It's Friday at the Capitol, so it'll be a quiet day.
What's taxed, what isn't? Dayton releases sales tax specifics (MPR News)
Dayton administration releases a list of items that would remain exempt from the sales tax, items that would see a reduced tax rate and the list of goods and services that would now be taxed under this plan.
Dayton wants counties to pay more at state psych hospital (MPR News)
Gov. Dayton wants counties to pay millions of dollars more to help fund mental health treatment for patients at the Minnesota Security Hospital and the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center who are ready for discharge.
Dayton: No Money For Minn. High-Speed Rail Lines (Associated Press)
"Gov. Dayton says there is no government money right now to build high-speed rail lines in Minnesota."
Dayton girds for a backlash on his tax plan (Star Tribune)
"Even as his Revenue Department was releasing details of who would be pinched and who would be exempt, Dayton heard from executives who said his plan would kill jobs and businesses."
Potential Franken challenger dismisses women in combat (Star Tribune)
"Iraq war veteran Pete Hegseth, head of Concerned Veterans for America and a potential challenger to U.S. Sen. Al Franken in 2014 comes out strongly against the Pentagon's new plan to allow women in combat roles."
Blackmun bust bill riles abortion foes (MPR News)
Lawmakers want money for a bust inside the state Capitol of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice and St. Paul native Harry Blackmun. The state's main anti-abortion group objects, citing Blackmun's prominent role in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Road group says $7B in Minn. road repairs needed (Pioneer Press)
"Nearly one-third of Minnesota's major roads need repair, with 12 percent in poor condition," says new report by TRIP, a national transportation research group funded by highway and transit interests.
Dayton to Wis. Gov Walker: Mind your own business ( MPR News)
Gov Dayton hits back at criticism of his tax plan from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, saying iWisconsin's economy's done "far worse" than Minnesota the past few years ... I would suggest Gov. Walker focus on his problems..."
GOP governors push bigger reliance on sales taxes (New York Times)
Older smokers priced out of Obamacare? (CBS News)
Kerry links economics to foreign policy (New York Times)
Republicans in Virginia, other states seeking Electoral College changes (Washington Post)
Franken calls Senate filibuster deal good compromise
A bipartisan deal doesn't stop individual senators from blocking presidential nominees but will limit the use of filibusters when the Senate begins debating a bill.
DFL Senator Al Franken was part of a group seeking to change the rules more dramatically. But he says he'll go along this deal. "We want the Senate to function and in my mind, this is a good compromise. I anticipate that this will speed things up but we'll just have to see how it goes." -- Brett Neeley(0 Comments)
Two years ago, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker put up those "Open for Business" signs at the state borders Since then, there's been an on-again-off-again argument about which state's economy is doing better.
I made it clear back then that for all the talk about Wisconsin taking Minnesota jobs, the facts showed Minnesota performed better than the Badger State in keeping people employed and adding jobs in the recovery.
The "Open for Business" rivalry re-ignited this week after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton released his budget and tax proposals. Walker took a jab at the plans:
In '11, IL raised taxes on income by 66% & businesses by 46%. Now MN Gov is proposing a $2 bil tax increase. WI is Open for Business.— Scott Walker (@ScottKWalker) January 24, 2013
So has Wisconsin out muscled Minnesota the past two years on jobs and the economy? No. Basic economic measures continue to show Minnesota outperforming Wisconsin.
Here are data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on the key economic markers. Click on the charts for a larger view. (MN is Minnesota, WI is Wisconsin)
Here's the Fed's projection for Wisconsin for this year:
Based on the Minneapolis Fed's statistical model, employment in the whole state of Wisconsin is expected to grow by a faster-than-average 1.3 percent, while the unemployment rate should drop to 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Over 4 percent growth in personal income is expected.Here's what it says about Minnesota:
Based on the Minneapolis Fed's statistical model, employment in Minnesota is expected to grow by a solid 2.2 percent, while the unemployment rate is predicted to drop to 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Growth in personal income is expected to exceed 5 percent.
One more: Here's a chart on quarterly employment change, starting just before the Great Recession.
The data don't end the discussion about taxes and spending or the effects of fiscal policy on business decisions.
But if the question is which economy weathered the Great Recession better and has showed greater strength in the recovery, it's the Minnesotans holding the bragging rights.(2 Comments)
Two key legislative leaders from opposite parties say they aren't concerned about putting a bust of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun in the State Capitol.
Minnesota Citizen's Concerned for Life, which opposes legalized abortion, is condemning legislation that would pay for a bust of Blackmun, who is a St. Paul native. The group is expressing outrage because Blackmun authored the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion. When asked about the legislation today GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann said he didn't know about the proposal or the opposition.
"I don't have a feeling one way or another," Hann said. "I didn't know there was a controversy over that. He's a Supreme Court justice. Where's the controversy?"
When told about MCCL's position on the matter, Hann later told reporters that he doesn't take his marching orders from the group.
DFL House Majority Leader Erin Murphy called Blackmun a "famous jurist" and was surprised people would be upset about putting a bust of Blackmun in the Minnesota Capitol.