Gov. Mark Dayton is celebrating his first 100 days in office by going after GOP legislative leaders for pinning their hopes on imaginary money. Dayton says House Republicans have crafted a budget that is $1.2 billion short and Senate Republicans crafted a budget that is $1.1 billion short. Republicans say they will work with Dayton to reach agreement on their budget numbers but also want to know where Dayton stands on a federal health waiver.
The Star Tribune has a good look at Dayton's first 100 days in office. Both his friends and foes are surprised by his actions as governor.
On another note, Dayton told MPR News that he'd sign the Ag budget bill.
Dayton holds a round table today at Metro State to discuss higher education.
The House Taxes Committee will hold a hearing on his budget plan.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk will be on TPT's Almanac at the Capitol tonight.
Datyon will honor the UMD Bulldogs today.
MPR takes a look at what Circle Pines residents think of the budget. The suburb has helped determine the balance of power in the Minnesota Legislature over the past eight years.
Dayton visited a Woodbury High School on Tuesday.
Dayton also announced that he wants the state to start using data analytics to prevent Medicaid fraud.
Abortion restrictions start advancing in the Minnesota Legislature.
A Senate committee started considering a bill that would clamp down on concussions in student athletes.
Carrots for convicts! Some lawmakers want inmates to tend gardens.
A Minnesota Senate panel approved auto insurance bills that limit lawsuits.
Outstate parks and trails want a bigger piece of the Legacy Money.
A bill would ban video of Minnesota farming operations.
A privacy debate over newborn screening has surfaced again at the State Capitol.
Opponents to a new Vikings stadium start lining up.
Presient Obama will outline his vision for long-term deficit reduction tonight during a speech to the nation.
Liberals worry Obama is giving up ground.
MPR takes a look at how the federal budget cuts will impact Minnesota.
A loss of federal wolf control money blindsides the state of Minnesota.
Meanwhile, Congress is directly intervening in the Endangered Species list and is removing the Rocky Mountain wolf from the list.
The budget deal also makes deep cuts to the high speed rail program.
Obama is also challenging hospitals to reduce medical errors.
Democrat Mary Jo McGuire won the special election in Senate District 66 with 80 percent of the vote. The district includes Falcon Heights and portions of St. Paul.
Race for President
Just so everyone is clear - the guy who has been ramping up a run for the White House since June 1, 2009 is not officially running for president.... yet. That will be official in a few weeks.
Pawlenty announced this morning that Jon Seaton will be his political director. Seaton runs East Meridian Strategies.
Pawlenty told NewsMax that he isn't in favor of raising the debt ceiling.
Pawlenty will be in Iowa on Saturday.
Politico says Pawlenty's health care record could also be a target.
Reuters takes a look at the key issues that some of the candidates will focus on.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is planning private meetings with New Hampshire Tea Party leaders.
Bachmann and Newt Gingrich will headline a Minnesota Family Council dinner.
Politico says South Carolina Republicans are talking up Bachmann and aren't mentioning Pawlenty at all.(2 Comments)
Two of Minnesota's presidential hopefuls, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, hit the national TV airwaves today to comment on President Obama's speech to address the long-term deficit.
On NBC's Today show, Bachmann said she would oppose any tax hikes to help erase the deficit.
"That's his formula for turning the country around after spending us trillions of dollars in debt," she said. "Now its time to tax the people who create the wealth."
Meanwhile, Pawlenty said on Fox and Friends that he doesn't think Obama will offer anything meaningful.
"It will be warmed over proposals from before and I don't think you'll see details," Pawlenty said. "Everybody I've talked to that's a job provider in this country says the same thing in one form or another, get the government off my back."
You can listen to President Obama's speech live on MPR News at 12:30.
It's been three days after the introduction of the long-awaited bill to build the Vikings a new stadium. Now comes an audible thud from at least one Republican in the state Senate.
Assistant majority leader Dave Thompson put out this statement this afternoon:
"I acknowledge the Minnesota Vikings are a state asset. However, Republicans campaigned on the message of sensible government, low taxes and decreased regulation. The voters sent us a clear message."
"As legislators, we are making tough decisions relating to education, public safety and the health of our most vulnerable citizens. It is inconceivable that we would fund a stadium to help multi-million dollar athletes pay their mortgages while many middle class Minnesotans are struggling to pay theirs. The focus of the legislature should be on creating a business friendly environment that facilitates success for the Minnesota Vikings and every other job provider in our state."
Senate GOP spokeswoman Susan Closmore said it's Thompson's position, not that of the caucus. But, as is the case in the House, the stadium bill still isn't showing any signs of turning up in committee in the near future.(4 Comments)
DFL U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison isn't too happy about a deal to keep the government funded through September.
In an April 11, 2011 interview on MPR News, Ellison said that the 11th-hour compromise relies too much on spending cuts and not enough on revenue.
"The problem is not that we need to cut, cut, cut, the problem is that we have two-thirds of all American corporations that don't pay any taxes," he said.
Ellison is on solid ground with his claim.
Ellison points to a 2008 Government Accountability Office report to support his claim. The study, which looked at corporate income taxes paid between 1998 and 2005, appears to be the most recent analysis of the issue.
According to the report, about 66 percent of all United States corporations didn't pay any income tax in 2005, the last year included in the study. That percentage didn't change much between 1998 and 2004. It's important to point out that only 3 percent of all the firms reported no income taxes in every year examined in the study.
There are plenty of reasons why a business doesn't report corporate income tax. For instance, some may have had an operating loss in previous years, and newer operations may not be making enough to be taxed.
Ellison is correct: based on the most recent data, roughly two-thirds of all U.S. corporations don't pay income taxes.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midmorning, April 11, 2011
The Government Accountability Office, Comparison of the Reported Tax Liabilities of Foreign- and U.S.-Controlled Corporations, 1998-2005, July 2008
Associated Press, Most Companies Pay No Federal Income Tax, Aug. 12, 2008
Tax Policy Center, Boring Report Prompts Sensational Claims on Corporate Tax Avoidance, by Eric Toder, Aug. 20, 2008
Interview, Micah Clemens, spokesman, Rep. Keith Ellison, April 11, 2011
Interview, James White, Government Accountability Office, April 12, 2011
Interview, Eric Toder, Urban Institute, April 12, 2011
Interview, Alan Viard, American Enterprise Institute, April 12, 2011
Interview, Chuck Marr, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, April 12, 2011
The Humphrey School(1 Comments)
Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, issued this statement on President Obama's speech.
"President Obama today articulated a balanced approach to bringing down the national deficit with fairness and shared responsibility. He wisely protects the middle class while asking the richest Americans to share the responsibility and the sacrifice of debt reduction. Equally important, he protects investments in education, transportation and other infrastructure that support job growth and American competitiveness.(1 Comments)
His approach stands in stark contrast to the proposals put forward by Republicans in Congress, who ask America's middle class and senior citizens to shoulder much more than their share of the responsibility for reducing the Nation's debt."
DFL Sen. Al Franken appeared on MPR's Midday today to discuss the budget battle in Washington, President Obama's speech and other issues facing Congress. During the conversation, Franken expressed concern that the federal government could eventually default on its debt for the first time in the nation's history.
"We cannot default on our treasuries, on our debt," Franken said. "We just can't do that. The Treasury bill is the most secure investment in the world and must stay that way. If we default on our debt, it will be absolute disaster. We cannot allow that to happen."
You can listen to the entire Midday here.
You can read more about the debt ceiling here.