Friday, January 27, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

It's a Whole New Ball Game for MN Local Governments

Play

Monday, November 21, 2022   

Over the weekend, a conference featuring thousands of local government leaders from around the U.S. wrapped up. A Minnesota mayor was in attendance and acknowledged the job requires a more dynamic approach to meet the needs of people in their communities.

This year's summit, hosted by the National League of Cities, was held in Kansas City. It featured a schedule covering such topics as closing racial wealth gaps and strengthening mental health care.

Jake Spano, mayor of St. Louis Park, felt it reflects an evolving mindset for municipalities.

"Mayors and council members that have been sort of responsible for things like, 'Are potholes filled? And is the water clean to drink?' are increasingly dealing with homelessness and housing issues, and mental health," Spano outlined.

He acknowledged the scarcity of mental health providers is a big challenge. But he added after taking on extra duties the past couple of years, local leaders have expressed a desire to share ideas for solutions. For cities like his, Spano noted aging infrastructure is another priority. This past summer, St. Louis Park experienced two water-main breaks, leading to backlash from some residents.

While insurance helped cover damage, the city also used American Rescue Plan funding to provide reimbursements to the affected property owners. Spano emphasized extra federal support has helped deal with these issues, but thinks local leaders cannot always wait for assistance, and they have to avoid closing themselves off from community partners.

"It's been a challenge, but I think what the last two years have reinforced is all of those relationships we built up with those in our community and school system and the business world, were really, really pivotal to getting through the last couple of years," Spano pointed out.

The conversations come as municipal leaders, especially in rural areas, noted they are facing more budget pressure these days, which affects services like public safety. In Minnesota, local government funding is likely to come up when state lawmakers reconvene next year with a major budget surplus in hand. Political analysts say with one party now in control, there might not be as much gridlock, but many other priorities will be competing for aid.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021