michell, the founder and CEO of Gays Against Groomers, called it the “stuff of nightmares.”

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Amendment to ‘Trans Refuge’ Bill Fails amid GOP Absences

Does a “trans refuge” bill that passed in the Minnesota Senate on Friday contain language that could unintentionally drag Minnesota families into child protection services proceedings if someone reports a parent has refused to seek puberty blockers or hormone replacement therapy for their child who claims to want it?

State Sen. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, offered an amendment during debate over the legislation, HF146, he hoped would eliminate legal confusion over that possibility. But that amendment narrowly failed after four of his fellow Republicans failed to cast a vote on it.

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Minnesota Lawmakers Approve 40 Percent Increase in State Operating Expenditures, Move to Study Ranked Choice Voting

Forming a commission to redesign the state flag, studying the possibility of instituting ranked choice voting in statewide elections, and signing onto a national popular vote compact for selecting president — these proposed provisions were rolled into two versions of a $1.5 billion omnibus state government bill that passed along party lines in the House and then the Senate last week.

The DFL holds a majority (70-64 in the House and 34-33 in the Senate) in both chambers.

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Minnesota Senate Passes Three Controversial Bills, Including ‘Trans Refuge’ Legislation

A few hundred people filled the halls outside of the Minnesota Senate chambers Friday morning both in support of and opposition to three polarizing bills dealing with gender and abortion.

Protesters opposing the bills held signs saying “Vote no” and “We don’t co-parent with the government.” The bills being voted on included SF23, a conversion therapy ban, SF63, the “trans refuge” bill, and HF366, the “Reproductive Freedom Defense Act.”

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Kim Potter Scheduled to Be Released from Prison Monday

After serving 16 months behind bars, online records show Kim Potter is scheduled to be released from prison on Monday. However, the Department of Corrections says the time “has yet to be established.”

The former Brooklyn Center police officer was convicted in December 2021 of first- and second-degree manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. Potter accidentally grabbed her gun instead of her Taser on a traffic stop where Wright tried to flee.

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Minnesota House Passes ‘Green Shaming’ Bill

The DFL-controlled Minnesota House passed an expansive, 473-page environment and natural resources bill that would increase spending in this area by $670 million while raising fees on outdoor activities like fishing and boating.

With about a month remaining in the legislative session, omnibus policy and spending bills are making their way to the floor, including HF2310, which passed late Monday night.

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DFL Scales Back Rebate Checks, Social Security Tax Elimination in Minnesota Tax Bill

With under six weeks remaining in the 2023 legislative session, budget bills are making their way to the floors of the House and Senate. And so is a way to pay for them.

House DFLers who unveiled their tax bill on Monday said it represents the largest tax cut in state history and is aimed at helping those who need it most. Senate Republicans returned serve and claimed that provisions Democrats have touted — if approved without any concessions — would add up to nearly $10 billion in tax hikes on Minnesotans over the next four years.

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Minneapolis First Big City to Broadcast Muslim Call to Prayer Five Times Daily Year-Round

Minneapolis has become the first major city in the United States to allow the Muslim call to prayer to be broadcast over speakers five times per day, year-round, including in the early mornings and late evenings. The Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously Thursday – during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan – to approve an amendment to the city’s noise ordinance that would allow the “adhan” – “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” call to prayer to be sounded every day, year-round, five times daily.

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Great Lakes States’ Social Security Disability Backlog Increased Between Five and 130 Percent Since 2019, Report Finds

Nearly every U.S. state recognized increased backlogs for new Social Security disability benefit applications since 2019, And the Great Lakes states were no different. 

In fact, Wisconsin’s backlog more than doubled, ranking in fifth nationwide for increased backlogs.  From 2019 to 2023, Wisconsin’s backlog grew 130 percent, with an increase of 11,500 backlogged applications. It has the fifth highest backlog increase in the nation.

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Republicans Shine a Light on Swiss Billionaire’s Role in U.S. Elections During House Debate

How did a Swiss billionaire who has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to left-leaning American nonprofit political advocacy groups become a topic of debate over an elections bill on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives?

Republican legislators allege that Hansjörg Wyss, a former medical device industry executive turned political activist, has his fingerprints on a provision included in a sweeping elections reform bill the DFL House majority passed on a party-line vote late Thursday night.

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Minneapolis Settles for Millions with Two Locals Who Say George Floyd’s Killer Also Knelt on Their Necks

The Minneapolis City Council voted Thursday to grant more than $8 million in settlements for two people who sued over 2017 incidents in which George Floyd’s convicted killer allegedly kneeled on their necks, according to CNN.

Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in April 2021 of murdering Floyd the previous May, having knelt on Floyd’s neck during an arrest until he died. The city is settling with John Pope and Zoya Code for $7.5 million and $1.375 million respectively, resolving their separate lawsuits over Chauvin’s alleged treatment of them long before Floyd’s death, CNN reported.

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Minnesota DFL’s Delivery Fee Runs into Wall After Key Senator Reveals Opposition

A proposed 75-cent delivery fee on most retail goods sent to homes and businesses that DFLers in the House and Senate have included in their $8 billion transportation budget appears to have lost momentum.

Democrat legislators in a Senate committee on Thursday voted to remove the highly controversial provision from SF3157 that has been opposed by a number of small business associations since it was introduced last month. Those organizations opposing the delivery fee include: the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Minnesota, Minnesota Retailers Association, Minnesota Grocers Association, Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, and Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association.

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ICE Removes Fugitive Wanted for Drug Trafficking from Minnesota

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed an unlawfully present foreign fugitive from St. Paul last week who was wanted in Mexico for drug trafficking.

According to ICE, Benito Sanchez-Jimenez illegally entered the U.S. in 2001 and then again in 2007. He then legally entered in 2021 but failed to comply with the terms of his admission, ICE said.

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AG Ellison Implores Minnesota State Republican Legislators to Support Gun Control Bills

In an effort to whip up more support from legislators in his own party — and perhaps a vote or two from across the political aisle — Attorney General Keith Ellison held a press conference Tuesday imploring bipartisan support for two controversial gun restriction bills with just six weeks left in the session.

While a number of gun control bills have been introduced at the Capitol in 2023, Democrats have narrowed their focus in the last few weeks on two: universal background checks and Extreme Risk Prevention Order (ERPO) legislation.

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DFL Raises White Flag on Statewide Ranked Choice Voting Push this Session

A well-funded push to make Minnesota a ranked choice voting state appears to have run out of steam — at least this session at the Minnesota Legislature.

On Monday, State Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, told his colleagues in the Senate Elections Committee that a bill introduced last month that would implement ranked choice voting for statewide and legislative races by 2026 “is much more complicated than we originally thought.”

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Christian Group Sues over Minneapolis Ordinance Prohibiting Protests Outside Abortion Clinics

A Christian pro-life group filed a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis Wednesday over an ordinance that prohibits any protests or demonstrations outside of abortion clinics, according to the lawsuit.

Pro-Life Action Ministries (PLAM), an “interdenominational” organization, has been doing sidewalk ministry and sit-ins at abortion clinics for decades, but an ordinance adopted by the city in November 2022 banned “disrupting access to reproductive healthcare facilities” from the driveway or “sidewalk or bikeway, that provides vehicular access from a street to a reproductive healthcare facility.” As a result, PLAM could not hold any sort of protest or sidewalk counseling around or nearby the clinic, prompting the group to file a lawsuit Wednesday.

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Minnesota State Representative Resigns, Criticizes ‘Punitive, White, Carceral System’

Honor the Earth founder and executive director Winona LaDuke announced her resignation Wednesday after a jury ordered her organization to pay $750,000 in damages to a former employee in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

LaDuke is a prominent environmental activist who ran for vice president twice on the Green Party ticket and led the protests against the Line 3 pipeline replacement project.

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Gender-Neutral School Bathroom Requirement Included in Minnesota House K-12 Spending Bill

A first-term legislator is carrying a bill that would require and provide funding for every public school building in Minnesota to eventually provide single-user gender-neutral bathrooms to accommodate the needs of transgender students.

HF2925, sponsored by Rep. Alicia Kozlowski, DFL-Duluth, would also require all local districts and charters schools to include in any new construction or significant remodeling projects their plans to ensure those upgrades or new buildings include gender-neutral bathrooms.

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University President in Minnesota Will Retire After Firestorm over Fired Professor Who Showed Muhammad Picture in Class

Hamline University President Fayneese Miller announced on Monday that she will retire months after she walked back an administrator’s claim that a professor’s lecture was “Islamophobic” for showing an unveiled portrait of the prophet Muhammad.

Miller will officially step down on June 30, 2024, according to the announcement sent to the Daily Caller News Foundation. Faculty members demanded she resign following a controversy that involved Professor Erika López Prater’s contract not being renewed for the spring semester after a student complained that she showed an unveiled portrait of the prophet Muhammad during a lecture on Islamic art.

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Minnesota’s Ban on Gun Permits for Young Adults is Unconstitutional, Judge Says

A federal judge ruled Friday that Minnesota’s policy of denying permits to carry to 18 to 20-year-olds is unconstitutional.

The case began with a June 2021 lawsuit filed by three gun-rights groups, including the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, on behalf of three adults under the age of 21.

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