Political

Duluth City Council Elects New President

Joel Sipress was voted as city council president for 2017.

Duluth, Minn.-The Duluth city council voted Joel Sipress as their president for 2017. The selection usually comes without a lot of fanfare, but this year brought some added interest to the council chambers. Councilor Noah Hobbs is on his first term on the council and was also vying for the seat. The city council was clearly divided on the issue,…

Becoming City Council President Unusually Competitive

Political Expert Says City Council Presidents are Usually Almost Predetermined

As a tradition, the Duluth City council votes on a new president each year. Political expert Cindy Rugeley says in Duluth, the city council president is usually almost pre-determined, with the person with the most experience taking on the leadership role. “In this instance, a new council member is saying, I want to change this.  I want to be the…

MNsure Sign-Ups Hit Record High as Premiums Spike

Open enrollment lasts through January

ST. PAUL (AP) – Officials at Minnesota’s state-run insurance exchange say more than 103,000 people signed up for health coverage in the latest enrollment period. MNsure officials say the 103,578 signups set a record by about 15,000, even as premiums have been rising as much as 67-percent. Exchange officials say tax credits are sparing many people the worst of the…

State Auditor Rebecca Otto Announces Run for Governor

Otto Joins the Race for Minnesota Governor, Along with Coleman and Murphy

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota state auditor Rebecca Otto announced Monday, she is planning to run for governor next year. Otto is the third Democrat to announce a campaign to replace Democratic Governor Mark Dayton who will leave office when his term expires. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in December he will launch a campaign. State Representative Erin…

Electoral College is Confirmed

Donald Trump is President of the United States

WASHINGTON (AP) – It’s official: Congress has tallied the Electoral College votes and Donald Trump has been elected president. Mike Pence was elected vice president. Democrats raised plenty of objections as the votes were counted Friday in a joint session of Congress, but they didn’t have the votes to sustain them. All 538 electors met in their respective state capitals…

Republican Lawmakers Propose Healthcare Relief

Over 100,000 Minnesotans could see significant changes and relief in their healthcare premium costs.

Republican lawmakers in Minnesota announced their plan to bring relief to those who are paying rising health insurance premiums. Some of those currently insured face premium increases of up to sixty-seven percent. Healthcare facilities around the Northland say they’re keeping tabs on the legislative process. The GOP plan provides both some short and long term solutions to the problems MnSure…

GOP Wants Income Limits, Big Changes in Health Care Cost Fix

Health Care Battle

FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature have their own plans to address health insurance costs. GOP lawmakers vowed to quickly move a relief package for the residents paying premium increases of up to 67 percent this year on the individual market. But disagreements with Gov. Mark Dayton over how to shape…

Local Projects React to Governor’s Bonding Bill Proposal

The bill would bring millions of dollars of funding to projects all across the Northland.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has proposed the largest bonding bill in the state’s history. The $1.5 billion bill would fund projects all over the state. Several projects around the Northland have made the governor’s list. Many of them were on last year’s bonding bill as well. Some are hoping that the 2017 version of the bill passes and that it…

A Look Into the Minnesota 2017 Jobs Bill

ST. PAUL – Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith, today, January 4, released their 2017 Jobs Bill, which would invest around $1.5 billion into community infrastructure projects and create 22,950 Minnesota jobs. What Minnesotans Need to Know:  $3 Billion – Thanks to the Dayton-Smith Administration’s sound fiscal management over the last six years, the State of Minnesota has…

Michigan Governor Signs Bill to Shield Cities from Sidewalk Lawsuits

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Governor Rick Snyder has signed legislation to further shield municipalities from lawsuits filed by people who trip and fall on sidewalks. The law enacted Wednesday lets cities defend themselves by saying sidewalk defects are “open and obvious.” Supporters say Detroit pays millions annually in sidewalk-injury settlements and should have a defense that is available to businesses….

After Construction Lull, Dayton Asks for $1.5B in Projects

Just one day into the legislative session

ST. PAUL (AP) – Governor Mark Dayton is asking the Legislature to gear up for public construction projects. The Democratic governor unveiled his $1.5 billion wishlist, Wednesday of infrastructure upgrades, new buildings, and early learning centers. The major borrowing package comes just one day into the legislative session and after the Legislature failed to pass such a package last year….

Paul Ryan Voted House Speaker

Pelosi Will be Minority Speaker

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) -Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has been re-elected to serve as the speaker of the House of Representatives. The 46-year-old Ryan will serve his first full term as speaker after succeeding John Boehner in October of 2015. Ryan will lead the GOP charge to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance law and cut taxes and regulation….

St. Louis County Board Selects Chair

Board also introduces new members, sets meeting schedule

DULUTH, Minn. – The St. Louis County Board held its annual organizational meeting this morning in Duluth. Commissioner Frank Jewell was elected Board Chair for 2017 and commissioner Keith Nelson was elected Vice Chair. The board introduced newly–elected commissioners Beth Olson and Mike Jugovich. They also appointed committee members and approved their 2017 meeting schedule. Categories: Business, Community, News, News…

Jill Stein Launches Wisconsin Recount Group

To ensure ever vote is counted in Wisconsin

MADISON (AP) – Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says she is launching an organization to ensure every vote is counted in Wisconsin. Stein, who led efforts to recount Wisconsin’s presidential election results, introduced the Count My Vote group at a news conference outside the state Capitol, Tuesday. Stein says her campaign asked for a statewide hand recount, but only…

Megyn Kelly Leaving Fox News

Heading for NBC

NEW YORK (AP) – Megyn Kelly, the Fox News star whose 12-year stint has been marked by upheavals at her network and personal attacks on the campaign trail, is headed to NBC News. The move was confirmed by Kelly’s publicist, Leslee Dart. Kelly’s departure deprives Fox News of its second-most-watched host, behind only Bill O’Reilly. Her contract with the network…

Wisconsin DNR Revenue Options Include Raising Hunting, Fishing Fees

Linking fees to inflation to generate more revenue for wildlife managment

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proposing raising hunting and fishing fees or linking the fees to inflation as options for generating more revenue for wildlife management. The current state budget mandated the DNR report on dwindling revenue in the agency’s Fish and Wildlife Account. The account funds wildlife management efforts and DNR warden, and…

Dayton’s Budget Proposal Would Reduce Health Insurance Premiums for 125,000 Minnesotans

Could reduce premiums by up to 25 percent for some by March 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton released his first budget proposal, Tuesday, of the 2017 legislative session. He called for a 25-percent reduction in health insurance premiums for the more than 125,000 Minnesotans facing significant increases in the individual market. “For more than two months, I have proposed this relief, so that 125,000 Minnesotans can better afford the health…

Unconstitutional Ruling Thrown Out for Minnesota’s Sex Offender Program

Federal Appeals Court Throws Out Judges Decision

MINNEAPOLIS – Today, a federal appeals court tossed out a ruling that the Minnesota sex offender program is unconstitutional. A Minnesota judge ruled the program unconstitutional in the summer of 2015. At that time, U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank cited how rarely anyone gets released from the program and ordered several changes. Those changes included included assessing the more than…

Wisconsin Transportation Study Considers Interstate Tollways

Walker's current plan puts WI roads on a path to worsen

MADISON (AP) – A new state transportation study finds that installing tollways on Wisconsin interstates could raise billions of dollars, but that substantial upfront investments would be needed and federal approval is uncertain. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the Department of Transportation study also finds that Governor Scott Walker’s road-funding plan for the next two years, puts Wisconsin roads on…

With Trump Victory, GOP Hopes to Overhaul Medicaid

Democrats and Advocacy groups warn of the consequences of reducing federal spending on Medicaid

ATLANTA (AP) – With Donald Trump’s election, Republicans in Congress will have the opportunity to overhaul Medicaid, something they’ve wanted to do for years. The program provides health care to millions of lower-income and disabled Americans. Currently, the federal government pays a certain percentage of each state’s Medicaid costs. Republicans say states have little incentive to keep expenses down because…

Dayton Discusses Twin Metals Decision

Possible Trump Reversal in Future

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Gov. Mark Dayton says the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine is “stymied” but he’s not ready to declare it dead yet despite moves by his administration and the Obama administration that dealt serious blows to the project. Dayton says he expects Twin Metals and supporters to try to persuade the Trump administration to reverse the Obama administration’s…

Monaghan Drops Out of Superior Mayor’s Race

Will Support Candidate Kalee Hermanson

Jeff Monaghan is dropping out of the Superior mayoral race. “Due to personal reasons, I am discontinuing my campaign for Mayor of Superior,” he said in a prepared statement. “By next Tuesday, Jan. 3… I anticipate not having the 200 signatures required to be placed on the primary ballot. Still, I intend to participate in the election and vote for…

Gov. Walker writes letter to Trump to help citizens of Wisconsin

Asking to provide flexibility in implementing a number of programs

MADISON, Wis. – Governor Scott Walker, today, sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump, outlining actions he believes the incoming administration should take immediately upon entering office to restore state control over the governance of a number of programs and services. Walker’s letter also details his concerns over “incessant federal overreach.” “Too often, states have become mere administrative provinces of…

Former Mayor Ness takes new position

Ness will be new executive director of the Ordean Foundation

DULUTH, Minn. – Former Duluth Mayor Don Ness has been named the new executive director of the Ordean Foundation. Ness is taking over for retiring Executive Director Steve Mangan in late January. The Ordean Foundation focuses on poverty issues and has given about $68 million in grants to various Northland organizations since 1933. Ness had previously worked at Lake Superior…

Feds Deny Mineral Leases to Twin Metals

Ely Community Torn Over Feds Decision

ELY, Minn- Mixed feelings in Ely as the Federal government released its decision not to renew mineral leases for the Twin Metals mining project. Ely Mayor Chuck Novack says, “Totally contrary to what’s in law right now. There’s a zone around the boundary waters to protect it.” The decision came in the wake of wide spread concerns from environmental advocates…

Governor, tribal leader discuss reducing DAPL protest tensions

The battle has now moved to the courtroom

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota Governor, Jack Delrymple says he and Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault have met to discuss reducing tensions between law enforcement officers and Dakota Access oil pipeline opponents. The pipeline is stalled while developer Energy Transfer Partners and the Army battle in court over permission to cross under the Missouri River. Opponents who’ve protested…

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman running for governor in 2018

Official announcement made Tuesday

ST. PAUL (AP) – St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is running for governor in 2018. The Democratic mayor made it official with a Tuesday announcement. Coleman had long been considered as a possible gubernatorial candidate. The speculation increased earlier this month when Coleman said he wouldn’t run for a fourth term as mayor. Coleman joins what’s likely to be a…

Stein plans to donate leftover money raised for recounts

Wisconsin completed the recount Monday

MADISON (AP) – Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein says she plans to donate any money left over from the $7.3 million she raised to force recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Stein said Tuesday that the exact costs of the recounts aren’t known yet, but she expects to have money left over. Stein is asking donors to complete an…