• Union Depot: Building More Things We Don't Need

    Last week, Ramsey County officials announced that cost estimates for renovating existing restaurant space at Union Depot were off by 100%.  Yes, you read that right.As recently as August 2016 when county officials announced that Kaskaid Hospitality would be the new restaurant tenant at the historic depot, they budgeted $1 million for kitchen renovations.  Last week, the county rail authority (meaning the Ramsey County commissioners) voted to approve $2 million in kitchen/restaurant imp...

  • Dayton Administration knows what is best for your business

    For 65 years, Enbridge Energy has safely delivered energy to several generations of Americans through a pipeline commonly known as “Line 3.” It runs from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin (roughly 1,031 miles, of which 337 miles are located in Minnesota) and carries 760,000 barrels of crude oil every day. The importance of what Enbridge does – shipping crude oil to refineries – can’t be understated: 80% of the energy we use every day for such mundane first-wo...

  • Instead of doubling down, eliminate Minnesota's biofuel mandate

    [Annette Meeks published in the Duluth News-Tribune, September 1, 2017]Gov. Mark Dayton announced in mid-August that, starting in May, the state will require a biodiesel blend of 20 percent. The move makes Minnesota an outlier.

  • The Mess at the IRS

    When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes a mistake, apparently they double down and do it again.  And again.  That appears to be what we learned earlier this week when our friends at the Tax Foundation reviewed a newly released investigation by the U.S.

  • "A Tale of Two Harbors" -- Lake County, Minnesota's Broadband Boondoggle

    Eight years ago, I founded the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.  Our mission was very precise:  we sought to provide market-based solutions to some of the toughest problems facing our state.  Our research and investigative efforts continue to focus on eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in state and local government.

  • "We're from the government and we're here to....."

    Seattle, Washington currently boasts the highest-in-the-country minimum wage where workers employed by “large employers” must be paid $13 per hour.  Last year, a city mandate raised that wage from $11 per hour to $13.   This was the second wage increase in less than one year and on Monday, we learned that elected officials in Seattle may have gone too far in the latest social engineering experiment.New research, conducted by economists at the University of Washington, shows...

  • Why do Minnesota teachers pay dues to bail out NEA DC bosses?

    Officials at Education Minnesota (the statewide affiliate of the NEA) went berserk the last day of the Minnesota special legislative session, demanding that Governor Dayton veto the K-12 education budget for the next two years.  The reason?  The new budget, that also includes more than $1.3 billion in increased funding for Minnesota’s public schools includes a new provision that ends the ridiculous teacher tenure law known as “Last In, First Out.”  This default p...

  • The Biomass Mess

    In 1994, the Minnesota legislature struck a deal that allowed Xcel Energy to store additional radioactive nuclear waste in above-ground storage casks located on Prairie Island in return for enacting a requirement that the energy company generate or buy a government-mandated percentage of biomass energy for their customers.  That compromise, forged between Republican Governor Arne Carlson and DFL legislative leaders Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe and Speaker Dee Long, put into place the Re...

  • State has the authority to override local overreach, and should

    Below is a commentary by Freedom Foundation CEO Annette Meeks published in the May 4, 2017 edition of the Star Tribune. With two weeks left in the 2017 legislative session, one of the most contentious issues being debated at the Capitol will likely provide a teachable moment for Minnesotans. What’s being debated is the notion of “local control” and whether the state should exercise its authority to “check” overreach in individual cities.Our country was founded ...

  • Crony Capitalism Update: How essential is essential air service?

    Earlier this year, President Donald Trump sent his first budget proposal to Congress.  As you can imagine, there were some big differences between the Trump budget that lays out his spending priorities for the next fiscal year vs. some of the recent budgets sent to Congress from President Barack Obama. One of the biggest differences included Trump’s plan to eliminate the U.S.

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