Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the voter ID bill gets a vote in the full House, House Republicans detail their bonding bill plan, and the presidential candidates release their February fundraising.
House Republicans are putting forward a $280 million public works bill that focuses mostly on asset preservation at the state's higher education institutions, correctional facilities and local road and bridge improvement.
A constitutional amendment that would require voters to show ID at the polls is headed to a House vote today.
Minnesota's unions have formed We Are Minnesota, a fund meant to raise money to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment that would make union membership and the payment of union dues voluntary for all workers.
Senate sponsor Dave Thompson has a presser scheduled on the "right-to-work" bill this morning at 9 a.m.
Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Geoff Michel for how he handled news that former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and her spokesman Michael Brodkorb were having an inappropriate relationship.
Minnesota's lobbying expenses were $59 million in 2011.
Gov. Mark Dayton lobbied Minneapolis City Council members on the Vikings stadium.
A bill to legalize slot machines at Minnesota's two horse tracks failed in a Senate committee.
The Minneapolis redistricting map could include first-ever 'Somali ward.' Hear more about it on the Daily Circuit.
Eight term DFLer Bill Hilty is leaving the Minnesota House.
Dayton's The Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying has begun its work.
The House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and members of the House Budget Committee are unveiling the new House Republican budget this morning.
Expect spending cuts for domestic programs and changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
What do farming and the new health care law have in common? The New York Times writes precedent rooted in a decades old farming case will play an important role in the Supreme Court's decision on whether to uphold the new health care law.
The Daily Caller writes that Rep. Chip Cravaack has 'no confidence' in AG Eric Holder.
Around the Nation
A federal appeals court upheld a law requiring graphic warning labels on cigarettes.
An upcoming report will show that manufacturing is worse off than economists thought, the Washington Post reports.
The Justice Department will investigate the killing of a Florida teenager.
On the Campaign Trail
Today is the Illinois primary.
Rick Santorum talked about a brokered convention while campaigning in Illinois.
The Associated Press reports that nearly 100 pastors from around the nation an invitation to hear a personal pitch Sunday from Santorum.
The New York Times writes that Santorum's writings show he's been consistent in his views.
Mitt Romney says that he cares about the unemployment rate. He was seizing on Santorum's earlier comment that "I don't care what the unemployment rate's going to be. It doesn't matter to me. My campaign doesn't hinge on unemployment rates and growth rates."
Romney's big-money bundlers are key to his campaign, the Washington Post reports.
Obama for American raised $45 million for Obama's reelection and the Democratic National Committee in February - about $15 million more than what it raised in January.
Romney raised $11.5 million for the same month and Santorum raised more than $9 million.
Where the NCAA tournament and the presidential campaign collide.(1 Comments)
Republicans in the Minnesota House are proposing to borrow $221 million to restore and renovate the State Capitol building. The bill containing the funding, which will be heard in the House Capital Investment Committee today, aims to restore the Capitol in phases. The measure aims to ensure the structural soundness of the building and doesn't aim to improve equipment or other "furnishings."
The bill also requires that construction work has to be sequenced so the House and Senate chambers continue to operate during budget years.
The measure borrows over the next four years and is separate from a bonding bill in the House. That bill proposes borrowing $280 million that is mostly focused on asset preservation.
Here's the bill.
Sen. David Thompson, R-Lakeville, was joined by several other House and Senate Republicans at a news conference this morning who want to see the proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this year.
The proposal would let voters decide whether union membership and the payment of union dues should be voluntary for all workers. Thompson said he's working to convince GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem to hold a hearing on the bill in the Rules Committee.
"What I'm hoping for is that we get the bill vetted in the Rules Committee and sent to the floor," Thompson said.
Thompson said he will not attempt to move the bill from the Rules Committee to the Senate floor. He took the rare step last week of forcing the Senate to vote to yank the bill from the Senate Jobs Committee to the Senate Judiciary Committee. That committee approved it last week. Thompson said he will not force another Senate vote to get the bill to the floor.
Thompson said he asked Senjem to hold a hearing on the bill but didn't receive a commitment. Senjem said late last week that the votes weren't there to pass the amendment in the House or the Senate.
No one at the news conference disputed Senjem's statement, but they said they still want a vote in the House and Senate.
"There's only one way to find out and that's to bring it to the floor," said Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, when asked if they have the votes to pass it.
The measure has not received a hearing in the House.
Union members and their allies have been lobbying fiercely to defeat the measure.
(Photo by MPR's Tim Nelson)
One of the people in the stadium meeting held by Gov. Mark Dayton and a trio of Minneapolis City Council members yesterday morning confirms that the meeting had a interesting twist -- a "reveal," as its known in the business.
The union-backed polling shown to the council members showed support for a stadium deal "in the high 60s" in terms of percentages among residents in Ward 1 and Ward 12. Those wards are represented, respectively, by Kevin Reich and Sandy Colvin Roy, on either end of the city's eastern border.
They're two members of the reported "no" bloc that's keeping the city council from signaling its willingness to play along with the stadium deal struck by Mayor R.T. Rybak, the Vikings and the Dayton administration.
Did the numbers make a difference?
Reich wouldn't say one way or another, but he confirmed he saw the poll results and had this observation: "It's my understanding that the numbers were an aggregate of two wards, based on non-random polling. And thus it wasn't possible to break out numbers for a specific ward."
Several union activists approached by MPR News declined to release the numbers or polling data. Colvin Roy didn't respond to a call or e-mail about Monday's meeting.
But she, Reich and the Minneapolis City Council are key players in the fate of the stadium right now. The deal faltered in the Senate's local government committee last week, and still hasn't been sheduled for its first stop in the house, the Commerce Committee chaired by Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska.
Bill sponsor Morrie Lanning, R- Moorhead, sounded a bit weary of the explanation when asked about the prospects there this week. "As I've been saying, it's not going to progress until there's an understanding with the charities and until something happens with the city of Minneapolis."(5 Comments)