Taxpayers oppose city decision to forgo bond referenda

By   /  August 26, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Minnesota, News, Transparency, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

City of Bloomington photo

Officials in Bloomington, Minnesota now have the power to issue up to $100 million in general obligation bonds without a referendum. It’s a move that flies in the face of concerns over short-circuiting the role of residents to curtail spending and maintain the city’s stellar bond rating.

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Union worker deposition requires ‘willing suspension of disbelief’

By   /  August 21, 2015  /  Commentary, Ohio, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Just one month before the 2013 elections, Cincinnatians for Jobs Now was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on radio ads, flyers and mailers. Seems like normal activity right before an election. But CJN had only been formed in September and it had $300,000 to spend.

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Industry phasing out microplastics, but PA lawmakers want a ban anyhow

By   /  July 17, 2015  /  Federal Government, Illinois, Indiana, News, PA Independent, Pennsylvania, State Government, Uncategorized, Wisconsin  /  2 Comments

ready to deploy the trawl - Mason and student, Lake Erie summer 2012 - photo by Dr. Bill Edwards, Niagara University - brightened

Three Pennsylvania legislators plan on introducing a ban on microplastics. One sponsor says the law is necessary, even if some companies are voluntarily phasing the ingredient out.

Eight states have already passed such bans, more than a dozen have or are considering one, and such legislation is pending in Congress.

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Coming due: Minnesota home-care worker union stumbles early

By   /  July 9, 2015  /  Budget and Spending, Minnesota, News, State Budgets, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Watchdog photo

Mary Ann Howitson got quite the surprise when, as a new member of the Service Employees International Union, she’ll have to shell out an extra $550 a year.

Howitson is a Twin Cities personal care assistant. Her name, unbeknownst to Howitson, showed up on the list of workers set to have union dues deducted from their paychecks in July.

Howitson’s sticker shock at losing the equivalent of about 1 1/2 paychecks to a union she eventually voted against typifies the rocky rollout of the initial two-year SEIU contract.

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Legislators sunset once powerful environmental board

By   /  June 24, 2015  /  Energy and Environment, Minnesota, State Government, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

MPCA photo

The ink has hardly dried on lethal legislation eliminating a powerful state pollution panel dating to the activist ‘60s.

But after having the final say on contentious environmental issues for nearly 50 years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens’ Board has already, essentially, gone dark.

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Local tax hikes in Ohio’s budget bill

By   /  June 24, 2015  /  News, Ohio, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Jeremy Thompson from United States of America

Several communities across the state could see higher taxes, thanks to various provisions in Ohio’s biennial budget bill.

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