MPR News Update

The budget drops, and so does the temperature

by Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio

Jan 22, 2013

Today on the podcast, the governor lays out a budget and tax agenda, lawmakers consider climate change, some businesses are trying harder to offer feedback to those they run away for jobs, and we have a photo gallery of frigid Martin Luther King Day events the Twin Cities.


BUDGET DROPS: Gov. Mark Dayton released his budget proposal today and his advisers say it marks a cultural change in Minnesota government. We're live-blogging the event right now, and plan complete coverage throughout the day and tomorrow morning. The plan represents a political gamble.


CLIMATE CHANGE: One of the policy areas getting attention early in the legislative session is climate change. DFL Rep. Jean Wagenius, chair of the House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee, says hearings today are designed to help educate lawmakers. There are also pretty clear indications that President Obama intends to make climate change part of his second-term agenda push.


POLLUTION REPORT: On a related note: Increasing amounts of triclosan, a common antibacterial agent used in soaps and other products, has been detected in Minnesota lakes, according to the results of a new University of Minnesota study.


WAR VETERAN HIRING: The Minnesota Department of Transportation is offering a special workshop for small-business owners who are also military veterans to increase their participation on state funded projects, and help reduce the unemployment rate for military vets.


RESUME BLACK HOLE: Have you ever applied for a job and received one of those formulaic rejection letters - or nothing at all? Many unemployed people crave feedback from employers who turn them down for jobs, and some companies are trying to do a better job of that.


ON-THE-JOB FACEBOOKING: And what happens if you get a job and your workplace has a social media policy that prohibits you from posting anything work-related on Twitter, Facebook or other social media channels? Some recent federal rulings and advisories may put those types of policies in jeopardy.


JUST STAY HOME: Temperatures in won't climb above zero in much of Minnesota today. Due to the cold, some school districts canceled classes and others delayed start times. Duluth, Ely, Esko and Hermantown were among the districts telling students to stay home.


COLD KING DAY: In what may have been the shortest memorial march on record, participants in St. Paul's Martin Luther King celebration on Monday morning walked just two blocks from a park to Central High School -- it was too cold for anything else. We have a gallery of photos from the King events here.


CRASHED ICE: The Ice Cross Downhill World Championship, better known as Crashed Ice, kicks off again in St. Paul later this week. Starting Thursday, 200 skaters from around the world will hurl themselves down a steep, icy track starting at the Cathedral of St. Paul.


HOME SALES: There's another sign the economy is picking up steam: U.S. sales of previously occupied homes rose in 2012 to their highest level in five years, spurred higher by record-low mortgage rates and steady hiring. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales reached 4.65 million last year. That's up 9.2 percent from 2011 and the most since 2007.


ROE'S 40TH: By today's politically polarized standards, the Supreme Court's momentous Roe v. Wade ruling 40 years ago was a landslide. By a 7-2 vote on Jan. 22, 1973, the justices established a nationwide right to abortion. But the ruling's legacy is the opposite of consensus.


PROTESTERS PREPARE: Meanwhile, Minnesotans Citizens Concerned for Life is hosting the Tuesday rally, which draws thousands to St. Paul each year. The group will announce its agenda for this legislative session.


INAUGURATION'S OVER. NOW WHAT? In Washington, the inauguration festivities are over (check out this collection of photos) and now the president and Congress will try to find a way to govern for the next few years. While most eyes were fixed on Obama during the presidential inauguration, a family from Kasson was watching for the Marine standing guard at the door of the White House. And in case you missed, the Fergus Falls High School marching band was part of the inaugural parade.


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