E-mail was taking off in the late 90’s and the Post Office saw a decrease in physical mail. One of the early chain e-mail scams was about the Post Office planning to charge a per message fee for email, in order to replace lost revenue. That was a hoax; this is real.
Minnesota does not prevent citizens from obtaining a degree or taking classes online. But it does require any school offering degree programs or even classes to register with the state. The fee varies and renewal costs $1,200 per year. EVEN for classes offered online for free and no degree is given. Why would a school pay Minnesota to give away online classes? I understand why the state would impose fees; that’s to replace revenue lost by state schools.
Read this article from Slate, Minnesota Bans Coursera.