The Ramsey County Attorney is reviewing the Chief Medical Examiner's role in the case of a baby's death.
MPR says Minnesota's infant death investigations are inconsistent and unregulated.
Under the Dome
Gov. Dayton leaves for Asia today. He'll speak at a conference in Japan this weekend and will begin a Trade Mission to South Korea on Sunday.
Dayton says he's getting a new puppy.
Republicans in the Minnesota Senate say they'll sue Gov. Dayton if he issues an executive order allowing in-home day care workers to vote on a union. The news came after a hearing was held last night on the issue.
Minnesota's Attorney General sues over aid to for-profit colleges.
Minority home ownership dropped again.
The U.S. Census says the child poverty rate has tripled in Brooklyn Park.
The University of Minnesota welcomed the new U of M president.
The DNR Commissioner says the state should have done more on fighting the Asian carp.
The Dow dropped on global econmic fears.
Fire officials are defending why they instituted a planned burn before the fire spread quickly.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak told the Star Tribune that calling for $30 million isn't opposing the new stadium.
Congress is pushing the government on the brink of a shutdown. The House passed a continuing resolution that the Senate opposes. House leaders pretty much offered a take it or leave it option to the Senate. The House Majority Leader says the House is leaving for vacation by 1pm today.
At a bridge in Ohio, President Obama called on Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on jobs.
Obama will detail how states can obtain waivers from the No Child Left Behind education law. Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassllius will be in attendance.
GOP Rep. John Kline says the waiver gives the Education Secretary full authority to pick winners and losers.
The Obama Administration says Pakistan's Intelligence Agency was indirectly involved in the bombing of a U.S. embassy in Afghanistan.
The New York Times says the U.S. missed warning signs in the rush to assist Solyndra.
The Washington Post reports that the federal government paid out $120 million to dead federal retirees.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson introduced a bill calling for streamlining regulatory review.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison supports the bid for Palestinian statehood.
DFL Rep. Tim Walz will hold a "Congress on your corner" event in Austin on Tuesday.
Medical device makes continue to push Congress to repeal the excise tax. GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen is mentioned.
The American Independent says the head of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve was selected by board members that are exclusively CEOs.
DFL Sen. Al Franken questioned OnStar on privacy.
Race for President
Mitt Romney and Rick Perry went after each other again in last night's debate.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says social conservatives should not settle.
The New York Times says Bachmann is struggling to raise money.
The New York Times says Bachmann was incorrect when she said President Obama "had the lowest approval rating of any president in modern time."
Ron Paul will reportedly be in Minnesota on November 5.
A Minnesotans for Rick Perry Facebook page has been launched.(1 Comments)
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum will hold a town hall next Tuesday that will focus on jobs and the economy. McCollum's office says McCollum will also push to pass President Obama's jobs bill.
McCollum's office also said several union members will also be on hand to discuss the importance of the bill.
Republicans have criticized the bill as a "second stimulus" and say they're focused more on reduding the deficit.
Here's the info from McCollum's office:
WHO: Congresswoman Betty McCollum
WHEN: Tuesday, September 27, 6:30-7:30 PM
WHERE: North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, 700 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55130
Last night, the GOP presidential candidates met in Orlando, Fla., to debate, and all the candidates were generous with their misstatements, exaggerations and falsehoods.
PoliGraph looks at two claims made by presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann during the event.
"President Obama has the lowest public approval ratings of any president in modern times."
Currently, Obama's approval rating is around 43 percent, according to several recent polls; the lowest of his term was 41 percent, according to the Roper Center, which collects public opinion data.
Still, Obama's lowest approval rating is higher than every other president before him going back to John F. Kennedy, whose lowest approval rating was 56 percent. The lowest of the last 13 presidents was George W. Bush, who had a 19 percent approval rating in October 2008 - right around the time the economy plummeted.
Bachmann gets this claim wrong.
"This week, a study came out from UBS that said the number-one reason why employers aren't hiring is because of Obamacare."
Bachmann's talking about a recent UBS Investment Research report that says that "arguably the biggest impediment to hiring (particularly hiring of less skilled workers) is healthcare reform."
It doesn't appear that the authors from the financial firm did any sort of formal survey to support the statement, and the report goes on to list 10 other issues, from the expiration to the Bush tax cuts to air pollution rules, that are causing employers to be wary of adding to payrolls.
But the authors of the report give special attention to the health care law, writing that "it impedes employment by systematically raising the price of labor, by making it much more complicated for small companies to increase payrolls, and by encouraging companies to stay 'under the limit' of 50 employees."
"Under the limit" refers to a new requirement that employers with more than 50 workers must offer health insurance or pay a fine instead. The prospect of the higher cost may be deterring some business owners from hiring, said Michael Tanner, who's a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, a free-market think-tank.
But executives are also worried about tax and regulatory uncertainty, not to mention lagging consumer demand, Tanner said.
"To say [the health care law] is the biggest reason, that's a stretch," he said.
Ken Goldstein, an economist with the Conference Board, agrees with Tanner's point about consumer demand. Employers don't hire when consumers aren't buying and it becomes "a vicious cycle," Goldstein said. "They're both waiting, they're both stuck."
Bachmann cites the report accurately. But it's just one study, and it makes a conclusion about the effect of the health care law on hiring without backing it up with specific data. Economists generally agree that employers aren't hiring for a complicated web of reasons, not primarily the new health care law. As a result, PoliGraph finds the claim misleading.
Listen to reporter Catharine Richert discuss Bachmann's claims on Friday's All Things Considered:
Politisite.com, Transcript of Fox News-Google GOP Presidential Debate, Sept. 22, 2011
The Wall Street Journal, How the Presidents Stack Up, accessed Sept. 23, 2011
The Roper Center, Presidential Approval Highs and Lows, accessed Sept. 23, 2011
UBS Investment Research, Great Suppression II: Revolt of the Employers, Sept. 19, 2011
The Washington Post, With consumers slow to spend, businesses are slow to hire, by Neil Irwin, Aug. 21, 2011
The New York Times, In the real world will the jobs plan make a difference, Employers Say Jobs Plan Won't Lead to Hiring Spur, by Motoko Rich, Sept. 9, 2011
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The State of American Business 2011, Jan. 11, 2001
Interview, Michael Tanner, senior fellow, the Cato Institute, Sept. 23, 2011
Interview, Ken Goldstein, economist, the Conference Board, Sept. 23, 2011(5 Comments)
State finance officials announced today that Standard and Poor's rating agency has downgraded Minnesota's bond rating from AAA to AA+.
Two other rating agencies took similar action earlier this year. Fitch lowered its rating to AA+ in July, and Moodys rated the state as Aa1. In a news release, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said the downgrade was a direct result of the recently passed state budget.
"The budget was substantially balanced using one-time measures and does not lead to a long-term financial solution," Schowalter said. "The rating agency also cited diminished reserves, further payment delays, and the reliance on tobacco bonds for their decision."
MMB said the last time the state was downgraded from AAA it took fifteen years to regain the highest rating. The lower rating will be a factor next week when the state sells bonds.
Democrats were quick to react and point fingers. Gov. Mark Dayton issued the following statement:
"The downgrading of Minnesota's credit rating is very disappointing but not surprising, given the fiscal irresponsibility of the legislature's Republican majority. Standard and Poor's specifically cited the use of one time measures, which would not have been necessary had my proposed budget been adopted."
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, also issued a statement:
"Every day that passes, the consequences of the Republicans' beg, borrow, and steal budget solution become more glaring. Our kids started the school year in debt, with nearly half of their schools asking taxpayers to fill their budget gaps. Now the Republican-forced loans that schools, cities, and counties are seeking will come at a higher cost.
We have warned Republicans for years that their insistence on borrowing would have consequences for our state, but they refused to listen. With property tax bills rising, schools falling deeper into debt, and our state's credit rating declining, we are all paying for the Republican majority's refusal to listen to Minnesotans and solve our chronic budget problems in a balanced and responsible way."
Republicans weighed in too. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said the downgrade is probably more of a statement of where the national economy is than where Minnesota is. In an interview, Zellers also said the new rating is a reminder that state spending needs to match state revenues.
"We need to match our spending with the revenue that;s coming," Zellers said." We're not going to do that if we either do short-term borrowing. One-time borrowing or especially is we pass a massive tax increase that will never show up. The dollars that we pass will never show up."
Gov. Dayton's office announced today that Sheila Wright has resigned her position as Director of the Office of Higher Education. Dayton's spokesman, Bob Hume, released a statement saying Wright's last day is today:
"I wanted to let you know that earlier this week Dr. Sheila Wright resigned her position as Director of the Office of Higher Education, effective today. As Dr. Wright returns to private life, we wish her well and thank her for her service to the State of Minnesota. We have asked current research director Susan Von Mosch to step in as interim director while we search for a new director for the Office of Higher Education."
Hume would not offer further explanation when asked directly if Gov. Dayton asked Wright to resign. Wright could not be reached for comment.
Dayton first appointed Wright to the position in January. The news release announcing her appointment said her term runs until January 5, 2015. The Senate Higher Education Committee confirmed Wright on a unanimous voice vote in February. Senate GOP spokesman Michael Brodkorb says the full Senate did not act on her confirmation.
Posted at 4:58 PM on September 23, 2011
by Catharine Richert
Filed under: Tim Pawlenty
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty's portrait will be unveiled Oct. 10 in the state Capitol's rotunda.
The event will be attended by Pawlenty and his family. The following morning, the portrait will be hung on the ground floor in the west wing of the building.
Pawlenty chose Rossin, a native of Bulgaria and Atlanta, Ga., resident to paint the piece. Rossin has painted Presidents George H. and George W. Bush, baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron, and other officials.
Could the portrait be a giant extreme close up? Here's a photo from Rossin's website:
If so, it would be quite a departure from the other governors' portraits. We'll leave it to the art critics to decide what it means if that's the final portrait.
UPDATE: The Minnesota Historical Society just emailed to say that the above portrait is not the paiting that will hang in the Capitol. Stay tuned for the big reveal...