Ryan Faircloth / St. Paul Pioneer Press
STILLWATER, Minn. — For the first time ever, Minnesota lawmakers will hold a hearing inside a state prison. The House public safety subcommittee on corrections will meet inside the Stillwater prison next Wednesday, Jan. 30, to discuss the safety of guards and inmates. Rep. John “Jack” Considine, DFL-Mankato, said that “coming home safely” will be the theme of the meeting. “First thing we do is we address the staffing concerns, the safety issues,” said Considine, who chairs the corrections subcommittee. “That extends to the residents of the facilities as well.”
ST. PAUL — As talk of marijuana legalization continues at the state Capitol, one Minnesota Democrat wants to let voters have a say on the issue. Rep. Raymond Dehn, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced a bill Tuesday, Jan. 22, that would put recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot in 2020. The measure must pass through the House and Senate before it could appear on the ballot as a constitutional amendment. “The primary purpose is to end prohibition,” Dehn said.
ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota is seeking an $87 million bump in state funding over the next two years, and even that won’t keep students from having to pay more for tuition. University President Eric Kaler made a case for the increase in funding at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 9, touting the university’s economic impact and bringing in students and faculty to speak to the work they do in the state.
ST. PAUL — Alec Smith died less than a month after he fell off his parents’ health insurance plan because he could not foot the $1,300 bill to refill his insulin. The 26-year-old died last year from diabetic ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can be prevented with insulin. Smith was trying to stretch out his remaining medication until his next paycheck. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, his mother, Nicole Smith-Holt, fought back tears as she asked Minnesota’s lawmakers to rein in rising insulin costs next year.
ST. PAUL — Young adults with diabetes are struggling to manage their blood sugar levels, putting them at greater risk of ending up in the hospital than older adults, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The research, released Monday, Nov. 26, found young adults age 18 to 44 were more likely to have high blood sugar. They also are three to five times more likely than older adults to be hospitalized due to out-of-control blood sugar levels.
ST. PAUL — Unionized transit workers voted Monday, Dec. 18, to approve the Metropolitan Council's latest contract offer, averting a strike that would've disrupted Twin Cities transportation during the Super Bowl. Union workers had met over the previous two days to vote on the proposal, announcing the contract approval Monday afternoon. The new contract includes term and wage rate increases, driver safety measures, sick leave policy changes and more.