St. Cloud State Economist and Dean, School of Public Affairs, King Banaian joined me on WJON this week.  He says gas prices will rise but not "a whole lot" between now and this summer.  He says the supply of oil is large enough right now that even if more people chose to drive to vacation spots this spring the price shouldn't jump significantly.


Shopping malls throughout the country are seeing stores close.  Banaian says people's shopping habits have changed with more online shopping, and  less people shopping at malls due to the pandemic.  He says malls can still be a gathering place but will likely need to rework how they attract visitors.

The St. Cloud metro area has been effected by layoffs due to the pandemic but other Minnesota regional centers statistically have been effected more based on unemployment numbers.  King says a diversified workforce in St. Cloud has played a role in the numbers here.

The Minnesota legislature is exploring the idea of legalizing marijuana in the state.  King says he doesn't see the taxing of marijuana as a significant money maker for the state considering the potential negatives associated with another legalized drug.

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Emerging Players with the Minnesota Timberwolves