Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
Every 10 years, we take a census and redraw district maps, which impact things like funding and who you get to vote for. It’s a complicated and inexact science, as redistricting can often lead to gerrymandering and blowouts between parties, and none of the proposed maps passed in the Minnesota legislature this year, so a special five-judge panel took on the task. Their map was released at noon today, and it’s something. Twitter, of course, has feelings about it. “WOW — For as long as I can remember, New Prague was split into congressional districts 1 and 2. Divided by Main Street,” tweets Lindsay Guentzel. “New map has New Prague moving completely into CD2.” “What the hell? Putting Carver county in Emmer’s district?” another commenter cursed. Tom Basgen just wants everyone to calm down: “Everyone’s peeling it apart and screaming right now. Some folks are getting it wrong. Forget about it til tomorrow.” You can take a look at the new map here, and read the courts’ reasoning behind their decisions here. (Be sure to go to the bathroom and grab a snack before you crack open those links, they’re going to take a while to get through.)
Teachers to Vote on Strike… Purple Monkey Dishwasher
Yesterday, members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers union began voting on whether to strike. If the vote, which’ll be tabulated Thursday, goes in favor of a strike, that’d mean public educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul could walk off the job. But that’s a big could: MFT officials note that even if a strike is authorized, several steps remain before schools shut down. Among the union’s demands, according to Greta Callahan, president of MFT’s teacher chapter: “Enforceable commitments to addressing years of underpayment to education support professionals, addressing the mental health crisis in our schools, reducing class sizes, controlling caseloads in special education, and increasing teacher compensation so we don’t continue to lose staff, especially educators of color, to surrounding districts and other professions.” The Minnesota Reformer has a more granular breakdown of those salary beefs. As Racket reported last month, Minneapolis Public School teachers are not pleased with the leadership of Superintendent Ed Graff, whose office briefly ordered teachers to work from home… from inside their physical school. Give ‘em hell, teachers.
Minnesota is Kinda Sorta Considering Maybe Allowing Sports Betting
Sports gambling on college and professional teams is legal in 26 states, plus Washington, D.C. Ohio just legalized it last December. Now, Minnesota Rep. Zack Stephenson is cautiously investigating whether or not this is something we should get in on. “I don’t have a bill yet,” Stephenson, who chairs the House Commerce Committee, told MinnPost. “But I think we’re getting close. I’m hoping to have something more concrete to talk about in the very near future.” Sounds solid! But, as laid out in this informative piece, there are a lot of obstacles to overcome and negotiations to be had in order to make sports gambling legal here. First, there’s the fact that our state is comically slow when it comes to passing bills of this sort. We might not have that luxury, however, as mobile apps and online gambling (we call this monster Gamblor) increase their hold on the industry. There’s also concern from tribes in the state who run casinos. Right now, MIGA (Minnesota Indian Gaming Association), is investigating the potential impact sports gambling could have on their businesses, though it hasn’t come out as for or against changes. Meanwhile, the Sports Gambling Alliance is up and ready to go, as it has hired five lobbyists to push their pro-betting agenda.
Lock Your Damn Doors, Chaska
That’s a pro-tip from Chaska Police, who shared on Facebook that an impressive seven home break-ins were reported in the area on Monday morning between midnight and 5 a.m. The burglars used the oldest trick in the book: Checking the car doors and home service doors to see if they were unlocked. In some cases people also managed to open garage doors by finding the openers in unlocked vehicles. Getting robbed sucks, so make sure you’re locking your valuable stuff up, everyone.
More like Dulu-sers
Here’s a Final Jeopardy answer we’re willing to bet most Minnesota viewers got right: “At about 90,000, it’s the most populous city on North America’s biggest lake.” If you said, “What is Duluth?” then congratulations! Your knowledge of Great Lakes ports is more robust than all three contestants on last night’s Jeopardy! episode, two of whom guessed Green Bay (c’mon), and one of whom went with Minneapolis. Coastal elites, man.