Columns

Thu
19
Dec

State Budget Forecast Presents Uncertainty

On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Office of Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the November Economic Forecast showing a $1.086 billion surplus for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

Mon
16
Dec

The billion dollar question

For the first time in an awfully long time, Minnesota’s Management and Budget Office is projecting a state budget surplus.  Already there are proposals emerging about what to do with it:  tax cuts, placing it in a reserve account, and/or spending it on things like roads and bridges, just to name a few.  I would appreciate South-West Review readers’ input on these ideas.

Mon
16
Dec

Protecting yourself from auto theft is everybody’s business

In Minnesota, winter means an increase in auto theft. Because of the cold weather, some people choose to warm up their cars unattended, even though it’s against the law. This creates an opportunity for criminals, coveting easy access to a ride or financial gain, to hop into the vehicle and drive off.

Mon
16
Dec

Why questions during jury selection are so personal

Recently I hosted a lunchtime seminar for attorneys on jury selection.  In preparing for it, I discovered that some of the seemingly-improper questions asked during voir dire were found by Minnesota appellate courts not to be improper. For example, in a homicide case it was not improper for an attorney to ask: “Have you ever asked someone if they would kill your mother and offer them money?.” The questioning of jurors is called “voir dire,” Latin for “to say what is true.” So why are the questions asked of jurors so personal?

Mon
16
Dec

Here we come a-polishing, among the eaves so clean

It’s funny how the mind plays tricks on you this time of year.
You think you have plenty of time for decking the halls, shopping for seasonal foods, baking holiday treats, and suddenly you have the sinking realization there are only a couple days before the get-together you’re hosting and your to-do list is longer than Santa’s.

Thu
12
Dec

School shift repaid thanks to

The Minnesota Management and Budget department has announced a projected budget surplus of $1.08 billion for the current biennium (fiscal years 2014-15).
The first $246 million of the surplus will be used to pay back the remaining school shift in full thanks to an accelerated repayment plan in the new state budget, leaving a balance of $825 million.

Thu
12
Dec

Getting up to speed on statewide broadband

One issue we will be talking about as we head into the 2014 Minnesota Legislative Session is the possibility of expanding broadband into every corner of the state. We know that life and business on the internet is really only in its infancy. With the fast paced speed of technological advances, we need to be conscious of the future and what we can do to keep up.

Thu
12
Dec

Parenting in Public: Crying Babies and Stressed-Out Parents

Imagine this scenario. It has happened to all of us at one time or another. You are in a publicplace when your attention is drawn to sounds of an angry parent speaking harshly to a crying child. The parent is obviously stressed out. You may be asking yourself how you can intervene without making the situation worse. You may even be telling yourself that you have no business interfering because after all, none of us are perfect parents.

Thu
12
Dec

Deciphering the health insurance requirements: What you need to know now about coverage

You can’t put it off any longer: Effective Jan. 1, the Affordable Care Actt requires all Americans to maintain a minimum level of health coverage or face a tax penalty. While some people are flocking to www.healthcare.gov  to research and purchase their insurance, others are unsure how to proceed.
Now is the time for individuals to educate themselves about their options for purchasing insurance and the steps needed to take to make sure they’re complying with the law, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs.

Thu
12
Dec

Taking action to get what you want from life

Most of us have times when we realize our lives aren’t turning out the way we once dreamed. We may feel stuck or resigned to our current situation, surrendering our optimistic visions to the realities of our lives.
But rather than complaining about what hasn’t worked out, a more positive approach is to take action to get closer to the goals you’d like for your life. There’s no magic formula to achieving your desires, but you can start working toward the life you’d like with small, doable steps.

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