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PNS Daily News - July 25, 2017 


Another Obamacare repeal showdown expected in the Senate; the President’s son-in-law in the hot seat in the Russia probe; and a setback for federal immigration agents. We’re covering those stories and more on today’s rundown.

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Public News Service - MN: Consumer Issues

Two separate utility hikes could kick in in the near future. (energy gov)

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota families could pay a lot more for utilities if two separate rate hikes are implemented. A request by Minnesota Power is currently going through the public utilities process, and would raise bills for the average consumer by more than 6 percent - which equals about $

More of Minnesota's children have access to fresh produce as a result of the Market Bucks program. (Jesse Davis)

ST. PAUL, Minn. - It's the time of year when local farmers are busy selling fresh fruits and vegetables they've worked hard to grow, and hunger-fighting advocates are hoping a state-funded program will help lower-income Minnesotans purchase that produce. When SNAP recipients buy at farmers markets

Rural Minnesota farmers worry they'll suffer under a plan by the nation's new Secretary of Agriculture and President Trump's proposed budget. (usda.gov)

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Advocates for rural America are scrutinizing a plan by new U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and say it puts agribusiness ahead of small farmers and rural communities. Just two weeks into the job, Perdue announced a major reorganization to expand the role of t

Retirees in Minnesota pay taxes on the Social Security benefits they receive. Only a dozen other states tax these benefits. (Virginia Carter)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – With a budget deadline looming, Gov. Mark Dayton and state legislative leaders are still working on the framework of an agreement. Sticking points include how much of Minnesota's budget surplus will go to tax cuts, and which specific tax cuts will be included in the final p

Minnesota's share in a settlement with Volkswagen is $47 million. (Virginia Carter)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Advocates say lawmakers in Minnesota may be jeopardizing nearly a half billion dollars the state is set to receive in an environmental settlement. Volkswagen lost a court battle that revealed it violated the Clean Air Act over so-called "cheater vehicles" that had software

Whether your phone service is a traditional line or internet-based, Minnesota consumer advocates say the protections should be the same. (cohdra/morguefile)

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For more than a century, phone service in Minnesota has been regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. But as many in the state transition to internet-based phone services, some lawmakers want to change that. House File 1665 would eliminate many of the basic consumer protect

Grocery stores and supermarkets are disappearing from some neighborhoods in Minnesota. (Virginia Carter)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – About 340,000 Minnesotans don't have access to healthy food on a regular basis because of either distance or income barriers, and about a quarter of a million live more than 10 miles from a large grocery store or supermarket. A recent poll commissioned by the Center for Pre

Under the Farm to School program children learn early about good nutrition. (iatp.org)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A coalition of public health groups, farmers' organizations, school nutrition advocates and businesses has launched a campaign to pass a statewide Farm to School bill in Minnesota. The legislation (HF 2049 and SF 1657) would reimburse schools for their farm to school progra

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