I know I said there wouldn't be a Digest today but that was before Mother Nature decided to throw a monkey wrench in my golf plans.
There are nine days until a state government shutdown and Minnesota's construction firms and their employees are getting nervous. The Association of General Contractors
Has been holding meetings to discuss the impact of a shutdown. The American Council of Engineers is also lobbying the Legislature to avoid a shutdown.
The reason, as MPR reports, is that construction projects of all kinds are likely to halt during a shutdown.
Gov. Dayton announced yesterday that he will now include payments to health care providers on his list of essential services. Nursing homes and hospitals said they werent' sure they could continue operating if a shutdown occurred and no state payments were in place.
The news comes as Dayton and GOP legislative leaders ramp up the rhetoric over the budget.
Tidbit: Gov. Dayton is expected to hold a news conference today to discuss what he's fighting for when it comes to the state budget
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch will be on MPR's Midday today at 11am.
Tidbit: GOP legislative leaders have increased their demand for the governor to call a special session. Dayton says he won't do it until there's a budget deal.
Constituents at a town hall forum urged St. Cloud lawmakers to reach a deal and avert a shutdown.
The U of M Board of Regents approved a five percent tuition hike.
A KSTP-Survey USA poll says voters are divided on how to solve the deficit.
Minnesota's Credit Unions are rolling out contingency plans like "skip a payment" deals to members facing loss of paychecks should the state government shut down July 1.
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.
Here's a rundown on court filings on the shutdown.
The Star Tribune reports that the feds won't file any charges against the Metro Gang Strike Force.
Planned Parenthood will close six clinics.
President Obama will speak on the Afghanistan troop withdrawal this week.
The White House and lawmakers are speeding up debt reduction talks.
The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Wal-Mart in a massive job discrimination lawsuit.
The High court blocks states' climate change lawsuit.
The Securities and Exchange Commission determined that trading stocks based on advance knowledge of action in Congress is not insider trading. DFL Rep. Tim Walz is sponsoring legislation that would stop the practice.
Bloomberg says President Obama is struggling in his efforts to change No Child Left Behind.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak visited Washington D.C. to lobby for more federal aid to help with tornado damage in north Minneapolis.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum continues her attempt to end military sponsorships of NASCAR.
Race for President
Politico reports that the fight for the Republican presidential nomination may not be a heavyweight slugfest after all.
MPR takes a look at Bachmann's fundraising team.
Cue the psychoanalysis: The Washington Post takes a look at Bachmann's nonverbal cues to see what she says through body language.
The Sioux City Journal takes a look at Bachmann's Iowa roots.
The co-chair of the Iowa GOP is backing Tim Pawlenty for president.
RIP Pastor Paul Youngdahl.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the first GOP presidential candidate to buy airtime in Iowa, reports Politico.
He'll reportedly spend just under $50,000 for ads on Fox stations in Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Omaha, Ottumwa, Rochester, and Sioux City that will run starting tomorrow through July 3rd.
Given how Jerry Bruckheimer-esque his campaign's past online videos have been, it will be interesting to see if Team Pawlenty tones it down a notch or two for Iowans.
Update via Mark Zdechlik:
The Pawlenty campaign confirms the ad campaign.
"Gov. Pawlenty is well positioned to unite conservatives and do well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, said spokesman Alex Conant. "The soon-to-be-unveiled TV ads will introduce the governor to Iowans about why he is the candidate with the strongest record and best results, not rhetoric."
An official with Running Aces Harness Park, located in Anoka County, is commending first-term Republican legislators who've suggested racino gambling as a way to end the state budget stalemate.
Board member John Derus issued a news release today to highlight their support of allowing slot machines at Minnesota's two horse tracks. He singled out Rep. King Banaian, R-St. Cloud; Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove; and Sen. John Pederson, R-St. Cloud.
"In the past 24 hours, at least three freshmen Republican lawmakers have publicly taken the bold step of suggesting that Racino could provide more revenue to help end the current budget stalemate, Derus wrote. "Their suggestions provide legislative leaders and Governor Dayton with an opportunity."
Racino supporters say the additional gambling would generate more than $200 million every biennium for the state.