Gov. Mark Dayton is proposing legislation to increase the pension available to the family of a Minnesota Department of Transportation employee who was killed last week while working on flood response.
Mike Struck is survived by his wife and two young children. Current law provides a survivor's pension of $191 a month. Dayton is proposing $2,000 a month, which is similar to the survivor's pension for a state patrol officer killed in the line of duty.
"Mike Struck gave his life in service of the people of Minnesota," Dayton said in a news release. "It would be shameful to leave his widow and her two young children with a pension of less than $2300 a year. My proposed legislation shows them the compassion that their terrible loss deserves. The people of Minnesota will know in their hearts that this is the right thing to do."
Posted at 12:38 PM on April 1, 2011
by Mark Zdechlik
Filed under: Michele Bachmann
Rep. Michele Bachmann's Chief of Staff told MPR News that the Republican congresswoman's political action committee raised $500,000 during the first three months of the year, and that her separate congressional campaign committee collected $1.7 million during the same time, for a total of $2.2 million. Bachmann is considering running for president in 2012. Chief of Staff Andy Parrish told MPR News Bachmann is "encouraged" by the support from hundreds of thousands of people all over the country.
Federal Election Commission rules would allow Bachmann to transfer congressional campaign committee money to a presidential campaign if Bachmann chooses a White House bid over running for another term in the House of Representatives.
Once upon a time, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty supported a cap-and-trade plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Cap-and-trade sets an overall limit on pollution and lets businesses bid for the right to continue emissions.
Now, Pawlenty says his support for cap-and-trade was "a mistake." But he's also pointed out that he's not the only potential Republican candidate who has a mixed record on the issue.
"Everybody in the race - at least the big names in the race - embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another," he said on the March 28, 2011, episode of the Laura Ingraham radio show. "Every one of us."
Not every GOP hopeful has tried to tackle climate change, but many of them did.
Pawlenty's spokesman did not respond to questions about who the "big names in the race" are, but it's clear that a number of Republicans who are frequently mentioned as potential candidates have changed their position on climate change.
• Sarah Palin: As governor of Alaska, Palin formed a subcabinet to tackle climate change, and she became involved in the Western Climate Initiative, a group with the goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions. She also supported capping emissions as Sen. John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election. But just months after McCain lost, she wrote in an op-ed that President Barack Obama's cap-and-trade plan was a "threat to our economy."
• Newt Gingrich: In 2007, the former House Speaker said that "mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system" is something he would "strongly support," and in 2008, he made an ad with Rep. Nancy Pelosi saying that the country, "must take action to address climate change." Since then, Gingrich has blasted legislation to cap emissions.
• Mitt Romney: As Massachusetts governor, Romney first supported a regional plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but ultimately backed-off because he feared it would be too expensive for consumers. More recently, he's said that cap-and-trade would have a "devastating impact" on the economy.
• Mike Huckabee: The former Arkansas governor has also sent mixed messages about his stance on climate change.
Still, there are three potential candidates in the field who have not changed their position on climate change.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has been a leading GOP advocate for climate action, setting a goal to bring Utah's emissions down to 2005 levels by 2020. So far, it appears he's not wavered on the issue.
Meanwhile, it appears former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who once lobbied for energy companies, and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann have never flirted with the idea of supporting cap-and-trade.
Minus Barbour and Bachmann, Pawlenty is right that most potential GOP candidates have "embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another."
Pawlenty isn't precise on this one, and it's also tough to say just who is and who isn't a big name in the race right now. He's close enough that his claim passes the PoliGraph test.
YouTube, The Laura Ingraham Show, March 28, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio, Pawlenty, Doyle and other Midwest governors sign on to global warming pact, by Stephanie Hemphill, Nov. 15, 2011
Minnesota Public Radio, Pawlenty's current climate change stance differs from past , by Tom Scheck, Sept. 23, 2009
PolitiFact.com, Palin flips on her support of cap-and-trade, by Catharine Richert, July 20, 2009
The Washington Post, The 'Cap And Tax' Dead End , by Gov. Sarah Palin, July 14, 2009
Time.com, On Global Warming, No Clear Skies For Most 2012 GOP Contenders, by Michael Scherer, March 24, 2011
YouTube, Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich Commercial on Climate Change, accessed March 31, 2011
Frontline, Interview with Newt Gingrich, February 15, 2007
Atlanta Journal Constitution, Newt Gingrich: Cap-and-trade is 'an energy tax' and a job-killer, by Jim Galloway, April 24, 2009
ABC News, Gingrich Rips Obama Budget's 'Energy Tax'; OMB Says Higher Costs Offset by Tax Credit, by Teddy Davis, February 27, 2009
YouTube, Mitt Romney on Cap and Trade, October 7, 2009
Grist, Is Jon Huntsman the greenest GOP presidential hopeful?, by Lisa Hymas, February 2, 2011
The Associated Press, The 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates' positions on the issues, by Calvin Woodward, Dec. 18, 2007
The Boston Herald, Romney OK with plan on emissions, July 24, 2003
The Star Tribune, Michele Bachmann: 'Cap and trade'? More like 'tax and spend', by Rep. Michele Bachmann, June 9, 2008
The Humphrey School(1 Comments)
Minnesota Public Radio has obtained a draft of the Vikings stadium bill.
People who have seen the bill say it's authentic, but there will likely be changes by the time it's introduced next week.
This version is labeled "Version 2" and dates from March 21, so it's at least of recent vintage. It's got more twists and turns than an Adrian Peterson run, but it makes for some great reading.
The highlights of this version pretty much match the letter and the bill summary that the Vikings published last night. But there are a lot more details.
There's no overall pricetag for the stadium in the bill, but the language requires the team to pay at least a third of the cost.
A proposed 40 year lease may mean state officials are thinking about an unusual 40-year Metropolitan Council bond sale to finance the stadium. It would be the longest lease in the NFL.
This version also includes a very long list of potential taxes, including liquor, sales, lodging, sports memorabilia, entertainment taxes, ticket taxes, food and beverage taxes, and even a "local tax to be named later" provision. It also allows the use of excess funds from the Twins stadium tax, as well as taxes generated to repay Minneapolis convention center bonds.
It also has a public protection clause, allowing the state to retain the team name and up to 18 percent of the team if it is sold within 10 years after the bill becomes law, pro-rated at 1.8 percent per year.
Under this bill, the taxes could blink on by June 30 this year, and local "partners" could submit bids to be part of the deal. A site selection committee is scheduled to pick a site by February 15, 2012.
Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said he wouldn't comment on the particulars of the bill, but said it provided a "framework" to open negotiations. Responding to earlier reports of the bill, he cited a player income tax surcharge and a luxury box tax as two items that might be sticking points for the Vikings.
GOP legislative leaders said at the Capitol today that the stadium is not a priority for them, and they want to finish work on the budget. Gov. Mark Dayton issued a statement on the stadium proposal that said, "This bill is a good start, and gets the stadium discussion started within the Legislature."
At any rate, here's your weekend reading.
Update:An official who has seen later a later version of this bill says the naming rights may not stay with the team in the final version. The state may count the revenue for its contribution.