Skip to Content

Very Serious, Obviously Busy Republican Lawmakers Explore Secession

Plus a death at the U, local beer awards, and the possibility of cheap e-bikes in today's Flyover.

New House Republican Caucus|

This rendering was used to promote a similar bill that failed in 2021. North Dakota would be involved if current legislation progresses, which it absolutely will not.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

*Logan Roy Voice* You Are Not Serious People

Earlier this week, we outlined three apparent MN GOP priorities: The state Legislature's minority party chose to elevate topics such as drag hysteria, likening weed to sugar, and defunding the occult. And yesterday Rep. Matt Grossell (R-Clearbrook) issued legislation, The Rocks & Cows Act, that amounts to pure Capitol shitposting. The act, named after a long-held grudge against Gov. Tim Walz that originated when he described rural Minnesota in those terms, would explore the possibility of North Dakota and South Dakota annexing western Minnesota. Similar legislation was just introduced in the state Senate.

"Many people in greater Minnesota are feeling left behind and ignored by policymakers in St. Paul; while the logistics could be difficult, that’s why we're starting with a commission to make sure any plan is robust and amicable to everyone involved," Rep. Grossell tells Racket, when asked about the, um, considerable logistical undertaking. "I believe there is a pathway that could be a positive step forward for all of our states that would easily gain federal approval when we present a well-thought-out plan as this legislation is laid out to do.”

These are not new ideas. In 2021, many of the same lawmakers paraded around legislation that would've rendered Minnesota into a tall sliver state, as you see depicted above. Writing for MPR, an amused David H. Montgomery humored the would-be financial and political ramifications, and ultimately/accurately predicted the stunt bill would fail. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem—the type of cultural warrior politician who brags about her infant granddaughter owning shotguns—supported the theoretical super-sizing of her state at the time, tweeting: "We roll out the red carpet for people who love personal responsibility and Freedom." (Capitalization hers.)

Returning to the present, Mike McFeely, the great Fargo Forum columnist, distilled what this legislative fixation on breaking away from Minnesota really amounts to: "Never mind that the DFL controls both houses of the Legislature and the Governor's Mansion, so this is nothing more than a performative exercise meant to get attention," he wrote Thursday. "And there's the question of whether it's even constitutional. Who cares?! It'll win a unanimous decision in the Court of Owning the Libs. That's what matters."

How 'Bout a Little Humanity?

Earlier this week, a man was found dead in a University of Minnesota classroom inside Appleby Hall, which is, we don't have to tell you, very sad. Sadder still, and also just generally awful, are the reactions from a U parent quoted in this KARE 11 story about the incident. "People that have no business being in those buildings, have no business being in those buildings. Period," said Erin Brumm, a board member of the Campus Safety Coalition. Except that Appleby is a public building, at least on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. And, as many folks have pointed out, this only became a public safety issue for students because people—even dying people—have nowhere else to go.

And Your 2023 MN Brewers Cup Winners Are...

For many, yesterday was a THC holiday. But for the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild, it was the Oscars of the local suds world—the MN Brewers Cup! More than 450 beers from 90+ were expertly sipped by blind taste testers, all to determine winners across 23 categories. The three Best In Show winners? Tomm's from Falling Knife Brewing Company, 300 IPA from Fulton Brewing, and the No. 68 Red Lager from Freehouse. “This is the beer we brewed for ourselves while we were building the brewery. We’re so proud," Falling Knife co-founder Tom Berg, whose beer took home the top honor, says in a statement. "I did not expect to win, especially with a classic American lager. I’m flattered and honored, and I just love this industry and all the people in it.” As you prepare for your weekend beer run, be sure to peruse all of this year's winners.

Government To Offer Deep Discounts on E-Bikes?

Or more precisely, will the Minnesota Senate add a major tax credit to their budget? Legislatures are considering adding an electric-assisted bike incentive to their transportation budget. According to this MinnPost story from Peter Callaghan, the amendment “would allow a resident who buys from an in-state retailer to claim a credit equal to 75% of the purchase price of an e-bike plus accessories like helmets, locks, bags and reflective clothing.” The tax credit would vary depending on individual or joint income, but participants could see a rebate of up to $1,500 (e-bikes generally run between $800-$2,500). The catch? The proposal, led by State Sen. Omar Fateh (DFL-Minneapolis), would be capped at $2 million, and folks who buy an e-bike will need to apply for a tax certificate via the Minnesota Department of Revenue, and those will be dished out on a first come, first serve. Seems like this could be easier!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter