Posted at 6:31 AM on March 22, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Pawlenty then took part in a live tele-townhall with supporters.
The Washington Post says Pawlenty's first battle is famililiarity.
AP says the perfect GOP candidate is hard to find.
Politico takes a look at Pawlenty's path to the nomination.
Under the Dome
Republicans continue to release their budget bills.
The House HHS omnibus bill makes $1.6 billion in cuts. A bulk of the cuts goes to programs aimed at keeping the elderly and disabled out of nursing homes. The bill also books $300 million in savings through a federal waiver that allows the state to change how it delivers the Medicaid program. Democrats say the math doesn't add up.
MPR story on the bill here.
Lawmakers also propose new restrictions on welfare cards.
The Dayton Administration also objects to the House K12 budget bill.
Job training is a casualty in the House Jobs and Economic Development budget bill.
A Racino bill was introduced. This time the measure is tied to job creation.
Gov. Dayton will hold a news conference to announce a campaign finance proposal this morning. He has said earlier that he wants lawmakers and candidates to file reports on a quarterly basis so there is complete disclosure.
Dayton will also sign a bill into law that will increase the penalties on people who injure police dogs. An injured dog will be present at the news conference.
He signed the federal tax conformity bill into law.
He also sent his revised budget to the Legislature.
Worth a look
MPR takes a look at gun violence in Minneapolis.
The U.S. led assault is nearing its goal in Libya.
Some lawmakers are unhappy that President Obama didn't fully consult Congress on military action on Libya.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will introduce a bill to ban a synthetic drug linked to the death of a Minnesota teen.
GOP Rep. John Kline held a hearing in PA and said the nation's education system is failing.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen launched a website for the House Med Tech Caucus.
The New York Times profiles Haley Barbour.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum released a statement saying she supports the U.S. involvement in creating a "No Fly Zone" in Libya. But the 4th District Congresswoman also says she wants President Obama to consult with Congress before any other military action is taken.
Here's her statement:
"The brave men and women of America's armed forces are fulfilling critical missions around the world. Now, they are participating in a broad international coalition to protect the Libyan people from a murderous tyrant. While I support the current, limited U.S. mission in Libya, I have serious concerns about deepening U.S. military involvement. President Obama must consult with Congress before further expanding America's commitment in Libya."
Gov. Dayton is holding a news conference this hour to outline changes he'd like to see made to the state's campaign finance disclosure system. Dayton is asking the Legislature to pass a law that would require elected officials, political campaigns and political committees that have received or spent more than $5,000 ina year to file quarterly campaign reports with the Campaign Finance Board.
Current campaign finance law only requires such committees to file one year-end report in non-election years.
"For far too long, special interests have hidden their influence on the legislative process in Minnesota, because of weak contribution reporting requirements," Dayton said in a statement. "Current state law allows political contributions in non-election years to be hidden for thirteen months. That is disgraceful. Minnesotans have a right to know who is paying whom for influence at the Capitol."
Dayton says he'll voluntarily release his campaign finance reports quarterly to set an example.
More members of Minnesota's Congressional delegation are weighing in on American military operations in Libya.
DFL Sen. Al Franken said today he supports the mission. But in a statement to MPR News, Franken also suggested that the Obama administration needs to better explain the mission's goals.
"While I personally believe that Qaddafi should go, people need to understand that the purpose of the force we're using is specifically to protect civilians, not to coerce a regime change," Franken said.
At a time when Congress is debating how deeply to cut spending, Franken also called on President Obama to clarify the financial costs of the military operations in Libya.
Here's the full statement:
"The Libyan government's violence against its own people is completely unacceptable," said Sen. Franken. "Innocent civilians in Libya must be protected from massacre by Qaddafi and that is why I support the action the president has taken so far. Our participation is limited in scope and duration, the president has stated categorically there will be no U.S. ground troops deployed, and we are working in partnership with an international coalition enforcing a U.N. resolution."
"While I personally believe that Qaddafi should go, people need to understand that the purpose of the force we're using is specifically to protect civilians, not to coerce a regime change. The president also needs to clarify how much this operation is going to cost American taxpayers, and how it's going to be paid for. I look forward to the Administration consulting with Congress in more detail on that and other issues related to this operation."
Governor Dayton has signed a bill that would increase penalties against people who injure or kill police dogs. Dayton held the bill signing ceremony this afternoon
"We have had a lot of canines assaulted over the course of the last couple of years in the state of Minnesota," Jorgensen said. "This legislation needed to be brought forward so as the Senators and Representatives said, we can better protect these dogs that are quite often the tip of the spear for us out there. We send them after the worst of the worst and they do that honorably and with extreme loyalty."
The new law means people who intentionally injure police dogs could be sentenced to up to two years in prison and pay fines of up to $5,000 if they injure or kill a police dog.
One of Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen's top priorities in this Congress is to repeal a new tax on medical devices, and he just got a new ally: the U.S. Chamber of Congress, the nation's biggest business lobby.
The 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices is part of the health care overhaul passed last year, and the money raised by the tax is supposed to go toward the law's implementation starting in 2013. Paulsen has introduced legislation to eliminate the tax.
"This new 2.3 percent tax on virtually all medical devices beginning in 2013 will lead to increased health care costs, undercutting one of the primary goals of health care reform," said R. Bruce Josten, the Chamber's top lobbyist.
The Chamber's support is significant. The organization carries considerable clout in Washington and spent $132 million lobbying lawmakers and the federal government last year, more than any other organization, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Paulsen is very close to the medical device industry, which has a considerable presence in his district and in Minnesota. Yesterday, Paulsen launched the bipartisan congressional Medical Technology Caucus website.