A new study found that Minneapolis experienced the fifth-highest increase in homicides in the nation between 2019 to 2021.
The overall rankings were based on both a city’s current homicide rate and the change in its number of homicides across the last two years. Minneapolis landed in the 11th position overall, behind cities like New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Detroit, according to the WalletHub survey.
From the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2021, the city of lakes saw the fifth-highest increase in per capita homicides in the nation. In this time, Minneapolis endured the death of George Floyd, unprecedented levels of rioting, mass unemployment caused by COVID-19 lockdowns, and a political assault on its police department.
Due to a severe statewide drought, Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, requesting assistance to aid Minnesota’s livestock producers by relieving the immediate impacts of drought on grazing land.
“Agriculture is the past, present, and future of Minnesota’s economy. We must do everything we can to address the challenges our farmers and ranchers are facing due to the severe drought conditions plaguing our state. That’s why I’m asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for assistance,” Walz said in a statement. “The USDA’s ongoing support of Minnesota’s agricultural industry is well-recognized across the state, and with their continued assistance, our livestock producers will have a brighter outlook as we endure these harsh conditions and look forward to a thriving future.”
Walz supported implementing a plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land counties experiencing Level D2 or greater drought conditions, reducing forage pressures on Minnesota’s livestock producers. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on July 8 reported nearly 40% of Minnesota is suffering under Level D2 or greater drought conditions.
A Minnesota think tank released a new report this week exposing flaws in the state’s election system and recommending a number of possible reforms.
The “‘vote now, check later’ verification process” that Minnesota uses for same-day voter registrants has a number of “weaknesses,” according to the report.
Minnesotans who register to vote prior to Election Day are subjected to a verification process before their vote is counted. Same-day registrants go through the same verification process but only after the election.
“Their vote is counted,” the report says. “The county auditor runs the same verification using the Department of Public Safety database and the Social Security database. But if a problem is discovered, it is too late, because the vote has already been counted.”
Attorney General Keith Ellison announced Minnesota will get $50 million from the settlement of the state’s lawsuit against the Sackler family’s company Purdue Pharma, which manufactured the opioid drug Oxycontin that contributed to the deadly opioid crisis nationwide.
The resolution will make public more than 30 million documents related to Purdue’s role in the opioid crisis and require the Sacklers to pay $4.3 billion for prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts in communities across the country.
Minnesota’s share of those payments is expected to exceed $50 million over nine years, the spending of which will be overseen by the State’s Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council.
A slew of left-wing politicians and activists continue to push the rhetoric that Derek Chauvin’s sentence does not show justice, but only “accountability.”
Chauvin was sentenced to 22½ years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. In April, a jury found him guilty on all charges, which included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.
Following his sentencing Friday, Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement implying that the U.S. justice system does not promote “true justice.”
A Minnesota professor recently debated in an editorial published by The New York Times whether it is “fair” to read his daughter classic children’s books because they are set in a natural world that is now “vanishing.”
Paul Bogard, an associate professor of English at Hamline University in St. Paul, wrote in a recent opinion piece, “The wild world my favorite books had encouraged me to love has been under assault.”
The books he refers to are “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Swimmy,” “The Story of Babar,” “A Snowy Day,” and “Make Way for Ducklings.”
Minnesota Judge Peter Cahill on Friday sentenced former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin to 22-and-a-half years in prison for the May 2020 murder of George Floyd.
A jury in April found Chauvin guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, at the conclusion of a three-week trial that gained national attention.
Cahill in announcing the sentence urged people to read the legal analysis on how he reached his decision and said the amount of time was not based on “emotion or sympathy.”
St. Paul Public Schools’ Equity Committee recently called for an end to school suspensions among other recommendations as a way to tackle inequities in the district.
The Equity Committee in the St. Paul Public School District was created in 2019 and is led by Superintendent Joe Gothard. The committee meets monthly to identify and examine “racial inequities” and equity disparities, as well as craft recommendations for the school board at large.
During a June 15 St. Paul Public School Board meeting, the Equity Committee brought forward a list of recommendations, including ending the use of suspensions in the district.
An official Minnesota government account tweeted word-for-word the same message as a left-wing super PAC with a less-than-spotless record.
“Thanks to [Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz], our economy is coming back stronger than ever,” the Minnesota Department of Corrections said via Twitter recently. This post came about 90 minutes after A Better Minnesota made the same exact post.
A Better Minnesota is a left-wing super PAC that moved about $4.5 million in the state during the last election cycle, per Open Secrets. It has also been accused of running misleading attack ads according to Influence Watch. The organization’s stated goal is “holding conservatives accountable.”
Gov. Tim Walz plans to extend his emergency powers for another 30 days on Monday, making it the 15th month in a row that the peacetime emergency has been extended.
A Minnesota statute says that a governor who declares a peacetime emergency may have emergency powers for only five days, after which he must ask his Executive Council to extend his powers for an additional 30 days.
Walz has requested that his powers be extended 15 times since first declaring the peacetime emergency in March of 2020, and thus has had emergency powers for over 450 days.
Dennis Smith, an attorney and former Republican state legislator, announced his campaign for attorney general last week.
“I’m running for Attorney General to build a future Minnesotans deserve,” Smith said in a press release. “For too long, the office of Attorney General has been used for politics, and that must end!”
The position is currently occupied by Democrat Keith Ellison, whose office led the successful prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
The percentage of Minnesota parents seeking educational options by home schooling their school-age children picked up significantly during the pandemic.
According to U.S. Census data, 4.6% of Minnesota students were home-schooled during the first weeks of the pandemic. By October 2020, that number rose 5.1 percentage points to 9.7%. The standard of error for the first number is 1.29, and 1.88 for the second number.
2020 was one of the deadliest years in Minneapolis history with 83 homicides, yet the city is on track to surpass that record number in 2021.
The Minneapolis City Council was told Thursday that homicides have more than doubled so far this year compared to the same timeframe last year. This year’s 27 murders (as of May 17) represent a 108% increase over the 13 reported at this point in time last year.
With 97 homicides, 1995 was the worst year on record, followed by 83 in 1996, meaning 2020 tied for the second-worst year.
Gov. Tim Walz has proposed the use of incentives like shopping vouchers and fishing licenses for Minnesotans who receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
Walz spoke at the Mall of America Wednesday at an event intended to encourage children to get vaccinated. Currently, 62% of the population aged 16 and older have received at least one round of the vaccine. The governor is hoping to grow that number to at least 70%.
Walz said some states are offering prizes that are “a little gimmicky,” when “what really gets people is knowing they can take the afternoon off, or if they’re not feeling good the next day, they’ll still get paid and their employer will let them.
Minnesota’s mask mandate will come to an end Friday, a maskless Gov. Tim Walz announced at a Thursday night press conference.
The polarizing mandate has been in place since July 25. Walz said last week that he would lift the mandate on July 1 or when 70% of the eligible population received a vaccine — whichever came first.
But a new guidance released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Almost 5,000 concerned Minnesotans signed a petition asking the governor to reinstall the statue of Christopher Columbus that was torn down by protesters last June.
The statue was on display at the Capitol building for almost 100 years before being destroyed by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) last summer.
Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison have agreed to settle a lawsuit brought against them by religious leaders who believe their First Amendment rights were violated by the governor’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC) sued state leaders in May 2020 on behalf of Northland Baptist Church, Pastor John Bruski, Living Word Christian Center, and several small businesses.
The lawsuit argued that Gov. Walz “imposed irrational and discriminatory restrictions on Christian assembly” in his COVID-19 executive orders.
Michigan police forces appear to be faring better than those in Minnesota’s largest metro areas after a year troubled by controversial and tragic police encounters ending in death.
In many metropolitan cities across the United States, violent crime increased in 2020. In Detroit, there were 327 murders, up 19% from 2019, and 1,173 non-fatal shootings, up 53%, Michigan Public Radio reported.
Michigan State Police (MSP) spokeswoman Shanon Banner said the state police tracks enlistment numbers by fiscal year, but it’s difficult to conclude whether retirements are “up” or “down” from year to year because retirements are largely based on when recruits become eligible for retirement.
A pair of Wisconsin farmers are part of a new lawsuit challenging President Biden’s race-based program for farm loan forgiveness.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the suit on behalf of Calumet County farmer Adam Faust and Crawford County farmer Christopher Baird, as well as clients in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Ohio. The suit claims the farm loan forgiveness program included in the American Rescue Plan discriminates because it is only open to farmers of color.
“President Joe Biden’s signature COVID-19 relief legislation signed in March, provides billions of dollars of debt relief to ‘socially disadvantaged’ farmers and ranchers,” WILL said in a statement about the case. “But the law’s definition of “socially disadvantaged” includes explicit racial classifications: farmers and ranchers must be Black or African American, American Indian or Alaskan native, Hispanic or Latino, or Asian American or Pacific Islander. Other farmers — white farmers, for example — are ineligible.”
Protesters continue to occupy the street in front of a Stillwater, Minnesota, prosecutor’s home, over a week after their demonstrations against the attorney first grabbed headlines.
Pete Orput has served as the Washington County attorney for over a decade. He recently chose to pursue a manslaughter charge, as opposed to murder, in the case of Kim Potter, a former Brooklyn Center police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright earlier this month. Since Orput charged Potter, he has been subject to public vitriol leveled against him by protesters who disagree with his decision.
Livestreams of Monday’s demonstration show that BLM-affiliated individuals totally obstructed the street in front of Orput’s home with vehicles and even set up chairs, a podium and a sound truck in the roadway.
The combined state and federal corporate tax rate in Minnesota would reach 35.1 percent under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, representing a tie for the third highest levy among the 50 states, according to a new study from the Tax Foundation.
U.S. corporations currently pay a 21 percent corporate income tax rate to the federal government, the Tax Foundation reported, but they also pay additional corporate taxes in 44 states and Washington, D.C. State corporate income tax rates range from zero to 11.5 percent, so the current combined average paid by corporations is 25.8 percent, the study said.
Corporations based in six states – Ohio, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming – are charged no state income tax, though they have to pay their share to the federal government, the Tax Foundation said.
More violent riots have broken out in a city in Minnesota just outside Minneapolis, following a police-involved shooting of a driver during a traffic stop, according to ABC News.
Although the full details of the incident have not yet been revealed, police pulled a car over in the early afternoon on Sunday after a traffic violation in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Shortly after pulling the car over, it was determined that the driver had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
According to Police Chief Tim Gannon’s official statement, “at one point, as officers were attempting to take the driver into custody, the driver re-entered the vehicle. One officer discharged their firearm, striking the driver.” The car then sped off for several blocks before crashing into another car. Officers and emergency personnel at the scene then “attempted life-saving measures…but the person died at the scene.”
Democrats have repeatedly denounced the new Georgia election integrity law that requires IDs for absentee ballots, but seldom criticize blue states that have comparable laws on their books—or in some cases, laws making it more difficult to vote than in Georgia.
“Overall, the Georgia law is pretty much in the mainstream and is not regressive or restrictive,” Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, told The Daily Signal. “The availability of absentee ballots and early voting is a lot more progressive than what’s in blue states.”
Here’s a look at how the new Georgia election law stacks up to voting laws in Democrat-leaning blue states.
The Office of The Legislative Auditor released an audit Monday finding the Minnesota Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Behavioral Health Division (BHD) had inadequate internal controls and violated safeguards to prevent fraud and abuse.
“Since the creation of the Behavioral Health Division in early 2018, DHS did not analyze the risks of fraud, waste, abuse, and noncompliance with legal requirements related to oversight of BHD grants,” auditors wrote.
“Normalcy is on the horizon,” Gov. Tim Walz told Minnesotans in his 2021 State of the State speech.
Walz delivered his speech Sunday night from his old Mankato classroom.
The state is recovering quickly from the global pandemic, he said, with 80% of seniors having a single vaccine dose and two-thirds of school personnel vaccinated. Starting Tuesday, he said, all Minnesotans ages 16 and older will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
A bipartisan bill claims it would reduce the cost of prescription drug costs to save taxpayers a potential millions – if not billions – of dollars.
Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, held a Friday news conference with Rep. Mike Howard, D-Richfield, highlighting the bill
SF 2178 would allow the state to share bid information submitted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for public employee contracts. The reverse auction process incentivizes PBMs to compete against each other by submitting lower offers in bidding rounds to win a contract, which is meant to achieve cost savings without impacting the quality of state health benefit plans.
Minnesota Senate Democrats announced a sweeping elections platform Monday and attacked their Republican colleagues for introducing “incredibly harmful” voter ID legislation.
“Over the past year, we watched as Republican leaders across the country and here in Minnesota helped spread the big lie that our elections are not fair,” Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent, DFL-Woodbury, said at a Monday press conference, accusing Republicans of participating in a “voter suppression” campaign.
The University of Minnesota is mobilizing a $5 million donation to launch an antiracist health center.
According to a February 24 announcement from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, the “Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity” is dedicated to “addressing and uprooting structural racism’s impact on health and healthcare.”
The center will “develop education and training on structural racism and health inequities,” “foster authentic community engagement to address the root causes of racial health inequities and drive action,” “change the narrative about race and racism to one that does not hold up whiteness as the ideal standard for human beings,” and “serve as a trusted resource on issues related to racism and health equity.”
Rep. Erik Mortensen, R-Shakopee, introduced a bill that would take away the governor’s power to unilaterally declare a peacetime emergency or to issue executive orders that are treated as law.
The Unilateral Emergency Powers Repeal Act, HF 2204, would require a two-thirds majority vote from the House and Senate to declare a peacetime emergency.
In an email, Mortensen said, “By unilaterally declaring emergency powers, Walz completely eradicated our republican form of government and started becoming the supreme lawmaker of the land.” This bill would take away that ability.
Gov. Tim Walz will quarantine after possible exposure to COVID-19 on Monday, his office announced Wednesday.
Walz’s spokesperson Teddy Tschann said a Walz staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday morning after a Tuesday test.
The Minnesota Department of Health admits that its official tally of coronavirus cases associated with schools includes cases where no positive test was recorded and “cases where the exposure setting was not confirmed.”
For one year, as of this week, Gov. Tim Walz has imposed restrictions or closures on Minnesota public schools, claiming that such measures are informed by careful scientific study. However, an examination of the Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) weekly coronavirus reports raises some serious questions about the accuracy of the numbers the state has used to justify school closures.
Rather than tabulating the number of COVID-19 cases that have definitely originated in schools, the MDH reports on “cases associated with pre-K through grade 12 school buildings.”
On Tuesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility after reaching its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotan’s seniors.
The state will expand eligibility to the next two phases of Minnesotans, starting Wednesday.
Rep. Ilhan Omar said she is disappointed that Democrats are “ultimately sending money to less people than the Trump administration.”
The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed Saturday by the U.S. Senate includes $1,400 stimulus checks for individuals making up to $75,000 and married couples with a joint income of up to $150,000. Unlike the two previous relief bills — which included $600 and $1,200 stimulus payments — higher-income earners won’t receive partial checks.
“I see it as a really disappointing development. We obviously are now ultimately sending money to less people than the Trump administration and the Senate majority Republicans,” Omar told CNN Friday night.
On Friday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Judge Peter Cahill erred when he didn’t reinstate the third-degree murder charge against Derek Chauvin.
The former Minneapolis police officer stands accused of killing George Floyd in May.
The Appeals court remanded the argument back to Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill.
On Tuesday, state health officials reported 53% of Minnesotans ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The state set a goal to reach 70% of seniors given one vaccination by the end of March so it can move to the next priority category to continue Minnesota’s recovery.
Only 42% of Minnesota seniors, the group most susceptible to death by COVID-19, have received the first of two COVID-19 vaccination shots.
AARP Minnesota, which represents 640,000 people, sent Gov. Tim Walz a letter detailing problems with the vaccine rollout, saying it left seniors “frustrated and confused.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Monday announced his 2021 Local Jobs and Projects Plan that aims to spend $518 million on infrastructure projects across the state.
Walz compared infrastructure spending to repairing a house’s roof.
Less than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Minnesotans have received more than 1 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Tim Walz announced Friday.
About 728,081 Minnesotans had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 286,543 have completed the two-dose series.
On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz updated Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan to allow more middle school and high school students to return to the classroom for hybrid or in-person learning as early as Monday.
Walz expects all schools to offer their students some form of in-person learning by March 8, but said he won’t force them to comply.
U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer exposed the “dirty truth” about school closures at a Friday event hosted by the Center of the American Experiment.
Emmer represents Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District and chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. He believes education will remain a hot topic in the 2022 midterms.
A coalition of Minnesota doctors wants the governor to prioritize minority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Minnesota Doctors for Health Equity sent a letter Monday to Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan asking for “ethical, evidence-based, and equitable action” surrounding the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution, particularly regarding Phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.
Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show that more than half of all donations made to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) in her 2020 re-election bid were paid to her husband’s business in the form of consulting fees.
Omar’s 2020 FEC report shows a total of 146 payments made to the E Street Group, her husband Tim Mynett’s firm. Those payments total $2.9 million. As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, that $2.9 million Mynett made from his wife’s re-election campaign accounted for about 80 percent of his firm’s revenue during the last election cycle.
The FBI processed 55% more firearm background checks from Minnesota in January 2021 compared to the same month last year.
In the first month of 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed 56,561 background checks for gun sales through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) in Minnesota. In January 2021, that number jumped to 87,538 amid a record-breaking increase in gun-buying around the country.
Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips apologized Thursday night on the House floor to his colleagues for having “privilege” during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege.
As congressmen spoke of their fears during the event, the 52-year-old heir to the Phillips Distilling Company issued contrition.
Gov. Tim Walz announced a plan Monday to get more COVID-19 vaccine doses into the arms of senior citizens, but some Republican senators think the proposal comes up short.
State Sen. Karin Housley, R-Stillwater, chair of the Senate’s Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care, called a press conference Monday to unveil her “seniors first” vaccine plan.
A Minneapolis man whose criminal behavior “raises significant concerns for public safety” was twice bailed out of jail by the Minnesota Freedom Fund.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced three new charges Thursday against 29-year-old Thomas Moseley.
Minneapolis City Council members officially introduced a draft amendment to the city charter that would create a new Department of Public Safety and eliminate the Minneapolis police force as its own department.
After giving a notice of intent to change the charter’s current mandate — which requires funds for the MPD as a sole entity — to fund more general “public safety services,” City Council Members Phillipe Cunningham, Steve Fletcher, and Jeremy Schroeder introduced the draft of the amendment Friday. Their objective is to put the amendment up for a public vote during the next municipal election.
On Friday, The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) announced priorities for the 2021 legislative session for COVID-19 recovery, including Local Government Aid, child care, housing, and water infrastructure.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on our community,” Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls and CGMC president said in a Zoom meeting. “Some segments are still really struggling, and that pain has ripple effects across the city.”
While Minnesota is recovering from a 2020 budget deficit and public health hangover, Gov. Tim Walz proposed a $52.4 billion budget – a $4 billion spending increase from the prior biennium budget and the largest proposed spending plan in state history.
“As a result of rising costs and inflation, it is expected that budgets will increase biennium to biennium,” Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) spokesman Chris Kelly told The Center Square in an email.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, states are turning to new revenue sources in an attempt to avoid raising taxes while filling a projected gaping budget deficit.
For Minnesota, that number is a $1.3 billion projected shortfall for fiscal year 2022-2023.
But top lawmakers say two revenue sources that have been popular in other states are unlikely to be signed into law this year; namely, the legalization of recreational marijuana and online sports betting.