May 20, 2021

Assisted suicide updates at the Capitol

The advocacy and lobbying efforts of the Minnesota Alliance for Ethical Healthcare at the Capitol have been so successful that assisted suicide proponents are now turning to the courts for relief. On May 17, the Final Exit Network (FEN) filed a lawsuit in federal court related to a recent dispute with the Anoka County Sheriff.

March 10, 2021

The ultimate Catholic coronavirus vaccine morality explainer

Since Covid-19 vaccines began to be discussed, Catholics have raised concerns about the moral and ethical aspects of taking them. While the Vatican and the USCCB have weighed in on the subject, a lot of Catholics still have questions.  To answer those questions, The Pillar brings you The Ultimate Catholic Coronavirus Morality Explainer.™

February 1, 2021

Projected Budget Surplus

Minnesota’s budget outlook is significantly better for this biennium and the next due to an improved U.S. economic outlook that is bolstered by large federal actions that have emerged since November and were not incorporated in earlier projections.  There is no longer an anticipated shortfall for FY 2022-23 and we now project a positive balance of $1.6 billion because of a higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased surplus for the current fiscal year. Improvements to the economic outlook have not been spread equally as unemployment continues to disproportionately impact lower-wage workers.”

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January 26, 2021

Governor releases proposed budget

As expected, Governor Walz released his proposed budget for the 2022-2024 biennium on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.  Minnesota enacts budgets for a two-year cycle (a biennium), beginning on July 1 of each odd-numbered year. By law, the Governor must propose a biennial budget in January of odd numbered years.

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January 24, 2021

Essentia Health making major acquisition of North Dakota, rural Minnesota facilities

The city’s largest employer and health care provider, Essentia Health, intends to grow its regional footprint with a massive acquisition of hospitals and clinics owned by CommonSpirit Health in North Dakota and rural Minnesota.  The two health systems have signed a letter of intent to bring two dozen CHI-branded facilities under Essentia ownership as early as this summer.

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January 23, 2021

Essentia Health begins vaccinating the public

The most recent update from the Minnesota Department of Health has given healthcare providers the flexibility to begin vaccinating anyone over age 65 if vaccine remains from phase 1a allocation.

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January 9, 2021

2021 Minnesota Legislate Session

Tuesday marked the start of the 2021 Minnesota Legislative Session.  Floor sessions began with the swearing in of members, followed by the election of Leadership in both bodies. Tuesday’s activities also highlighted the differences in how the House and Senate will manage operations during the global pandemic. (more…)

December 15, 2020

7th Special Session Convenes

Monday, the Minnesota Legislature met in the 7th and most likely last Special Session of 2020.  The Session was made necessary when Governor Walz decided to continue the extension of his Emergency Executive Order related to the management of the Coronavirus.  The Governor is required to call the Legislature into session to provide both bodies the opportunity to strip him of his emergency authority.

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December 10, 2020

7th Special Session Called

Governor Walz issued an order calling the Legislature back to St. Paul for the 7th Special Session of 2020.  The Governor must call the Legislature back to extend his Emergency Executive Order which grants him the authority to issue all subsequent Executive Orders.  The Legislature does not need to approve the Emergency Order, however they do have the authority to void the Governor’s Emergency Powers if both bodies pass a resolution voiding the authority.  (more…)

December 2, 2020

Update Forecast Released

Governor Walz and members of his finance team at the Office of Management and Budget provided further details on the November 2020 Budget & Economic Forecast on December 2.  Last May, a preliminary forecast projected the state would be facing a $2.4 billion deficit in the current biennium which ends on June 30, 2021 and a $4.7 billion shortfall in the next biennium as a result of the coronavirus. (more…)