Four Republican senators will ask the Minnesota Supreme Court to intervene and forbid a lower court from authorizing state spending in many areas if state government shuts down on July 1. The paperwork will be filed today.
There are ten days left until the state government shuts down.
No budget meetings are scheduled for today.
Gov. Dayton has no public meetings today.
GOP leaders hold a newser at 10am to discuss the status of budget negotiations.
The Star Tribune says the DFL is looking for crossover votes to get a budget deal.
Gov. Dayton says he won't take a salary if state government shuts down.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch won't take a salary or per diem either.
The Star Tribune says many other state leaders have the option of taking pay.
The Attorney General and the courts filed a petition asking to keep the courts running in light of a shutdown.
The PoliGraph says Koch's claim on Dayton's shutdown statement is correct.
Low-income residents are worried about a shutdown.
The Stillwater Bridge would close to cars if there is a shutdown.
Cities and counties would be forced to triage if a shutdown happens.
The threat of a shutdown is hardly making a ripple in Fillmore County.
WCCO says weddings could be in jeopardy if a shutdown occurs.
The Cedar Ave. project is also in jeopardy.
Some groups will hold rallies on June 30th, the night before a shutdown would occur.
MPR reports that the DNR let Lutsen Mountain resorts violate water permits for years.
No cap and gown
MinnPost's Don Shelby points out that GOP Sen. Michael Jungbauer doesn't have a college degree even though he purports to have one.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backs Obama on Libya but presses for a drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.
Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, warns against leaving Afghanistan.
The U.S. is engaged in preliminary peace talks with the Taliban.
Time is running out on lifting the debt ceiling.
Budget talks are heating up.
The New York Times says companies are pushing for a tax break on billions of dollars in foreign cash. The break could bring billions into in tax revenues.
The Washington Post examines how the wealthy is pulling away from the rest of the nation when it comes to economic security.
President Obama and Speaker Boehner played golf on Saturday. The hope the game will improve relations.
ICE announces changes to immigration enforcement.
The CDC says one in four high schoolers drink at least one soda a day.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar promotes a bill for early warning of drug shortages.
The federal government is spending $1.6 million to help make the Thief River Falls Airport longer. Digi Key has been lobbying for the extenstion.
EMILY's List will spend on five Wisconsin senate recall efforts.
Race for Congress
Democrats are targeting GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen and GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack in Minnesota.
Race for President
President Obama is still strong among those attending this weekend's NetRoots Nation event in Minneapolis.
DFL Sen. Al Franken says Democrats should not swear off Super PACSs in the 2012 election.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is scouting a presidential bid.
Jon Huntsman is getting ready to run.
The L.A. Times takes a look at whether Huntsman was campaigning when he was ambassador to China.
Tim Pawlenty signed the pledge too. Here's a list of who signed it and who didn't.
The Washington Post says Bachmann is skilled at raising "money blurts."
Ron Paul won the Republican Leadership Conference's straw poll. Bachmann got third.
Tidbit: Bachmann's buttons were a hot seller at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
CBS News asked whether Bachmann raised 23 foster kids.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP nominee for president in 2008, is criticizing the GOP crop of candidates in 2012 for "isolationism."
Bachmann and Pawlenty courted conservative bloggers in Minneapolis over the weekend.
AP says Pawlenty is waiting for the payoff from his constant campaigning.
Pawlenty starts spinning on the budget problems he left Minnesota. He said in Iowa that he didn't leave the state with a $6.2 billion deficit. The truth is he used one-time money and accounting shifts to paper over the problem when he was governor and left the mess for Gov. Dayton and the GOP Legislature to clean up.
The Star Tribune does a he said/she said on Pawlenty's budget legacy.
Pawlenty signed a pledge to eliminate the deficit.
Connecticut's Republican Party Chair will endorse Pawlenty.
The L.A. Times says the GOP lacks a strong candidate from the GOP heavy southern states.
There won't be a Digest tomorrow.(3 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann spent $3,407 of taxpayer funds allotted to her congressional office to help rent a sound system for a tea party-backed rally against President Obama's health care bill in 2009, according to a report this morning from Roll Call.
House rules say taxpayer money cannot be used for strictly political events, although the funds can be used for press conferences, which is how the event was described.
However, the newspaper reports that no questions were asked during the Nov. 9, 2009 event which, "opened with a prayer, the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance."
Fellow Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Todd Akin (R-MO) also contributed $3,407 toward the rental of the sound system at the same event.
Roll Call says the rally is not the only questionable use of taxpayer funds by Bachmann's congressional office.
Last year, her office briefly hired Guy Short as a "senior advisor." Short had served as chief of staff to former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) before she was defeated in 2008.
Short was paid $5,000 for one month. He then went on to found a firm called C&M Strategies, which has been paid about $150,000 to provide fundraising consulting services for Bachmann's campaign and political action committee.
Bachmann spokesman Doug Sachtleben told the paper the expenses were legitimate.
"The expenditures you've highlighted were all consistent with the official responsibilities of the Congresswoman and her staff on behalf of the people of Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District," Sachtleben said.(15 Comments)
The list of officials and groups that have filed court papers on the impending government shutdown is growing.
It's up to the courts to decide which government jobs and services continue if lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton fail to reach a budget agreement by July 1.
Here's a recap of who's petitioned Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin so far. The court is posting petitions as they get them here.
Attorney General Lori Swanson:
Swanson's first petition was filed on June 13, and includes a list of services that she believes should continue to operate during a shutdown, including prisons, sex offender treatment, veterans homes and health care programs that get support from the state.
Her second petition was filed on June 17. In it, she requests that the state's court system remain open during a shutdown.
Gov. Mark Dayton:
On June 15, Dayton filed his own request. His list also includes prisons and other public safety activities as well as emergency highway repair, and programs for the poor, elderly and disabled.
Of note: While Dayton argues in his petition that health care providers who treat patients on state health insurance plans, including hospitals and nursing homes, should operate during a shutdown, he's also argued that those facilities shouldn't get reimbursed until officials reach a budget deal.
The Minnesota Association of Treatment Programs:
On June 17, this coalition of drug addiction treatment providers asked the court to ensure that funding for the programs they administer would continue to flow during a shutdown. If funding - and therefore treatment - stalled, patients in detox programs could experience serious adverse health effects, the group argues.
Care Providers of Minnesota, Inc. and Aging Services of Minnesota:
These two groups, which represent the nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other organizations that rely on Medicare and Medicaid payments from the state to operate, are asking the court to deem those payments "critical" during a shutdown. They argue a discontinuation of payments, which Dayton's petition suggests, would be a violation of federal and Minnesota constitutions.
You can read the entire petition, filed June 20 here.
The Minnesota State Board of Public Defense
This group, which represents people who can't afford their own lawyer, has asked to remain open during a government shutdown, according to a document filed June 21 with the Ramsey County Court. Read more here.
Association of Residential Resources in Minnesota, Minnesota Development Achievement Center Association, and the Minnesota Habilitation Coalition
Three organizations that represent group homes and training facilities want to be deemed critical during a shutdown, and are asking the Ramsey County Court to keep Medicaid money flowing. The groups say that without those funds, they will not be able to pay employees or provide services for the developmentally and physically disabled patients they house and train. Here's more.
Republican legislative leaders say that they're the ones who've compromised on the budget and DFL Governor Mark Dayton has not.
With 10 days until a potential state government shutdown, GOP leaders held a news conference today to call on Dayton to resume negotiations with a new, substantial budget offer. House and Senate leaders argue that Dayton's most recent offer, which reduced his proposed tax increase on top earners by half, did not include sufficient details. Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina said he thinks Dayton is sprinting toward a shutdown.
"July 1 doesn't look like it's an important deadline to Gov. Dayton," Michel said. "July 1 does not look like it's an important deadline. It's an important deadline to us. We do not believe in a shutdown, We're not using some kind of raw political power move to shut down the government. That's on him."
Last week, Dayton described the latest GOP budget offer as "extremely disappointing," because it didn't budge from $34 billion in spending for the next two years.
Gov. Dayton Gov. Dayton's press secretary Katharine Tinucci reposnded to the Republican news conference by issuing a news release:
"Today, the Republican legislative majorities showed themselves to be completely out of touch with reality. Everyone knows that over a month ago, the Governor offered to compromise and to meet the GOP half-way between their two budgets. Everyone knows that it's the Republicans, who have refused to budge from their position. Everyone knows that it was the Governor who proposed a mediator to facilitate serious compromise, and that the Republican leaders refused.
Their unwillingness to compromise is a source of increasing frustration for us, and for every Minnesotan who will hurt under their all-cuts budget.
Today the Regents at the University of Minnesota are voting on a budget, which will increase tuitions by hundreds of dollars per student, as a direct result of the legislature's 19% cut to the U. That's real money out of the pockets of young Minnesotans and their families - Minnesotans who wouldn't pay a dime of new income taxes under the Governor's plan. It's an example of what is at stake in these budget negotiations.
It is the Governor's hope that Republican legislative leaders will listen to their constituents and finally offer a fair and balanced compromise proposal."
Dayton also sent this letter to GOP legislative leaders today:8 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak met with federal disaster relief officials today to lobby for more aid for the city after a tornado swept through North Minneapolis last month destroying and damaging
hundreds thousands of homes.
While the Obama Administration did commit to providing money to help repair public infrastructure destroyed by the storm, the federal government had turned down an initial request to help individuals whose property had been destroyed or damaged.
Rybak, who had been in nearby Baltimore over the weekend for the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting, met this morning at the White House with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials to appeal their aid decision.
"Before this meeting we set the level that we didn't expect to walk out of the White House with a check nor did we get it," Rybak said. "But we did make more progress than I expected on multiple fronts."
Minneapolis will be able to reapply for the individual disaster assistance, which would go toward helping the 274 homes and businesses seriously damaged by the tornado.
"We can't be certain how successful we'll be in getting that aid but we believe after our meeting that we have a stronger case to get individual assistance and we'll be working hard on it," Rybak said, adding that a final decision by FEMA would come within a matter of weeks.
In fact later in the day Gov. Mark Dayton's office said the state would reapply for the assistance.
Rybak stopped by Capitol Hill to brief Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar on his meetings.
"I also called FEMA and made the same case, just so that they knew the nature of the population on the North Side and how vulnerable they are," Franken said.
Both senators said they would also find additional grants resources for the area from other parts of the federal government including the Small Business Administration and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development.
"We'll do everything we can do to help with the city here," Klobuchar said. "It's not always about passing a bill or getting a major [disaster] declaration but it's also about looking at some of these other things where you can apply for grants."
Later this afternoon, Rybak will go back to the White House to join a bipartisan group of mayors who are meeting with President Obama to discuss the economy and jobs.
"He's the president, I'll talk about whatever he wants to talk about," Rybak said. "But you can imagine that I will figure out some way to work the word "tornado" into my response."(2 Comments)
Gov. Mark Dayton announced today that he'll make a supplemental court filing to include payments to health care providers in the list of critical services that he thinks should continue during a shutdown. He'll also ask the court to allow newly eligible individuals to enroll in health and economic assistance programs.
Dayton's original filing last week noted that benefits to individuals in those programs are critical, but it did not include provider payments necessary to support the services.
"After consultation with seniors and other vulnerable Minnesotans served by our programs, we recognize the lack of assured provider payments could indeed lead to life threatening situations," Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson wrote in a news release. "The Governor's legal filing and contingency plans will be refined to reflect this."
The programs covered by Dayton's announcement include Medicaid (Medical Assistance), MFIP/DWP, General Assistance, Minnesota Supplemental Aid, Refugee Cash Assistance, Group Residential Housing, MinnesotaCare, Food Support, Minnesota Food Assistance Program, and Adoption Assistance.(1 Comments)
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to dismiss a petition that says a judge can't authorize most forms of state spending if the government shuts down.
In her request, Swanson said that such an action "is rarely invoked by courts."
The petition comes hours after four lawmakers, including GOP Sens. Warren Limmer, Scott Newman, Roger Chamberlain, and Sean Nienow filed a petition with the Supreme Court to block a lower court from keeping some services going during a shutdown.
They contend that the court's interference is unconstitutional because the state can only spend money if appropriations are signed into law; Gov. Dayton and the Republican-controlled legislature are at an impasse over spending for the coming two-year budget cycle.
Here's Swanson's Motion to Dismiss:
Respondent Attorney General's Memorandum in Support of Her Motion to Dismiss Petition for Quo Warranto
Here's the initial motion put forward by four Minnesota Republican senators:
Supreme Court Petition