President Obama will hit the road today to build public support for the stimulus package. He's speaking in Elkhart, Indiana where job losses continue to mount.
He will also hold a primetime news conference this evening.
The Senate will resume debate today over the package. A deal was reached over the weekend.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar supports the plan and says it will get the people back to work.
There will be major negotiating if the Senate passes the bill since the House and Senate have different priorities.
Meanwhile, DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is pushing a bill to limit credit swaps.
Peterson also said more cows should be headed for retirement since milk prices are tanking.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is said to support a high-speed rail route that doesn't include Rochester.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar says the threat of piracy worldwide could increase shipping costs.
A bill being introduced today would allow video slots in bars and the MSP Airport.
The DNR may have allowed a major fish virus into Minnesota. They spent $11,000 in taxpayer money to drain a lake after DNR officials allowed fish to be transferred there.
The Star Tribune takes a look at a debate at the Capitol regarding who can cash in on someone's life insurance policy.
The Pi Press says Gov. Pawlenty's budget removes dental care for the poor.
The budget crisis is also causing a court backlog.
The Outdoors Council seeks a bridge loan.
Some bar owners still oppose the statewide smoking ban.
The one-year anniversary of its enactment is today.
Medical marijuana will get another hearing this week.
The health department will test the effects of firefighting foam.
Forum Communications says rural hospitals and nursing homes face budget problems under Gov. Pawlenty's budget proposal.
AP says the state's budget could be hurt as a result of the alleged Madoff scheme.
The state may tap out of jobless aid funds.
GOP House Minority Leader Marty Seifert says session is off to a slow start.
Bills are introduced to change deer hunting.
2008 U.S. Senate Race
DFLer Al Franken did a host of interviews over the weekend. He talked with several outlets including MPR, KARE, the Pi Press and Forum Communications on Friday. He also did a live sit-down with WCCO on Sunday.
The Pi Press says Coleman is relying on absentee ballots from heavy GOP areas.
The Star Tribune takes a look at how much longer the recount trial could last.
AP says there's no end in sight.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie talked about the recount at a national conference.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak makes his third run for mayor official.
Posted at 11:09 AM on February 9, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton is ramping up his campaign for governor in 2010 by taking a shot at Gov. Tim Pawlenty.
DFLer Dayton said today that the Republican governor should reimburse taxpayers for the costs of his weekend trip to Germany. Pawlenty attended the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy. He traveled with a delegation that included members of Congress, military and security officials and others.
Dayton claims Pawlenty's trip has more to do with running for president than his duties as governor.
"If he wants to go away on a weekend to try to make himself look better qualified for president than Sarah Palin, he has a right to do so," Dayton said. "But he ought to pay for it out of his own campaign committee, and not pretend this has anything to do with his official responsibilities."
In response to Dayton's comments, Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung said there's nothing to reimburse, because there were no additional costs to taxpayers. McClung explained that the governor used frequent flier miles to travel to Washington. He said the delegation had fixed costs with or without Pawlenty's participation.
Posted at 3:54 PM on February 9, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
During an interview this afternoon on WCCO Radio, Gov. Tim Pawlenty was asked about former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, who earlier in the day had called on the governor to reimburse taxpayers for a weekend trip to Germany. Pawlenty attended the 45th Munich Conference on Security Policy. Here's what the governor had to say on the radio:
"Of course Mark's running for governor, so you've got to put it in context.
But he probably didn't know, and if he would have called we would have told him, that the trip didn't cost the taxpayers anything out of pocket, in the sense that there's a military plane that went to Germany that carried the delegation to the security conference. It was going any how, so there was no additional cost of me taking a spot on that plane, as I did last year.
And when you're the commander in chief of the Minnesota National Guard, and you're going to deploy soldiers -- like we are tomorrow night at the St. Paul civic center, a thousand soldiers going off to Iran (Editor Note: Pawlenty said Iran on the air. His spokesman said he misspoke and corrected himself on the air later) and a month from now another thousand going to the middle east to fight in the war -- it helps to have an understanding of those issues, the dynamics, the security issues. And I get asked about it in my role as governor by families, by reporters and the like. So, there is value in doing it."
A word of clarification from the governor's spokesman:
Just a note that the Governor made a misstatement in the part of the radio interview you posted on Polinaut.
He meant to say "Iraq" when he said "Iran."
We're going to make that correction on the air in a few minutes.
Director of Communications
Office of Governor Tim Pawlenty
Posted at 4:39 PM on February 9, 2009
by Tom Scheck
61 senators vote to end cloture. Minnesota's only senator, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, voted for it.
It appears the vote to pass the bill is set for tomorrow.