Posted at 6:36 AM on May 23, 2012
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Candidates started filing for office on Tuesday.
Gov. Dayton and the Minnesota Executive Council is set to consider whether to approve 77 mineral leases. The council delayed a decision on the leases last year.
The announcement comes as outside groups ramp up their efforts to lobby for and against mining.
The Star Tribune says Gov. Dayton is rethinking his doubts about URS.
The city of St. Paul's Port Authority struck a deal to buy land that would be used for the new Saints ballpark.
The state of Minnesota could help cover the federal health care law's "No Man's land."
The MPCA won't require a review of a 3M's incinerator waste plan.
An iron treatment plan in a Chisago County lake can continue.
The Congressional Budget office predicts a recession in 2013 unless politicians act on the extension of the Bush tax cuts and revise the federal budget cuts.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson says the House and Senate differ on the Farm Bill.
Provisions put forward by DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen make their way into FDA bills.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison discusses the one-year anniversary of the tornado that hit north Minneapolis.
General Mills announced layoffs.
Medtronic says a lot of its job growth is occurring outside of Minnesota.
North Korea is upgrading its rocket launch site.
Same-sex marriage debate
After President Obana's announcement, opposition to same-sex marriage hits a record low.
Race for U.S. Senate
Republican Kurt Bills starts dialing for dollars.
Race for President
Mitt Romney won primaries in Kentucky and Arkansas.
A new national poll says the race is tied.
Slate writes that the Obama campaign is taking microtargeting to a whole new level.
There will not be a Digest on Friday or Monday.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has hired League of Minnesota Cities lobbyist Jennifer O'Rourke to be his Chief of Staff. The hire, which was confirmed by Rybak spokesman John Stiles, is expected to be formally announced later today.
O'Rourke will succeed Jeremy Hanson, whom Rybak appointed Director of Community Planning and Economic Development.
O'Rourke has been a familiar face at the Minnesota Capitol as a lobbyist for the League of Minnesota Cities. She worked on several issues that are important to Minneapolis including state aid to cities, economic development and taxes. She also lobbied on gambling, tobacco and liquor issues for the League of Minnesota Cities. O'Rourke has been a lobbyist at the League of Minnesota Cities for roughly 10 years.
While O'Rourke has been nonpartisan during her work as a lobbyist, her family is active in DFL politics. She is married to DFL Party Chair Ken Martin.
Some supporters of Minnesota's voter ID constitutional amendment are calling for a statewide boycott of the seniors' group AARP for its formal stand against the ballot question.
Representatives of Minnesota Majority and other groups held a news conference today to criticize AARP for opposing a voter ID requirement. A few participants cut up their own AARP membership cards. Minnesota Majority President Jeff Davis said he thinks AARP is out of touch with its members on the voter ID issue.
"They have millions of dollars to spend on these types of campaigns. So certainly, I mean that's why we're basically calling attention to this, " he said. "We think it's disengenuous for them to take a position on this issue that is contrary to most of their members."
Amy McDonough, associate state director for advocacy at AARP, said the organization is concerned that a photo ID requirement could prevent some seniors from voting on Election Day.
"This has been a long-standing AARP position, and it's something that we've advocated for strongly over many decades as an organization," McDonough said.
McDonough said there are 650,000 AARP members in Minnesota.(13 Comments)
Last weekend, Republicans endorsed Rep. Kurt Bills to run against U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar this fall. If elected, Bills says cutting government spending will be one of his top priorities.
To stress just how bad things have gotten in Washington, D.C., Bills pointed to the rising cost of the new health care law.
"You have to look at Obamacare that was projected to spend $800, $900 billion and is now at $1.7 trillion," Bills told MPR's Mark Zdechlik in an interview May 21.
It's true that the latest gross cost estimate of the new health care law is about $1.7 trillion, but that's only part of the story.
To make his case, Bills relied on a recent estimate from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office that pegged the gross cost of the health care law at about $1.76 trillion between 2012 and 2022.
In 2010, the CBO projected the gross cost of the law to be $938 billion between 2010 and 2019. In part, the initial 10-year cost was lower because many of the law's key provisions don't go into effect until 2014, ramping up in subsequent years.
But Bills' claim leaves out an important point.
The health care law also collects new revenue to help pay for it, including fees paid by those who don't have insurance and some employers who don't offer coverage, taxes on top earners and provisions meant to slow the growth of Medicare, among other offsets.
Taking that new revenue into account, the CBO estimates the current net cost of the health care to be $1.25 trillion between 2012 and 2022.
So, the cost of the bill has gone up, but not by as much as Bills said.
Other fact-checking organizations and the Washington Post's liberal blogger Ezra Klein also point out that the initial CBO estimate and the latest CBO estimate look at the law's cost over different spans of time. An apples-to-apples comparison of the years 2012-2019, which both CBO reports cover, shows that the net cost has actually declined from $784 billion to $768 billion.
Bills used a gross figure to make his case that the cost of the health care law is growing faster than earlier projected. But he neglects the fact that the net 11-year cost is lower, and that earlier projections were pegged to a different time frame.
The PoliGraph verdict: misleading.
MPR News, Paul-backed Senate candidate: 'I'm a Kurt Bills Republican', by Mark Zdechlik, May 21, 2012
The Congressional Budget Office, Updated Estimates for the Insurance Coverage
Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, March 2012
The Congressional Budget Office, Selected CBO Publications Related to Health Care Legislation, 2009-2010, December 2010
PolitiFact Virginia, Rep. Robert Hurt says $900 million health reform price tag has swelled to $1.8 trillion, by Nancy Madsen, March 26, 2012
The Washington Post, No, the CBO hasn't doubled its cost estimate for health-care reform, by Ezra Klein, March 20, 2012
Factcheck.org, Health Care Costs Didn't Double, by Lori Robertson and Dave Bloom, March 16, 2012
Mike Osskopp, spokesman for Kurt Bills, May 22, 2012(3 Comments)
Rep. Sandra Peterson, DFL-New Hope, announced today that she's retiring from the Minnesota House of Representatives. Citing health concerns, Peterson said it was time for her to step aside and not run in 2012.
"Due to recent, unexpected health concerns, I need to refocus my energies onto recuperation and spending time with my family. I will not be able to devote the time and energy necessary to serving my constituents in the manner they deserve from their elected representative," Peterson said in a statement.
Peterson didn't specify an illness in her statement. Her decision must have come in the past 24 hours because she filed for office on Tuesday.
Peterson is the 27th member of the Minnesota House to announce that she isn't running for re-election.
Here's the list of House retirements
Democrats not running again:
Rep. Marion Greene, DFL-Minneapolis
Rep. Bobby Joe Champion, DFL-Minneapolis (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kate Knuth, DFL-New Brighton
Rep. Denise Dittrich, DFL-Champlin
Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph
Rep. Bev Scalze, DFL-Little Canada (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Nora Slawik, DFL-Maplewood
Rep. Bill Hilty, DFL-Finlayson
Rep. Mindy Greiling, DFL-Roseville
Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia
Rep. Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna
Rep. Sandra Peterson, DFL-New Hope
Republicans not running again:
Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove
Rep. Mike LeMieur, R-Little Falls
Rep. Pat Mazorol, R-Bloomington
Rep. Connie Doepke, R-Orono (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Ron Shimanski, R-Silver Lake
Rep. Torrey Westrom, R-Elbow Lake (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Kurt Bills, R-Rosemount (running for the U.S. Senate)
Rep. Brandon Peterson, R-Andover (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Mark Murdock, R-Perham
Rep. Mark Buesgens, R-Jordan
Rep. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo Township (running for Minnesota Senate)
Rep. Carol McFarlane, R-White Bear Lake
Note: Rep. Tom Tilberry, DFL-Fridley lost his party's endorsement to former Rep. Connie Bernardy. Tilberry hasn't said whether he'll run in a primary.