Posted at 7:51 AM on May 7, 2009
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Conference committees have a midnight deadline to finish their work. No one thinks they'll make the self-imposed deadline. Budget negotiations are stalled. The Pi Press, The St. Paul Legal Ledger, the Star Tribune, AP and MPR have stories.
DFL Sen. Tom Bakk reportedly broke up negotiations on the Tax Conference Committee to attend the Billy Joel/Elton John concert.
Minnesota lawmakers are pushing a flood relief plan.
The primary seatbelt bill is headed to the House floor.
Gov. Pawlenty threatens to veto the Xcel Energy loan plan.
Pawlenty says he's excited about Brett Favre possibly coming to the Vikings. That and a quarter of a billion dollars may get the Vikings a new stadium.
$130 million in stimulus money is coming to Minnesota to help the unemployed.
There's a hearing today on plans to replace St. Paul's Lafayette Bridge.
The House passed a bill that further defines when a person is "missing."
Some Native Americans promise to fight the construction of an oil pipeline in Minnesota.
Gov. Pawlenty will cast the line early this year.
The White House releases the stress tests on the nation's banks and some may need more money.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz makes a speech calling for recognition of the Armenian genocide.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson rips the Obama Administration over the greenhouse gas plan.
GOP Rep. John Kline wants to fully fund special education.
Newspaper advocates address a Senate panel on the struggles facing the industry. Klobuchar is mentioned.
Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank will try to undo an amendment offered by GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann. The amendment would prohibit taxpayer funding for ACORN.
2008 Race for U.S. Senate
2010 Race for Congress
Democrats El Tinklenberg and Maureen Reed both say they'll challenge GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
Posted at 4:10 PM on May 7, 2009
by Tom Scheck
The Senate Rules Committee created a vehicle bill this afternoon that would allow for revenue and spending in one bill.
DFL Sen. Larry Pogemiller said the bill (which leaves spending amounts blank) will likely be agreed upon in a separate tax conference committee tonight. DFL Senator Tom Bakk said the plan will likely raise $1 billion in unspecified taxes. He said he would like to rely on an income tax increase for his portion of the plan, but hinted that House Democrats are also interested in raising other taxes like the alcohol excise tax or the cigarette tax:
"If you're looking at a menu of tax options, we'll look at things like sin taxes, the 4th tier (income tax on wealthy Minnesotans). "People generally like tax increases they don't have to pay so generally so those kinds of things tend to poll better so I suspect that you'll see come out there are things that will have some level of public support."
A source with the Minnesota House said the plan will rely on a 4th tier income tax increase and increasing the alcohol excise tax. The source said increasing the cigarette tax is not on the table. The source added that the Senate may include another unspecified provision.
The spending portion of the bill would include targets for education and health care.
It appears that the plan is to send a bill to Governor Pawlenty that links tax increases to increased spending for schools and health care programs. Pawlenty has said he'll veto any bill that includes a tax increase.