Governor Dayton will release his plan for education today.
He will appear with Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius, one of the members of Dayton's cabinet.
MPR says Dayton's cabinet is considered heavy on experience but light on politics.
House and Senate negotiators will start work on finding common ground on a bill that would cut nearly $1 billion in state spending. The Minnesota Senate passed the bill yesterday on a party line vote.
The photo ID bill got its first hearing in the Minnesota House.
The Senate also passed a bill that would allow for another pathway for teaching.
The Star Tribune says groups are lining up against any efforts to change the state's sales tax laws. Side note: I don't think anyone has even talked about a sales tax hike since the IP's Tom Horner lost the race.
Gov. Dayton says the airport needs more options.
MnDOT is prepping its plan to hire more women and minority contractors.
The U.S. and Egypt are in talks to move the political transition of power forward.
The House GOP releases a plan to slash billions of dollars in state spending but still fall short of their pledge.
The Obama Administration offers states ideas on how to cut Medicaid.
Federal funds for Central Corridor are 99.9% certain.
The White House Asian carp director is hopeful for a solution.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she's introducing a bill that would create a national renewable energy standard.
DFL Sen. Al Franken says he won't make any earmark requests this year.
Franken will speak in Vermont in March.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz continues to hold "Congress on your Corner" events.
USA Today says groups are ramping up their lobbying as new regulations loom. One example is for-profit colleges, which gave $15,000 to GOP Rep. John Kline's fundraising committee in 2010. Kline chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee.
A freshman Congressman says he is not anti-Muslim nor anti-Islam after he made comments saying DFL Rep. Keith Ellison represents the "antithesis" of American values.
The St. Cloud Times takes a look at essential air service, a program GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has put on the chopping block.
2012 Race for U.S. Senate
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek says he's not interested in running for the U.S. Senate in 2012. The GOP field for 2012 got a little smaller.
2012 Race for Congress
A group affiliated with Karl Rove, is running an ad supporting GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack. The ad comes less than a week after the DCCC ran an ad criticizing him.
Democrats meet on Saturday to elect a new DFL Party Chair to succeed Brian Melendez. Ken Martin, who most recently ran the umbrella organization that oversaw The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, is the only candidate running and is expected to get the nod.
Pawlenty for Prez Watch
Tim Pawlenty is in Illinois today to sign books.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad squashed a Washington Post report that said he was in Pawlenty's camp.
Norm Coleman is headed to Israel with Missippi Gov. Haley Barbour.
John McCain has no plans to endorse anyone in 2012.
Bachmann for Prez Watch
FrumForum says GOP leadership has a simple strategy for dealing with Michele Bachmann: Ignore her.
Posted at 8:15 AM on February 4, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Mark Dayton
Here's the list of the Cabinet posts that's been filled:
Agriculture Department - Dave Frederickson
Commerce Department - Mike Rothman
Department of Corrections - Thomas Roy
Education Department - Brenda Cassellius
Office of Enterprise Technology - Carolyn Parnell
Department of Employment and Economic Development - Mark Phillips
Department of Health - Edward Ehlinger
Office of Higher Education - Sheila Wright
Housing Finance Department - Mary Tingerthal
Department of Human Services - Cindy Jessen
Iron Range Resources - Tony Sertich
Department of Labor and Industry - Ken Peterson
Minnesota Management and Budget - Jim Schowalter
Metropolitan Council - Susan Haigh
Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission - Ted Mondale
Department of Natural Resources - Tom Landwehr
Pollution Control Agency - Paul Aasen
Public Safety Department - Ramona Dohman
Revenue Department - Myron Frans
Department of Transportation - Tom Sorel
Veterans Affairs - Larry Shellito
Here are the positions left to be filled:
Department of Administration -
Bureau of Mediation Services -
Human Rights Department -
Three of the members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation are holding town hall meetings over the next few days. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is holding an event in Winona on Monday. GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen is holding an event in Rogers on Monday night. DFL Rep. Betty McCollum is holding an event in Maplewood on Saturday.
Here's info on the Walz event in Winona:
What: Congress on your Corner with Rep. Tim Walz
When: 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM on Monday, February 7th.
Where: Midtown Foods, 126 E Fifth Street, Winona
Here's info on Paulsen's Town Hall in Rogers:
WHO: Rep. Erik Paulsen
WHAT: Will host a town hall meeting in Rogers, MN.
WHEN: Monday, February 7, 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Rogers Community Room
21201 Memorial Drive, Rogers
Here's info on McCollum's event in Maplewood:
WHO: Congresswoman Betty McCollum, state Representative Leon Lillie, state Representative Nora Slawik and state Senator Chuck Wiger
WHEN: Saturday, February 5, 9:30-10:30 AM
WHERE: Maplewood City Hall Council Chambers, 1830 County Road B East, Maplewood, MN 55119
Posted at 9:14 AM on February 4, 2011
by Tim Nelson
Governor Mark Dayton is rolling out an education reform agenda this morning at the Capitol. We'll be updating during the event:
9:45 -- Dayton says the first month of his administration has gone well, and says the Legislature is off to a quick start. He says he's focused on getting ready for the State of the State address next week. "I'm not bored."
9:42 -- Cassellius says the award will try to support spreading best practices around the state.
9:40 -- Casselius talking a little about Excellence in Education award. Says it will recognize teachers that are getting "excellent results on the MCA."
9:36 -- Dayton says he'd rather have diagnostic tests. "We've been taking a backward look at testing, using them to categorize and blame schools" for circumstances that may not be in their control. "We want streamlined accountability.. the tests are so frequent and so dominant, that they're skewing teaching."
9:30 -- "We're not ready to put numbers to it, but at least grow about what the nation is doing, in terms of closing the achievement gap," Cassellius says, in response to question about achievement gap goals.
9:28 -- MPR's Tom Weber asks where the money will come from, asks about income tax. "Nothing is specifically tied to anything," Dayton responds. Says again that he wants an overall budget solution.
9:26 -- Handout also says state will "create alternative pathways to teacher licensure that maintain quality."
9:24 -- Dayton says commission on education funding will include education commissioner and "legislators from both sides of the aisle." Says they will have an assessment of state's current funding formula by the end of March.
9:20 -- Handout says state will establish "Test Reduction Task Force," as well as Governor's Award for Excellence in Education and a "Governor's Achievement Gap Innovation Fund." No numbers, however.
9:19 -- Ed Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says state will launch statewide campaign to get every child reading by 3rd grade.
9:17 -- He says next week's budget will fulfill his campaign promise to increase public education funding "no excuses, no exceptions."
9:15 -- Dayton says he has a "7-point plan for Better Schools for a Better Minnesota." Handout says he is going to establish a "Governor's Commission on Better School Funding."
Minnesota Senate President Michelle Fischbach announced today that a hearing will be held next week on a DFL complaint against Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson.
The Senate Rules Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct will hold a probable cause hearing Feb. 9.
Three DFL senators filed a complaint last week after Newman turned down a meeting request from the Minnesota Nurses Association. His legislative aide told the nurses that it was because they supported Newman's DFL opponent in the November election. Newman later apologized and said he was not aware of the rejection.
Posted at 4:12 PM on February 4, 2011
by Tim Nelson
Filed under: MPR in D.C.
Larson was a fundraiser and an advisor for Republican U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (it was his apartment that Coleman famously lived in so cheaply in Washington) and gained some notoriety as the party activist that initially bankrolled Sarah Palin's wardrobe makeover in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention in 2008.
Larson was executive director of the local host committee for the convention that year.
Most recently, he was finance chair for the Wisconsin Republicans, working for state party chair Reince Priebus. He led the GOP there to a win in the gubernatorial race, the defeat of Democratic U.S. Senator Russ Feingold and the takeover of the state Legislature.
Larson is a North Dakota native who has served in all kinds of party jobs, from driving candidates around to executive director of the party in Delaware and up. He said he hopes that experience helps he and fellow GOPers get up to speed quickly.
The party is more than $20 million in debt and Larson's well-known fundraising ability will likely be handy. He formerly ran FLS connect, once considered one of the biggest and most succesful political telemarketing operations in the world.
"I bring a lot of experience of serving as an executive director of a state party, in the political shop as a regional political director," Larson said in an interview today. "Experience in the convention and certainly raising the money for the convention and what that took. As well as the small dollar stuff in the finance division."
Larson came to Minnesota about 20 years ago, during the Jon Grunseth run for governor -- a1990 campaign in which future governor Tim Pawlenty played a prominent role. Larson has also raised money for Mitt Romney.
But he said it'll be the party members, not the staff, that will be picking the next Republican nominee for president. His connections won't be the ones that count.
He said he wouldn't put much stock in Wisconsin's sudden prominence in national Republican politics, either.
"I don't think, regionally, it was anything. But at the same time, I think the Midwest clearly is an important part of the country and someplace that the Republican Party has to do well in 2012. And I think we're putting the building blocks in place to do that."
Larson has moved out to DC for his new gig, but says Minnesota and the Twin Cities haven't seen the last of him.
"I'll be back," Larson says. "I'll be here full time for two years, but my roots and home are still going to be in Hudson and Wisconsin. But I'm looking forward to it. I think its going to be a great experience."