A North Mankato State Senator said the snowy month of February has provided a good example of the need to raise the gas tax in order to fix Minnesota's crumbling roads and bridges. North Mankato State Senator Nick Frentz. Senator Nick Frentz fielded a call this week from a Minnesota Department of Transportation official who said, "Look, the roads are so bad where we're plowing that we're damaging the plows. You've got to get money for roads, you've got to increase the gas tax." In his recent budget proposal, Governor Tim Walz included a potential 20-cent per gallon increase [...]
A new report said black workers in Minnesota and across the U.S. would see the biggest boost if Congress raises the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The Raise the Wage Act of 2019 would increase wages for 38 percent of all black workers, and for 23 percent of whites, according to the Economic Policy Institute report. The measure, introduced last month in Congress, would increase the federal minimum wage in six steps to $15 per hour by 2024. Wade Luneburg with the hospitality union Unite Here said Minnesotans who work full time, regardless of race, shouldn't have to live [...]
For decades, cash-poor American college students have joked about their "ramen noodles diet" but now more than ever, students say they have to choose between buying food and paying tuition. A first-of-its-kind federal government report found nearly two million college students are hungry., yet nearly 60-percent of low-income college students who may be eligible for food assistance did not report participating in a program in 2016. Frankie Becerra is president of the student advocacy group Lead M-N at Century College in White Bear Lake. He works full-time to pay for a college education he feels will help him climb the economic [...]
Three south-central Minnesota D.F.L. state lawmakers are taking questions from constituents and providing answers to them this weekend. Representative Jeff Brand and his colleagues will hold town hall meetings in two area communities. "Nick Frentz and I and Jack Considine will be down at the city council chambers in Mankato on Saturday morning and then Saturday at 11:30 we'll be in St. Peter at the community center," he explained. Brand, Senator Frentz, and Representative Considine are providing voters with a chance to discuss any legislation or issues they’d like to see addressed this session and Brand called it, "An opportunity for [...]
Munson opposes gas tax increase, additional child care funding outlined of governor’s budget proposal
“Governor Tim Walz thinks you are made of money, but all he will find is blood, sweat, and tears,” said Lake Crystal Republican state Representative Jeremy Munson in response to the recently released state budget proposal. Republican State Representative Jeremy Munson of Lake Crystal. "The budget overall, almost $50 billion, the largest in state history and an eight percent increase since the last biennium is more than four times the rate of inflation," he added. Among the governor's proposed initiatives, spending that would increase the number of child care providers in the state amid a shortage the Center for Rural [...]
The Blue Earth County Attorney has released the annual crime report for 2018. It shows there were 221 adult felonies in the year 2000 and that number peaked in 2015 with 813 but has stabilized over the past few years. In 2018, Pat McDermott said there were 723 felony cases prosecuted. "And it's not that this is a dangerous place by any way, shape, or means," he explained, "We are such a growing community. There are pain points for every aspect of government services out there." He added that the department's caseload has more than quadrupled over time and their staff [...]
The Mankato Makerspace is celebrating its first birthday with a party Friday night. Rick Esser says there will be three bands and a chili cook-off. The Makerspace has nine different shops to get you started on your project. The party goes from 6-11 Friday, February 22.
The next time you think about complaining about the snow on the roads, remember the snow plow drivers are human. . Jed Falgren of MnDOT says some employees have worked every day this month. Falgren also reminds drivers to give the plows plenty of room to avoid crashes and low visibility due to snow clouds.
The downtown Mankato Silo Art Project is nearing its fundraising goal. Noelle Lawton says with nearly 75 percent of the funds raised, this project is going to be a big part of the community. She is hoping the project will be completed in the fall of this year.
The Mankato Ballet Company is presenting a Midsummer's Night Dream. It will take place on March 2 at Bethany at 1 and 5 and March 3 at the State Street Theater in New Ulm at 2. Kelsey Chester says the performance brings something for everyone. This is one of three full-length productions the ballet presents each year.