Today on the MPR News Update, a look at the top priorities of the DFL leaders in the new legislative session, the deal that sells off big chunks of the Supervalu grocery chain, and the nominations -- and snubs -- for the Academy Awards.
DFLERS UNVEIL LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES: Minnesota Senate Democrats are expected to release more details today about a package of bills they plan to introduce as the session gets undwerway. It includes a health insurance exchange, all-day kindergarten and a minimum wage increase to $7.50 an hour. Gov. Dayton's administration tried to soothe the fears of businesses over the DFL agenda at a Chamber of Commerce event last night.
HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE ON A FAST TRACK: The health care exchange will provide an online gateway for about one million Minnesotans to comparison shop for health insurance and enroll in Medicaid beginning Oct. 1. Lawmakers have about 10 weeks to pass a bill and get it on the governor's desk.
SUPERVALU SHEDS SOME OF ITS PROPERTIES: Struggling grocery giant Supervalu is selling five of its chains to an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management in a deal valued at $3.3 billion including debt. The deal involves nearly 900 stores, but not Cub Foods stores.
OCSCAR NOMINATIONS: The Civil War saga "Lincoln" leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture, director for Steven Spielberg and acting honors for Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Tommy Lee Jones. The nominations were announced today, and the awards will be handed out on Feb. 24.
FLU SEASON UPDATE: More than 900 people have been hospitalized in Minnesota during the nationwide flu outbreak. Some pediatric clinics in the state are tapping their publicly purchased flu vaccine stocks reserved for low-income children in order to immunized privately insured kids.
NORM COLEMAN WON'T RUN AGAINST FRANKEN AGAIN: Former Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman says he will not seek a rematch against DFL Sen. Al Franken in 2014. Franken defeated Coleman four years ago by a few hundred votes after a lengthy recount and a court challenge. Coleman did not rule out another run for governor in 2014.
MIDWEST GUN VIOLENCE SUMMIT: The city of Minneapolis is hosting a regional conference on gun violence. Law enforcement leaders and elected officials from several Midwestern cities and scholars who study crime and violence are expected to participate in the day-long conference. Organizers say the goal of the meeting is to share information and examples of how to reduce gun violence.
ORCHESTRA TRUCE? Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is calling upon the two sides in the Minnesota Orchestra contract dispute to set aside their differences for one night for a concert to celebrate the Orchestra's Grammy nomination. Rybak says he doesn't want to take sides in what he calls a difficult labor conflict, but he knows many people want the situation settled.
TECHNOLOGY USED TO SCREEN JOB APPLICANTS: If you've been turned down for a job in recent years, it might have been courtesy of the company's hiring software. The software systems winnow down a pool of job applicants before a human ever lays eyes on candidates' resumes.
Some jobseekers find these software systems to be overly aggressive and maddeningly impersonal.