1) The state Senate passed its version of a measure meant to increase protections for working women, the St. Cloud Times reports.
Those protections, which make up the larger Women’s Economic Security Act, include more pregnancy leave for both men and women, as well as attempts to level the pay gap between men and women. All Senate Democrats voted for the measure, which passed 51-14. Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, who authored the bill, called on lawmakers to “do what we can to foster women’s participation in the workforce.”
The Senate and House must now resolves the differences between their proposals.
But some Republicans, including Sen. Dan Hall, R-Burnsville, opposed the measure for government interference, among other things. “I will not stand here and vote for a bill that promotes one gender over another,” Hall said.
2) MNsure has essentially crossed a key enrollment milestone — more than 50,000 people who have secured private coverage — that will make its budget for 2015 solvent, the exchange announced on Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune.
Private enrollment is key because the exchange must be self-sufficient next year, and it’s funding comes from a withhold on private plan enrollments. MNsure has been funded by roughly $155 million in federal grants, and recently announced it would hire Deloitte to replace its lead vendor and fix IT and management problems within the exchange. In addition to the roughly 50,000 people who bought private plans, 41,4000 secured coverage through MinnesotaCare and 108,700 enrolled in Medical Assistance (Medicaid).
3) The state Supreme Court overturned a 24-year-old convicted rapist’s indefinite civil commitment and ordered a lower court to review whether the man would reoffend — and whether a less harsh treatment facility would be in order, according to the Star Tribune. The man has been held at the Moose Lake state facility since 2012.
There are roughly 700 sex offenders at the facilities in Moose Lake and St. Peter. Six of 450 who have appealed have had their civil commitments have been overturned.
COMINGS & GOINGS
- Republican Keith Kiefer has registered to run in House District 42A, where Rep. Barb Yarusso, DFL-Shoreview, is serving her first term in office. Kiefer is a former city council and mayoral candidate in the city of Ramsey.
- The Minnesota Agri-Growth Council is hiring for a membership and development director. Qualified applicants should have a degree in business administration, marketing or a related field, and at least two years of experience in business, government or non-profit work. More information here.
- Outgoing GOP Rep. Mike Beard, R-Shakopee, who has announced he will not seek re-election this year, will instead run for the Scott County Board, according to the Shakopee Valley News. The announcement from Beard, a six-term member of the Legislature, follows news that board member Dave Menden won’t run for another term in that body.
- Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now (MinnCAN) is looking for a deputy director. The education reform advocacy organization is seeking an employee with at least two years of management experience, particularly in social justice work, and strong organizational capacity. Send cover letter and resume to Reggie Evans at [email protected]
- The Senate Rules committee voted affirmatively to appoint attorney Christian Sande to the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and to re-appoint former state senator Edward Oliver, during its Wednesday afternoon hearing.