Insight News

Mar 29th


Ramsey County prepares for potential state shutdown

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners has authorized County Manager Julie Kleinschmidt, in the event of a state government shutdown on July 1, to pay for services already included in the 2011 Ramsey County budget, based on the estimated revenue that is likely to be received from the state when a state budget is adopted.

The board adopted a resolution at its meeting Tuesday that read in part: “It is not the intent of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners to assume financial responsibility for the State in the event of a State shutdown.”

US Labor Department provides $5.5 million in grants to mentor young parents

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a total of $5.5 million funding for four grantees under the Young Parents Demonstration Program. The grants are being awarded to community and faith-based organizations in Los Angeles, Calif.; Asheville, N.C.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Worcester, Mass., to provide intensive mentoring services for low-income parents and expectant parents ages 16–24, as a supplement to educational and occupational skills training available through existing workforce development programs.

The state may shut down but the MOA Aquarium doors are open

The state may shut down but the MOA Aquarium doors are openJuly 1 is the deadline for when legislators and Governor Dayton must decide on a budget solution or face a government shutdown. Just in case that deal can’t be reached, SEA LIFE Minnesota at the Mall of America is ready to entertain recently laid off state employees.

If there is still no agreed upon budget by July 1, the more than 35,000 state employees who will find themselves out of work can visit SEA LIFE Minnesota for free through Sunday July 10. In order to redeem the offer, state employees need only bring a copy of their lay off notice, and present it at the Aquarium Box Office on MOA Level One. 

Supreme court tells working women, you're on your own

SYNOPSIS: Despite a vast amount of evidence of wage discrimination against women, the court's conservative (all-male) majority decided to give Wal-Mart -- a company well known for its union-busting policies -- the benefit of the doubt.

Sitting in the majestic paneled courtroom in the U.S. Supreme Court three months ago, it did not take long to get that dreaded sense that Betty Dukes and 1.5 million other current and former women employees at Wal-Mart were not likely to prevail in their epic 10-year battle against the nation's largest private employer.

Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services

 New laws effective July 1, 2011

 All but one of the major appropriation bills that would have taken effect July 1, 2011, were vetoed by the governor. However, several bills passed during the 2011 legislative session will take effect on that date. The asterisk following the bill number denotes the language that became law. By early July, summaries of all laws passed by the 2011 Legislature during its regular session will be available online from nonpartisan House Public Information Services at


Kenya: US-Africa trade bill comes up short

Kenya: US-Africa trade bill comes up short (GIN) – A highly-touted U.S.-Africa trade bill comes up for renewal in 2015 and some Kenyans are demanding to see better results for Africa.

The Kenyan officials were speaking at the close of the African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum in Lusaka, Zambia, this week. AGOA, as the bill is known, was designed to provide preferential access to Africa’s products in U.S. markets.

Summit Academy OIC host Expo: Educating women in training and construction opportunities

Summit Academy OIC, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit educational and vocational center, is hosting a Women in Construction Super Expo on Tuesday, June 21 to educate women about training and construction opportunities that currently exist in the field. Summit offers 20-week programs that include hands-on training and job placement assistance for individuals who complete the program.

“Our partners in the construction industry have told us that they want to hire women but that they can’t find female workers that possess the skills they need to do the job,” said Louis King, president and CEO of Summit Academy OIC. “We want to fill that need and also provide opportunities for these women to develop a career that will last a lifetime.”

Summer meals available through the MPS Summer Food Service program

The Minneapolis Public Schools Summer Food Service program begins June 13 and runs thru August 18 providing meals to children at select school and community sites. Last summer, over 300,000 meals were served in the Minneapolis public schools during the Summer Food Service program. The program is paid for with federal dollars available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Meals will be provided to all children ages 1‐18 without charge. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

Participating summer program meal sites.

Multicultural markets matter

The 2010 Census results made it clear beyond any reasonable doubt that minority, immigrant and multicultural consumers are driving the growth of the U.S. population and its economy.  Similarly, multicultural markets are fueling the employment pipeline for many industries, especially for the restaurant, foodservice, and lodging segments. 

All this growth in multicultural consumer segments means that there is business opportunity in serving the needs of these populations.  The U.S., as well as global markets, is fast becoming multicultural in nature. Urban areas all across America have high concentrations of Black, Asian, and Latino residents. In fact, in many of these communities, they we actually represent the majority.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport gains new Frontier Airlines service to Kansas City

Travelers wishing to visit the home of cool jazz and hot barbeque for business or pleasure now have a new option: Frontier Airlines’ non-stop service to Kansas City International Airport.

"The introduction of a competitive air service alternative for people flying between the Twin Cities and Kansas City is great for consumers, providing more scheduling options and keeping fares in check," said Jeff Hamiel, executive director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) and six general aviation airports. "I am very pleased to see Frontier Airlines expand operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport."

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie rejects turning voting from a right to a privilege

Recently, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie responded to the proposal to amend the Minnesota Constitution to require eligible voters to present a photo ID in order to vote.

“The proposal to amend the Constitution to require eligible voters to present a photo ID before being allowed to cast a ballot would change voting from a right to a privilege.  The impact on absentee voters and the elderly would be especially negative. As Secretary of State, I have worked hard to ensure that our servicemen and women can exercise their right to vote. I  do not support efforts that could deny them this fundamental right,” said Secretary Ritchie.

Secretary Ritchie urged lawmakers to support Governor Dayton’s Task Force on Election Integrity, which was created to ensure bi-partisan support for any future election reforms.
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