No pain, no gain for some Minnesotans seeking their missing money

By   /  April 21, 2015  /  Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

Watchdog Photo

Gregg Peppin saw his late father’s name on the Missing Money website, which the state uses to connect people with their cash. He got pretty excited, yet months later, the Rogers resident is still waiting for a $5,000 check.

“A son or a daughter or an aunt or an uncle who are trying to do this, I understand why there’s $650 million in that account. People are not going to do this for $100 or $200 or $300, they’re just not. You’re going to go, ‘Forget it,’” said Peppin, a longtime political consultant.

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State owes Minnesotans millions, if they only knew it

By   /  April 17, 2015  /  Legislature, Minnesota, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Watchdog Photo

It’s like winning the lottery without buying a ticket. But, odds are, you may never see the payout.

The Minnesota Commerce Department holds a $650 million jackpot of unclaimed property — mainly lost funds held by the state — waiting for tens of thousands of Minnesotans to redeem.

It’s not the government’s money. State law requires the unclaimed cash to be kept in perpetuity for the rightful owner. The state contracts with the Missing Money website to connect people with their unclaimed money, but few Minnesotans hear about it.

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Signed, sealed and sold: Controversial legislative fix gone with the wind

By   /  April 15, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Government Regulation, Legislature, Lobbying, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

US Dept of Energy Photo

After signing most — but not all — landowners to new leases, Geronimo Energy has dropped a controversial move over a state deadline, which threatened construction of the Black Oak Getty wind farm.

The breakthrough with leaseholders coincides with an announcement the wind and solar energy developer has sold the $135 million venture to a California company — Sempra U.S. Gas and Power.

“Geronimo has formally withdrawn the legislation on leases because we have achieved our goal of signing the critical landowners in the project to new leases,” said Betsy Engelking, vice president of Geronimo Wind Energy, in an email.

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Contract extension could leave landowners flapping in the breeze

By   /  April 8, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Government Regulation, Legislature, Minnesota, News, State Government  /  No Comments

UOM Photo

Critics say a proposed legislative fix violates the spirit of the law against special legislation for corporations and undercuts options for landowners who may rethink their involvement with wind developers.

The controversy focuses on the 82-megawatt Black Oak wind farm — on the drawing board in Stearns County since 2008. State law requires that wind energy projects be operational within seven years. If not, landowners with the seven-year itch can renegotiate or reconsider their options.

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Mississippi bond bills would provide money for Gulfport aquarium, pet projects

By   /  April 1, 2015  /  Government Waste, Legislature, Mississippi, News, Politics  /  No Comments

City of Gulfport logo

A proposed Gulfport aquarium would get $24.5 million if a pair of bond bills are signed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant

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Lawmakers ‘play chicken’ with infrastructure funding, highway safety at stake

By   /  March 31, 2015  /  Jobs + Growth, Legislature, New Mexico, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo from Flickr Commons

State legislators adjourned this month without funding critical public works projects, including a senior center infested with mold, a veterans home that is out of compliance with the fire code, and a treacherous highway with more fatalities than any in the state.

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