Housing pinch hits Greater Minnesota

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Housing prices in Greater Minnesota have weathered the real estate storm slightly better than the rest of the nation. While they’ve been down from their high a few years ago, home owners outside of the Twin Cities were faring better than most. Now that seems to be changing for the worse. The median statewide sale prices of all closed sales during the month of April was down 12 percent, according to the Minnesota Association of Realtors.

This seems to mirror the nationwide trend that has home prices down almost 13 percent from last year.

Jim Buchta from the Star Tribune adds a silver lining to his post about the new numbers, “Several surveys showed that mortgage interest rates fell to their lowest level this year. The 30 year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.61 percent and the 15-year fell to 3.80 percent, according to Freddie Mac.”

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Chanting protesters line House hallway over marriage amendment

Hundreds of protesters lined the hallway up to the door leading into the House screaming, “Haters! Just vote no!” in response to a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot that would allow voters to define marriage as only between a man and a woman (MinnPost).

Cuts to arts programs felt statewide

State funding for the arts has been cut by 30 percent on the general fund side and by 20 percent on the relatively new Arts and Cultural Heritage funding (Mankato Free Press).

Bookmobile cutback to be considered by Blue Earth County

Bookmobile lovers in Blue Earth County nursing homes, day cares, home schools and Head Starts are probably going to be feeling the hit of tight government budgets next year, maybe even later this summer (Mankato Free Press).

Commentary and Editorials

Bookmobiles, LGA and the local chambers of commerce: why compromise matters

Why are local chambers of commerce from across the state calling for “a budget compromise that includes both cuts and a state revenue increase”? One item ripped from today’s headlines underscores how cuts can affect Greater Minnesota residents, communities and businesses (Blue Stem Prairie).

Tax the rich out of fairness? Not that simple.

A modest bump to the income taxes of those with the highest incomes may be a necessary part of an overall solution to Minnesota’s budget woes. But Minnesota should not be seeking to match the nation’s top state income tax brackets (Star Tribune).

Minnesota voters have already pointed the way

As this story unfolds, it is inevitable that campaign promises will be broken and heartfelt ideologies abandoned. It is inevitable because that’s what the voters want. In the long run, the voters always get what they want, even when they’re wrong (which they’re not) (Star Tribune).

Editorial: Steer clear of partisan redistricting

Some Republican lawmakers seem intent on accomplishing their redistricting responsibility without significant participation by Democrats (Hastings Star Gazette).

Minnesota Scenes

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