Posted at 7:30 AM on March 23, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
The lead on property tax issues in the Minnesota House will release a plane to keep property taxes in check. The Mankato Free Press says the taxes are a big issue.
Meanwhile, we now have a sense of the budget outlines of the major players at the State Capitol.
Gov. Pawlenty, however, is calling on the DFL to get specific about their tax plans.
DFL Rep. Mindy Greiling, who chairs the Education Finance Committee, rips the head of Education Minnesota for being critical of the House budget plan.
Counties like Gov. Pawlenty's decision to house short-term offenders in prison.
Expanded nuclear power will get a hearing next week.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie continues to push his election reform bills.
A Minnesota panel will vote on an anti-bullying bill next week.
Minnesotans are filing their taxes earlier and are getting bigger refunds.
Gov. Pawlenty's key budget adviser is doing double duty for the state.
Some Minnesota schools are competing for students and money.
There's a push to combine three state agencies that deal with the environment and natural resources.
The criminal intelligence bill, pushed by the BCA, faced stiff opposition at the Capitol.
Auditor Rebecca Otto will be honored for her environmental work.
The Obama Administration will release a plan for dealing with toxic mortgages.
The Wall Street Journal says Democrats are planning an end run to pass health care reform.
President Obama also extends the immigration status for Liberians.
He also suggests he will oppose the bonus tax.
The nation is facing a big debt.
Obama's Minnesota supporters also get back to the campaign by working to pass the budget.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar attended the Gridiron Dinner.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison touts changes to the nation's labor laws at a forum over the weekend.
The Star Tribune wonders whether the Northstar will get extended.
Some farmers are wary of requiring animal ids. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
2008 Race for Senate
Some voters are hoping that the loser of the recount trial will concede.
Democrat Al Franken will be back in D.C. this week.
Gov. Pawlenty will attend a fundraiser in Hopkins this week.
The Fix speculates that Gov. Pawlenty will not run for reelection and says to watch for Gov. Pawlenty to ramp up his profile in the summer.
Posted at 10:02 AM on March 23, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Fox9 has an interesting story that details Ag Commissioner Gene Hugoson's travel and also highlights that he accepts ag subsidies.
What do you think?
Posted at 11:21 AM on March 23, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is on his way to Moorhead to view flood preparations in the Red River Valley.
Pawlenty will travel with Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Kris Eide, as well as Major Gen. Larry Shellito of the Minnesota National Guard.
An afternoon briefing is scheduled with local emergency management officials at the Clay County Courthouse. The governor will also meet with volunteers and soldiers working along the river.
The governor will also stop in Breckenridge this afternoon.
Posted at 1:07 PM on March 23, 2009
by Tom Scheck
One of the lead tax experts in the Minnesota House is proposing legislation that would allow counties to raise their local sales tax to offset any cuts in state aid. DFL Representative Paul Marquart said his plan would allow counties the option of raising their local option sales tax by one half of one percent to continue funding core local services. He said the plan is a better alternative for counties than raising property taxes to recoup any cuts in state aid proposed by Governor Pawlenty:
"If I'm a homeowner and I've lost a job, I have more control over a sales tax that I pay than the property taxes I pay. Property taxes are fixed. Sales tax, I can decide what I want to do by what I purchase."
Voters who oppose the sales tax can choose to stop it by gathering enough signatures to trigger an election on the tax increase. This plan would be in addition to the House DFL budget proposal which would require a $1.5 billion unspecified tax increase. The Revenue Department projects that property taxes will increase $626 million over the next three years if Governor Pawlenty's is approved. The chair of the Senate Taxes Committee said he doesn't like the House proposal because it would benefit some counties greater than others.
Here's the info from Marquart's office:
Update: Here's a response from Gov. Pawlenty's spokesman Brian McClung:
"Rep. Marquart's property/sales tax plan lacks simplicity, transparency and accountability. It also seems DFLers have a split personality -- they keep saying the tax system should be more progressive while they propose more and more sales tax increases."
Posted at 3:29 PM on March 23, 2009
by Tom Scheck
GOP Rep. John Kline and GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann are pushing legislation that would forbid the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Minnesota. Here's the release from Bachmann's office:
(Washington, DC) U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (MN-6) and Congressman John Kline (MN-2) introduced legislation (H.R. 1566) that would prohibit the use of any federal funds to transfer or house Global War on Terror detainees now held at Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba anywhere in Minnesota.
"It is simply irresponsible to shut down a facility that houses known terrorists and transfer them to our neighborhoods," said Congresswoman Bachmann. "While I understand the interest of the White House in making this well-orchestrated PR move, these are very dangerous terrorists and they must be treated as such. To transfer them anywhere near Minnesota residents - or any American citizen for that matter, is a risk we cannot afford to take."
On January 22, 2009 President Obama announced his intention to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba. Last week, as the Administration has found our international partners increasingly unwilling to commit to resettling detainees on their soil, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that detainees could be released into the United States. It remains unclear whether Holder's announcement will entice European nations to accept detainees.
In addition to H.R. 1566, Congresswoman Bachmann is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1012, which would prohibit the use of federal funds to transfer the Global War on Terror detainees to anywhere in the U.S.