Posted at 6:50 AM on April 15, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov. Dayton will sign the Ag budget bill today in a public ceremony. The House and Senate passed the bill on Thursday.
Republican leaders are getting hit from their conservative base on spending.
DFL members say GOP cuts will hurt minorities.
The federal government approved New Jersey's request for the feds to pick up half of the costs for the adult Medicaid population. That means New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a darling of conservatives, is on the same page as Gov. Dayton. Dayton signed the MA expansion in January. Christie is also seeking a global waiver to change how it administers Medicaid. That waiver hasn't been approved yet. Republicans in the Legislature are seeking a similar path.
Gov. Dayton will attend a troop deployment ceremony today in Rosemount. 55 members of the Minnesota National Guard are headed to Afghanistan.
Lawmakers made a change to the Green Acres program.
A fight over photo ID at the polls shifts to money.
GOP Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer says she'd look to put the voter ID on the ballot if Gov. Dayton vetoes the bill.
Minneapolis may ask the county to run the elections.
Democrat Mark Dayton dropped Tim Pawlenty's executive order on immigration.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf made the rounds at the State Capitol on Thursday to make his case for a new Vikings stadium. No other news on the stadium front.
The IRRRB will vote today on a $4 million loan for PolyMet land.
Dayton pledged support for gay rights at a rally.
The Minnesota Senate votes to lift carbon dioxide restrictions on coal plants.
Congress approved the budget bill and sent it to President Obama.
Three of the members of Minnesota's delegation voted against the bill; Democrat Keith Ellison and Republicans Chip Cravaack and Michele Bachmann.
Congress is now priming for the next budget battle.
The GAO says unsafe medical devices are still being sold.
DFL Sen. Al Franken had a not so nice text message for Tina Fey after she joked that she didn't need his campaign contribution to win.
Franken says the texts were just banter.
Race for Congress
GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack raised $121k in the 1st Quarter. He also bought part of GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's fundraising list.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen raised $336k in 1st Quarter. He has $392k in the bank.
Race for President
President Obama kicked off his 2012 fundraising in Chicago.
Tim Pawlenty will appear at a Tea Party rally in Boston today.
Pawlenty spoke out against raising the debt ceiling. He made the comments during a speech in New Hampshire.
Pawlenty hired Jon Lerner, a pollster with South Carolina connections, to be his pollster.
Jerry Kilgore, a GOP candidate for governor in 2005, will take an active role in Pawlenty's campaign there.
With help from the DFL Party, Democrats dog Tim Pawlenty at events across the country. MPR has a story.
Fox News lists three reasons why Pawlenty has a shot to win the GOP nomination.
The L.A. Times says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's votes could define her candidacy.
Christianity Today interviewed Bachmann.
The Iowa Family Leader may endorse a candidate.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson says the House Agriculture Committee is taking a disproportionate hit under GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget plan.
"Overall, we're talking about a 25 percent cut for [the Agriculture Committee], and we're not seeing 25 percent cuts to other parts of the budget bill," the 7th District Democrat told the Fergus Falls Daily Journal on April 12, 2011.
The Agriculture Committee, which Peterson serves on, could see big budget cuts, but it isn't the only one.
The Ryan proposal outlines future spending for 16 House committees. Six of them, including Armed Services, which is slated to get $1.7 trillion over 10 years and Foreign Affairs, which is expected to get $242 billion over 10 years, would see no budget cuts.
The remaining 10 committees would see billions slashed from their allowances, including the Agriculture Committee. Under current law, Peterson's panel is expected to get about $760 billion over the next 10 years. If Ryan's budget is adopted, that figure would be reduced to about $585 billion - about a 25 percent reduction in the panel's budget authority.
Those cuts include a $30 billion reduction in farm subsidies and a $127 billion reduction in spending on food stamps.
But Peterson is incorrect when he implies that other committees aren't seeing 25 percent cuts. For instance, the Education and Workforce Committee will see a more than 250 percent cut in its budget authority. The Homeland Security Committee will see an 88 percent cut in its budget authority. And the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over health programs including Medicare, would see a 30 percent reduction in its pool of cash.
It's worth noting that the committees that would see the largest percentage cuts would produce the smallest savings. For instance, cutting the Homeland Security's budget will only save the government $16.6 billion compared to the $177 billion Ryan wants to pull from the farm committee's pockets.
Still, even when it comes to dollar amounts, the Agriculture Committee comes in a distant third compared to the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees, which would both see about $1.3 trillion in cuts over the next decade.
Peterson correctly points out that his committee would see a 25 percent reduction in spending if the Ryan budget is passed. That's a lot of money, but Peterson misleads people when he contends that other committees aren't in the same boat. In terms of percentages and dollar amounts, other panels would see bigger cuts.
The Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Peterson: Ag subsidy cuts excessive, by Tom Hintgen, April 12, 2011
The House of Representatives Budget Committee, Concurrent Resolution on the Budget - Fiscal Year 2012, accessed April 14, 2011
Congressional Research Service, Reductions in Mandatory Agriculture Spending, Jim
Monke and Megan Stubbs, May 19, 2010
Interview, Liz Friedlander, spokeswoman, House Agriculture Committee, April 14, 2011
Interview, Brian Riedl, The Heritage Foundation, April 14, 2011
The Humphrey School(2 Comments)
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the omnibus agriculture bill this morning and took questions afterward. He mentioned that he'd happened upon Zygi Wilf, the Vikings owner, in town to stump for the stadium bill parked at the Capitol this week.
Dayton gave some daylight to those mythical "local partners" that the deal counts on. He suggested a car rental and metro hotel tax might play into a deal, meaning a city or county would have to raise less with a potential sales or other local tax -- a much easier proposition to sell to a county board or city council.
Otherwise, he hit the usual points, including his staunch optimism that a deal is in the offing. Here's a truncated version of the questions, and a transcript of Dayton's answers.
Q: You met with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf?
A: Well, I was leaving the University Club speaking to the Metro Cities last night, and I just coincidentally, he was, it wasn't planned. He was in the building, and so Lester Bagley realized I was in there. And I went down. It was just a very informal conversation. He seemed hopeful, and I said I was hopeful that this would be passed through the legislative process this session. It's still to be determined, but I remain hopeful.
Q: What did you talk about?
A: I wasn't planning on meeting with him, so I didn't have anything specific to discuss. But it was just glad to see you again. And I understood that he had been meeting with some of the Legislators earlier in the day. And his son just got married. We talked a little bit about that and talked about how his son is 26, and they were back in town some day, I'd like to introduce him to my two sons, who are 30 and 27. It was really a pretty casual conversation.
Q: What are those hopes you spoke of based on?
A: Because we have some very good authors in both the House and the Senate, and bipartisan support in the both House and the Senate. And because I think it's possible. Ted Mondale is really the person who's spearheading this and has more of the details. And we'll have a meeting next week... I'll get briefed more fully.
But you know, I think there are some managable financial situations such that there would not be any general fund monies used, and so that the bulk of the costs would be born by the team, the Vikings, and also by the users of the stadium, as I've said before through surcharges on the tickets and the luxury suites, the beverage, the souvenirs. I also recommend that they look at car rental and hotel in the Metropolitan area. Car rental statewide, hotel in the metropolitan area because then you'll have people from outside Minnesota paying off some of those costs.
So we'll minimize any burden at all even with a local share on any taxpayers, and there will be nothing out of the general fund. And I think that's going to be a workable package and one that ultimately will gain enough support in both the House and the Senate and I'll sign it. So that's the basis of my optimisim. But it's to be determined.
Tim Pawlenty reports raising $160,000 in the first ten days of his start-up committee for president.
The former Minnesota governor opened his exploratory committee for president on March 21st. Several people donated to his campaign, including his former chief of staff, the former finance chair for his federal PAC, the Chair of the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and the former managing partner of the San Francisco Giants.
Pawlenty's advisers asked donors to wait until April 1 to write checks to his PAC so he would make bigger headlines when he reported his second quarter numbers in July.
Pawlenty spent $43,000 of his funds on travel, consulting and office supplies.
You can read the campaign report here.
Gov. Dayton voluntarily released his campaign fundraising activity in the 1st Quarter of this year. He reports raising $28,000 between January 1 and April 1. He reported spending $12,000 during the same time period.
He pulled in $4,000 from lobbyists and PACs (before the legislative session began).
Dayton has been encouraging state lawmakers to change campaign finance law to require quarterly reporting. He said it would increase transparency in the legislative process. He told reporters earlier this week that he would veto any election law legislation that didn't include this proposal. Republican legislators have not held a hearing on his proposal.
Here's Dayton's full report.