Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have a 9am meeting at the governor's residence today to discuss the budget. I wonder if there will be any frostiness after the two sides traded barbs yesterday.
Gov. Dayton said his commissioners would not participate in a legislative hearing that was aimed to discuss his budget. He also called for an outside mediator to help reconcile their differences on the budget (video).
GOP legislative leaders ruled out the mediator and one Republican senator questioned whether the commission needed to use its subpoena power to force Dayton's commissioners to testify (video).
Tidbit: GOP legislative leaders wouldn't say if they'll make a budget offer to Dayton at today's meeting.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says Gov. Dayton would be responsible if a a shutdown ocurred.
MPR says no budget deal could result in the state's largest layoff.
MAPE officials say the state would be on the hook for as much as $50 million in payments to workers if a state government shutdown occurs.
MN Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea appointed a five-judge panel to start the redistricting process.
Amendment to ban same-sex marriage
The Independence Party says it doesn't support the proposed constitutional amendment.
Same-sex marriages divides the United Methodist clergy.
Arden Hills is looking for answers on the proposed stadium.
About $175,000 has been paid out in settlements of lawsuits filed by activists.
Moody's is warning that it may downgrade the credit rating of the U.S. unless President Obama and Congress do not lift the debt ceiling in the coming weeks.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says a debt default would be "catostrophic."
GOP Rep. Bachmann says Geithner is telling "blatant lies" over the debt ceiling.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Sen. Al Franken team up for job training aid for vets.
GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen is continuing his criticism of the approval process for medical tech devices.
The feds redefine success at for-profit schools. GOP Rep. John Kline is mentioned.
Race for Senate
DFL Rep. Amy Klobuchar gets high marks in a Public Policy Polling poll. She leads all of her potential GOP challengers (including Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann) by double digits.
Race for President
Tim Pawlenty and Michele Bachmann will be a few of the 2012 candidates who will court the evangelical vote at a conference today in Washington D.C.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says she'll attend a debate in New Hampshire on June 13.
Bachmann also took a shot at Pawlenty during an appearance on the Laura Ingraham show.
Mitt Romney officially jumped into the race but others tried to steal his thunder.
AP says Romney miscast the economy in his remarks.
Tim Pawlenty gets a bump in the latest PPP poll.
The Club For Growth gives Herman Cain a positive review.(3 Comments)
WASHINGTON -- Likely presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann fired up a crowd at the Faith and Freedom conference in Washington, DC today, showcasing her talent for energizing the Republican social conservative base who would be vital to her presidential campaign.
Bachmann, who's expected to officially announce her bid for the White House this month, is one of several GOP presidential hopefuls speaking at the Faith and Freedom Conference, including former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Texas Congressman Ron Paul, Herman Cain and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Although earlier speakers, including Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who authored the Republican Medicare proposal, were given an enthusiastic reception, it was Bachmann's arrival that woke up the crowd.
Catering to an audience of social conservatives, Bachmann's remarks focused on issues such as gay marriage and abortion rather than the fiscal issues she's recently trumpeted in Congress and before tea party groups.
Describing her pleasure at gay marriage referendum that will be on Minnesota's ballot next year, Bachmann reminded the crowd that she had been at "the tip of spear" when it came to efforts to define marriage as being between a man and woman during her time in the Minnesota statehouse.
Bachmann received multiple standing ovations, including a lengthy one after she proclaimed, "I will not rest until we repeal Obamacare!"
That was followed by a swipe at the family planning organization Planned Parenthood, which receives some federal funding.
Calling the group a "corrupt organization," Bachmann said the group performed hundreds of thousands of abortions, "and that's in addition to the trafficking of underage girls that has gone on under Planned Parenthood's nose."
Bachmann did not answer questions about the accusation but her press secretary Becky Rogness later pointed to a link on Bachmann's congressional website praising the work of the anti-abortion group Live Action, which claimed to have found evidence of human trafficking by the group through the use of undercover sting videos.
Planned Parenthood has not responded to requests for a comment on Bachmann's allegation but on its website, it called the Live Action videos "dishonest" and "doctored."
Bachmann ended her speech with a prayer, saying, "We do pray for our president, we pray for the Supreme Court, we pray for the members of Congress, we pray for those who are in authority."
While Bachmann's nascent campaign organization has not announced when Bachmann will travel to Iowa to reveal her presidential plans, the House of Representatives will be on recess next week and the last week of June, making either week a distinct possibility.
Listen to Bachmann's speech here:
State Sen. Linda Scheid, DFL-Brooklyn Park, announced today that she is ending her cancer treatment and has entered hospice care. Scheid has served 35 years in the Minnesota Legislature. She was first elected to the Minnesota House in 1976. She was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 1996.
Scheid was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005 and has undergone chemotherapy treatments on and off since then.
A spokesman for Senate Democrats says Scheid's treatments became ineffective and in consultation with her doctors and family, she decided to stop her chemotherapy treatments.
Minnesota's Republicans in Congress were divided on the question of whether the United States should immediately halt military operations in Libya.
The resolution put forward by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, would have given President Obama 15 days to end U.S. participation in the NATO mission in Libya.
While it failed, 148-265, both Reps. Michele Bachmann and Erik Paulsen supported the measure. All six other members of the Minnesota delegation opposed it.
A competing resolution by House Speaker John Boehner that bans the introduction of U.S. ground forces in Libya and chides the President for not asking Congress for authorization passed the House 268-145.
Of the Minnesota delegation, only DFL Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum opposed the Boehner resolution.(1 Comments)
As Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP legislative leaders look for an overall budget deal, individual parts of the budget are causing partisan friction.
One area is education funding. DFL lawmakers say the Republican majority is cutting K-12 funding by $44 million. Republican leaders say they're increasing funding substantially.
"This bill spends $450 million more on education than last session," said Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo, who chairs the Education Finance Committee, during a debate over the issue with Rep. Mindy Greiling, the top DFLer on the committee, on the May 23, 2011 broadcast of Midday.
Education finance is complicated stuff, and so is Garofalo's claim.
Including $500 million in federal stimulus dollars and delayed payments of $1.9 billion to schools, the state spent about $13.812 billion on K-12 education in the last biennium. Republicans are proposing a $14.278 billion education budget, which is an increase of about $466 million over last session.
So, by that standard, Garofalo's claim is accurate: Republicans are proposing more spending compared to the last biennium.
But state law requires all sorts of automatic spending increases to compensate for higher student enrollment, growth in special education and other factors.
And that's where DFLers make their point. Though the Republican bill covers the bulk of those automatic spending increases, it's still about $44 million short of the $14.321 the state was projected to spend in the coming biennium. (For their part, Republicans argue their plan is only $15 million less because of a new provision that requires school districts to pay back state loans for new buildings.)
DFLers also point out that the GOP proposal means cuts for individual school districts, including the Minneapolis, Albert Lea and St. Cloud districts, and spending increases for others, including many of the state's charter schools.
This is partly because the current bill shifts money from one program to another. For instance, 18,000 more students will be enrolled in public schools over the next two years, and the bill increases per pupil spending from $20 to $21. But those new dollars are being funded by cuts to special education funding, according to Tom Melcher, the state's education finance director.
On one hand, Garofalo's claim is correct. His panel's bill would increase education spending compared to the last two years and increase spending on some things, including per pupil spending.
But he neglects a fact that DFLers highlight: funding falls short of what the state would be spending if it followed current law, and that means some school districts will see cuts.
For leaving out those facts, Garofalo's claim is misleading.
Minnesota Public Radio News, Midday, May 23, 2011
Gov. Mark Dayton, Letter to Rep. Kurt Zellers, May 24, 2011
Session Daily, House approves amended omnibus K-12 finance bill, by Kris Berggren, May 18, 2011
Minnesota House Fiscal Staff, General Fund Allocations - Projected FY 2012-13 Compared to FY 2010-11, March 2011
Minnesota House Fiscal Staff, Education Finance Committee: 2011 Session Appropriation Tracking, May 11, 2011
Interview, Rep. Pat Garofalo, May 31, 2011
Interview, Scott Russell, Policy Analyst, Minnesota Budget Project, June 1, 2011
Interview, Tim Strom, Legislative Analyst, Minnesota House of Representatives, June 1, 2011
Interview, Greg Crowe, Legislative Analyst, Minnesota House of Representatives, June 1, 2011
Interview, Tom Melcher, Program Finance Director, Minnesota Department of Education, June 2, 2011
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to deliver a plan on the federal budget next Tuesday in Chicago. An aide to Pawlenty says the former governor will give a major policy address to promote economic growth and control spending.
"The governor's speech will offer a specific plan for boosting the economy and creating jobs," the aide said. "His speech will include a plan to balance the federal budget, overhaul the federal tax code, reduce regulation, and increase American innovation and investment."
Pawlenty has been saying for months that he would provide more details of his plan to reduce the federal budget deficit. He has suggested that he would introduce "payment reforms to Medicare" and would "means-test Social Security" so wealthier Americans don't continue to receive the same cost of living increases as others.(1 Comments)