Posted at 7:07 AM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
In a meeting with reporters, Pawlenty hinted at flexibility on the budget except on taxes.
Meanwhile, the House overwhelmingly rejected Pawlenty's borrowing plan.
The amendment was a part of a State Government Finance bill that passed after a marathon debate.
The Senate takes up its tax bill today. The House will likely vote on the tax bill on Saturday. The Winona Daily News says DFL Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes is hedging on whether she'll support the Senate Tax bill. DFL Rep. Gene Pelowski ripped his party's tax package calling it "Dead on Arrival."
The House also passed an early childhood education bill.
Forest Lake's teachers opt out of Gov. Pawlenty's Q-Comp program.
The Senate passed a Transportation bill that includes a measure that allows policy to pull drivers over for not wearing a seat belt.
The transportation bill also includes a property tax increase to pay for Metro Transit.
Gov. Pawlenty praised the tentative agreement with the state employee unions.
Illinois tickets are sent to the wrong Minnesota drivers. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is mentioned.
Legislators debate whether a public official's outside income should be made public.
KSTP wonders whether gay marriage will be legalized in Minnesota.
Elko New Market reinstates police.
The Associated Press says a secret tally has 87,000 dead Iraqis.
President Obama will hold his third prime-time news conference next week.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz and DFL Rep. Keith Ellison got invited to a White House reception.
Bank of America's CEO said he was pressured into Merrill rescue.
The U.S. tells Chrysler to prepare for bankruptcy.
The Eden Prairie News writes about GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen's Savings Recovery Act.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison takes issue with an analysis that suggested he's fundraising in states with high Muslim populations.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum co-sponsored an amendment to a national water policy bill to include a probe to see if there are high levels of pharmaceuticals in the nation's drinking water.
Reuters says the financial industry is facing a regulatory hornet's nest. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
Food safety bills may heat up this summer. Peterson is mentioned.
DFL Rep, Jim Oberstar misses a news conference because he was stuck in traffic. Oberstar is the House Transportation Commissioner.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
Five justices will hear Republican Norm Coleman's appeal.
The DFL files a complaint with the FEC about Coleman not seeking an opinion on using campaign money for legal fees. Update: Coleman's spokesman Tom Erickson sent along this note regarding the FEC complaint: "The DFL's charges are bogus in that the campaign hasn't spent one cent on said legal fees."
The DSCC will also announce a new website called "It's over Norm."
You can listen to Entenza's speech and an interview here.
Minnesota Brown interviews former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton.
St. Paul city officials go to court today to ban 10 reputed gang members from Cinco de Mayo festivities. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman introduced the proposal.
Posted at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The Minnesota Supreme Court set its scheduling order for Norm Coleman's appeal to the election contest ruling. Briefs have to be filed by May 15th. Oral arguments are scheduled for June 1, 2009. Here's the order.
Update: Coleman attorney Ben Ginsberg released this statement on the schedule:
"We're pleased with the timetable the court has granted to prepare for this historic and consequential case to enfranchise thousands of Minnesota citizens who still wait for their voices to be heard, and their votes to be counted."
Update: Democrat Al Franken's attorney Marc Elias issued this statement:
"We are grateful that the court has issued an expedited scheduling order, and we look forward to the process continuing to move forward so that Sen.-elect Franken can be seated as quickly as possible."
Posted at 10:01 AM on April 24, 2009
by Tim Pugmire
Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, is reportedly recovering at home after an early morning car accident.
One of her colleagues, Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, said he was told Wagenius was struck by a drunk driver, and her car was totaled. Wagenius, the chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division, was heading home after a marathon floor session that adjourned after 1:00 a.m.
According to Hansen, Wagenius was treated at a hospital and released. He had no other details. A spokesman for the House DFL caucus confirmed Hansen's account, adding that the accident occurred on 35W in Minneapolis.
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, says Wagenius was rear ended by a drunk driver traveling at a high speed on I-35W near I-94 in Minneapolis. She says Wagenius was treated at a hospital for minor injuries and is now resting at home.
"She's okay," Kelliher said. "That's the most important thing."
The incident raised questions about the long session. Kelliher said she always worries about lawmakers working late hours, even though she didn't think Wagenius was tired.
"She was completely alert," Kelliher said. "She was feeling fine, and obviously the other driver hit her. But I do worry about members being tired and sleepy at times. So, I think we always have to evaluate that."
Posted at 11:07 AM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Gov. Pawlenty and the four legislative leaders spoke to a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce breakfast this morning. The debate was reportedly lively. Midday will air those comments today at noon.
Posted at 3:03 PM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The House passed the Ag and Vets Budget bill the other day. During the debate, members were asked to consider an amendment that would end state subsidies for ethanol. The amendment was defeated 81- 49. What's interesting is that DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher passed on voting for the bill. Kelliher was in the chamber but decided not to vote on the amendment. She said she wanted to stay out of a long-running dispute between House Ag and Vets Finance Chair Al Juhnke and House Public Safety Finance Chair Michael Paymar (who proposed the amendment):
"I decided to take a more Switzerland like approach out of respect for both of my chairs in that situation. Both have talked to me quite adamantly about that particular amendment," Kelliher said.
Kelliher said she has long supported state investment in ethanol, but she isn't sure the payments should continue when ethanol plants become profitable. She said she would also like to see the payments shifted from corn-based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol.
There have been efforts to end ethanol payments in past years but the issue was under increased scrutiny after the Legislative Auditor suggested that the state end ethanol subsidies.
Kelliher's decision to pass on the vote garnered some attention from House Republicans. Republican Representative Laura Brod wrote this on her twitter page:
"News Alert: Speaker Kelliher chose not to vote on the ethanol subsidy repeal... yep.... running for governor, I guess."
Brod wasn't quite as aggressive when I followed up with her on Kelliher's vote:
"I think it's always fun to watch people who are either running for another office or are assumed to be running for another office and it's kind of fun to watch their votes and see what they choose not to take some hits on."
Kelliher may not have decided whether she intends to run for governor in 2010 but it's safe to say that people are already watching her as if she's in the race.
Posted at 5:42 PM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Here are some details on who will appear on this week's public policy shows on the state and national level...
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski and Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess will talk tax policy (if House and Senate aren't in session).
The poli sci profs are back for another rollicking look at the U.S. Senate Race that May Never End. Larry Jacobs ( U of M) is joined by Steve Schier (Carleton), Stacey Hunter Hecht (Bethel) and David Schultz (Hamline).
WCCO's Sunday Morning:
DFL House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher will discuss Session 2009 and the tax debate.
Jeff Drimel - President of the Minnesota PGA on Golf Week Minnesota (kicks off Monday).
GOP Rep. Steve Smith will talk Session 2009 and the tax debate.
KSTP's At Issue:
DFL Rep. Paul Marquart and GOP Rep. Laura Brod will talk taxes.
Cathy Hartnett and Blois Olson will offer analysis and Face-off
ABC's "This Week" - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs; Jordan's King Abdullah II; Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian.
CNN's "State of the Union" - Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Barack Obama; Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; Ken Duberstein, former chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan; Pete Souza, White House photographer.
"Fox News Sunday" - Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council; Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Carl Levin, D-Mich.; Maj. Gen. Carla Hawley-Bowland, commanding general of Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Posted at 9:44 PM on April 24, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The Minnesota Senate passed a Tax bill Friday night that includes a $2 billion tax increase. The vote was 35 -31.
11 DFLers voted against the bill:
Jim Carlson, Kevin Dahle, John Doll, Sharon Erickson Ropes, Lisa Fobbe, Ann Lynch, Rick Olseen, Mary Olson, Sandy Rummel, Kathy Saltzman, Dan Skogen
1 Republican voted for the bill: