Christopher Magan / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Health care was a top issue during the 2018 campaign and Minnesota lawmakers have wasted no time detailing their ideas for improving the system by making it more affordable and accessible. The challenge is Republicans and Democrats have vastly different ideas on the best ways to accomplish those goals. Members of the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday, Jan. 16, pitched the idea that patients with better relationships with their doctors and a clearer understanding of the price of procedures and drugs would lower overall health care costs.
ST. PAUL -- People who rely on food stamps to eat have until Tuesday, Jan 15, to make sure their eligibility is in order to guarantee their federal benefits in February. That was among the warnings Minnesota lawmakers heard Monday from state leaders working to manage the longest partial shutdown of the federal government in U.S. history. Monday was the 24th day of the shutdown of nine federal agencies.
ST. PAUL -- Federal employees expected to work during the government shutdown despite missing paychecks Friday, Jan. 11, have a simple message for politicians. “Our paychecks are being used as pawns in somebody’s game,” said William Axford, who works at the Federal Medical Center, a prison in Rochester, Minn. “That needs to stop.”
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers spent the first two days of the new legislative session detailing their top priorities, but there’s a lot of other things they also want to do. During short floor sessions in the House and Senate on Thursday, Jan. 10, lawmakers introduced a total 122 bills. The first 10 in the House and the first five in the Senate encompass what Republicans and Democrats say are the most pressing needs facing the state.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is asking the U.S. Department of Education to forgive the federal loans of 1,000 students who attended a for-profit college chain when it was found to have committed fraud. In a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Swanson wrote the department should forgive, under the “closed school discharge program,” the loans of students enrolled at Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business in September 2016, when a Hennepin County District Court found the school defrauded students.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s troubled computer system for licensing vehicles accidentally shared information residents wanted kept private with three firms that buy vehicle data from the state.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans donated money to a Colorado-based charity for years to help soldiers call home, but Attorney General Lori Swanson says it was a fraud and the group is now being shut down.
PAUL — After six years of the state-run insurance marketplace MNsure, are Minnesotans ready for more or less government involvement in their health care? MNsure just passed its first enrollment deadline on Saturday, Dec. 15, and for the second year in a row, rates are declining, access has been largely maintained and enrollments remain steady.
PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Human Services does a decent job overseeing who gets public medical assistance, but improving that work could mean big savings for the state. That’s the finding of the Office of the Legislative Auditor, a government watchdog, which released an examination of the department’s compliance in its medical assistance for adults without children program.
PAUL — Kirsten Rogers had such a hard time getting a teacher’s license in Minnesota, she quit teaching for a while. Rogers is now back in the classroom, thanks to completion of a seven-year effort to overhaul the state’s teacher licensing system. This fall, a new state agency adopted a four-tiered licensure system. The rules took effect Oct. 27.