MPR says Gov. Mark Dayton sits down today with Minnesota mayors as Republican lawmakers consider enforcing a local property tax cap.
Republicans in the House and Senate take aim at teachers' bargaining power.
The Star Tribune takes a look at how difficult it will be for lawmakers to balance the budget through spending cuts alone.
The Pi Press takes a look at the debate over cutting Health and Human Services programs.
Republicans are also targeting restrictions on new coal plants.
A Hennepin County judge dismissed a challenge to the state's gay marriage law.
Several political veterans, including Vice-President Walter Mondale and GOP House Speaker Steve Sviggum, are pushing to change how the state draws its political maps.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak talked entrepreneurship and Surly Brewing at his State of the City address.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and other city leaders support a school reform plan.
Hutchinson Technology cut hundreds of jobs.
The CEO of Wells Fargo says business leaders are uneasy about spending their cash.
A bill would exempt ethanol plants from one environmental review.
Dayton will speak at this year's MinnRoast.
President Obama is resisting calls for military action in Libya.
Senate Republican leaders are putting pressure on their moderates who are balking at voting for a bill that produces deep spending cuts.
The CBO says Senate Democrats proposed $6.5 billion in cuts is actually $4.7 billion.
In a hidden video, an NPR executive, who has left NPR, slams the Tea Party and questions the need for federal funds.
A tax complaint was filed against Norm Coleman's American Action Network.
David Petraeus says he sees military progress in Afganistan.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar proposed tighter teen driving laws.
DFL Sen. Al Franken will keynote the Michigan Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson dinner on April 16th.
GOP Rep. John Kline wants the Mine Safety Administration to release secret audits of the agency.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says radicalization is an issue for all religions not just for Muslims.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered concessions on the union bill.
Race for Congress
The campaigning has already started in Minnesota's 1st.
Race for President
Tim Pawlenty says he wants to be "every person's candidate."
Dana Milbank skewers Pawlenty by saying he's running as someone else.
A fact-checker says Bachmann's claim that President Obama "snuck in" $105 billion into the federal health care law "is bordering on ridiculous."
Here's a look at Mitt Romney is downplaying Iowa.
Salon says Romney is still the favorite.
Michele Bachmann has a bone to pick with the authors of the health care reform bill.
"There was a Congressional Research Service report that just was issued in February, and we discovered that secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress, over $105 billion was hidden in the Obamacare legislation to fund the implementation of Obamacare," she said during her March 6, 2011 appearance on Meet the Press.
In a separate press release issued March 4, she said the funding was a "new $105 billion levy on American taxpayers."
Bachmann's figure of $105 billion is in the ballpark. But she's wrong to say the number was a secret.
Bachmann's office did not return PoliGraph's emails or phone calls for clarification on her statement, but it appears she's referring to a February, 2011, Congressional Research Service report that outlines appropriations and funding transfers in the health care overhaul.
According to that CRS report, the bill includes nearly $105 billion in spending through 2019 for new programs created by the health care bill, such as the health insurance exchanges, and existing programs, such as the Children's Health Insurance Program.
But to say that this funding was somehow hidden from lawmakers is false. Spending was clearly outlined in the legislation, and lawmakers had about three months to read the text before voting on it. Furthermore, many of these provisions, such as a temporary program for those who have pre-existing conditions, which will get $5 billion, and a plan to create health insurance co-ops, which will get $6 billion, got a lot of media attention throughout the health care debate.
Bachmann's separate claim that the $105 billion in spending is a "levy on American taxpayers" is false. While the health care bill is paid for partly with tax increases and partly with savings from programs like Medicare, Bachmann is referring to spending appropriations, not new taxes as her claim would imply. And at least $11.8 billion of that funding is simply being transferred from existing spending, such as Medicare Part A, to new programs.
Bachmann is correct to say that there is $105 billion in funding in the health care bill. But her claim makes it appear that this is news. It is not. And the appropriations she's referring to are not tax increases.
By cloaking the numbers in claims that the Obama administration is hiding the money, her claim goes beyond misleading to false.
Meet the Press, Sunday, March 6, 2011
Press Release, Bachmann Calls on President to Apologize, March 4, 2011
The Congressional Research Service, Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), by C. Stephen Redhead, October 14, 2010
The Congressional Research Service, Appropriations and Fund Transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), by C. Stephen Redhead, February 10, 2011 (Get link)
The House of Representatives, Compilation of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended through May 1, 2010, accessed March. 7, 2011
Thomas, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, accessed March 7, 2011
Thomas, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, accessed March 7, 2011
The Kaiser Family Foundation, Summary of the New Health Reform Law, March 26, 2010
The Congressional Budget Office, Selected CBO Publications Related to Health Care Legislation, 2009-2010, December 2010
Reuters, FACTBOX-Major tax provisions in U.S. healthcare bill, March 22, 2010
The Humphrey School
Gov. Dayton announced today that he's appointing DFL Sen. Ellen Anderson to the Public Utilities Commission. The appointment means Anderson will leave the Minnesota Legislature after serving there for 19 years.
Anderson has chaired the Senate Energy and Utilities and Telecommunications Committee during her time. She's also argued for energy companies to increase the use of renewable energy and has been advocate to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Anderson will submit her resignation, effective March 20th. Dayton has called a special primary for March 29th. The General Election will be April 12th.
Anderson represents St. Paul and Falcon Heights.
That didn't take long. Several Democrats have already announced that they're running or are thinking about a run for the Minnesota Senate seat that will be vacated by DFL Sen. Ellen Anderson. Gov. Dayton appointed Anderson to the Public Utilities Commission earlier today. Anderson will officially resign on March 20th triggering a special election in a seat that includes St. Paul and Falcon Heights.
DFL Rep. John Lesch told MPR News that he's running for the seat.
"Consider me officially in," Lesch said.
DFL Rep. Alice Hausman says she's considering it.
"I'm taking a deep breath and thinking about it," Hausman said.
Darin Broton, who ran several political campaigns in recent years, says he's also thinking about a run. Broton currently works for Tunheim Partners.
Another possible candidate is St. Paul City Council member Lee Helgen. Helgen says he's focused on his reelection to the City Council.
"I'm committed to running for reelection," Helgen said. "I appreciate that people are thinking about me and would consider me as a potential candidate but it's not something I thought a lot about yet."
Helgen was careful to note that he only learned about Anderson's departure only a half an hour ago.
Helgen says he is NOT considering a run for the MN Senate seat and is focused on his reelection.
Helgen's opponent for the St. Paul City Council seat, Amy Brendmoen, is also thinking about it.
"I wouldn't rule it out," Brendmoen said in an e-mail. "But I am pretty focused on the city council race and issues at present."
Dayton has scheduled the primary election for March 29th. The General Election will be held on April 12th.
I'll update with other names, etc.
Former DFL Rep. Mary Jo McGuire says she's also thinking about a run. But she said it depends on Hausman. McGuire says she won't run if Hausman does run. McGuire decided to retire from the Minnesota House in 2002 after redistricting forced her into Hausman's district.
"I wouldn't have left at the point but I wouldn't have left if it weren't for redistricting," McGuire said. "When a seat opens like this, it's intriguing to think about."