Last week, the Beltrami County Board approved a 2011 property tax levy of $16.9 million, which apparently is something unique in Minnesota as the county appears to be the only one of 87 to levy a lower property tax than 2010. Next year's property tax is 0.43 percent less than this year's levy. While the amount, about $73,000, may not seem like much, the fact that it is decreasing at a time when everyone else is increasing is significant.
The apparent demise lf the Metrodome, thanks to a severe snow storm, is pushing the issue of a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings to the forefront of the 2011 legislative session. There is no doubt a new stadium is needed; the current Metrodome is not favorable venue for a National Football League team in second decade of the 21st century. Also, the damage done in the past weeks only points to the fragility of Teflon-roofed stadium that is 30 years old. But the key question for years has been how to pay for it.
Starting tonight, Christians will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with Christmas Eve services and Saturday, Christmas Day, with observances. In the Christian tradition, Jesus Christ was a symbol of peace and forgiveness. Now 2,010 years later, the popular theme at this time remains the same -- a sincere wish for world peace. The views are mixed this year, but we believe that the world is a little bit better place to live today, thanks to the actions of Congress on Wednesday.
Congress will adjourn for the year after accomplishing a number of major legislative hallmarks, but one in particular promises the first major overhaul, of food safety measures in nearly a century. The Food Safety Modernization Act, in trouble as part of larger bills, was allowed a stand-alone vote and passed the Senate this week, sending it to the House where it passed on a 215-144 vote, then sending it to President Barack Obama who is expected to sign it by year's end. The new law will provide much-needed food security measures, bringing U.S.
Minnesota escaped the first of two major hurdles Tuesday when the U.S. Census Bureau released details of its 2010 Census -- Minnesota will keep its eight representatives to Congress. Minnesota officials had long worried that the migration of folks from the Midwest to the Southwest might see the state lose one of its seats in Washington, D.C., in the reapportionment that always follows the 10-year Census. That would have been disastrous to Minnesota, as it would lose clout in a number of areas.
It's a continuing battle every winter for cold-weather states, but one that must go on if our people are to stay warm this winter. U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Minnesota Democrats, joined 32 other senators Friday in asking U.S. Senate leaders to include appropriations for 2011 for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in any continuing resolution before Congress adjourns for the year. "We write to request that you extend funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program through Sept.
The Obama administration on Thursday issued a strong package of actions it plans in 2011 to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp, an important action to keep the highly invasive species from reaching the world's largest fresh water bodies. The administration first came out with a strategy in February and then modified it in May. The new strategy goes along ways in trying to keep Asian carp from the Great Lakes. Key already is the construction a third electric fish barrier in the Chicago Waterway for extra protection in the primary path of concern for carp migration into Lake Michigan.
The effort to delist the gray wolf in Minnesota took a step forward last week, thanks to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL-Minn. Minnesota has been ready for years to assume management of the gray wolf from the federal government, but environmentalists and the courts have blocked every effort, noting that while the gray wolf may be plentiful in Minnesota it isn't in other states bordering Canada and thus still needs protecting. Sen. Klobuchar called on Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to expedite the delisting of the Great Lakes gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list.
Monday's U.S. District Court ruling puts a kink in health care reform legislation, but doesn't kill it. Nor should it, as the health care reform package signed into law earlier this year by President Barack Obama provides sweeping changes to benefit all Americans. U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson in Virginia ruled unconstitutional a provision in the package which mandates that all Americans have health insurance.
With the start of the 2011 session of the 2011 Legislature four weeks away. Lawmakers-elect and Gov.-elect Mark Dayton must turn their attention to the next two-year state budget and the projected $6.2 billion budget deficit.