Gov. Dayton's school finance, budget and tax plans will be scrutinized in hearings across the Capitol today.
Contentious frac sand mining hearings start at Capitol (MPR News)
"Opponents packed a legislative hearing to urge Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers to regulate the sand mining industry. But industry officials say such regulations will limit job growth and create unnecessary burdens on them."
GOP lawmaker preparing to co-sponsor gay marriage bill (Star Tribune)
State Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover would be the "first GOP legislator to publicly support same-sex marriage, highlighting the rapidly changing dynamics of the issue at the Capitol."
Special cause license plates vex Minn. lawmakers (Associated Press)
"Protect the environment. Support troops. Show college pride Special Minnesota license plates are causing angst among some lawmakers, who worry about where to draw the line. More special plate requests are before the Legislature this year."
Lawmakers take first look at Dayton's school funding plan (MPR News)
House Education Finance Committee chair "mostly praised the governor's approach" but says proposal doesn't do enough to equalize funding between property-poor school districts and property-rich districts."
Bill hopes to stop unethical breeders In Minnesota (WCCO)
"Gov. Dayton, a dog owner supports a bill to clamp down on state breeders who run puppy or kitty mills. The terrible images of animal mistreatment get attention, but animal advocates say there's no Minnesota law to stop unethical breeders."
Violence inside state sex offender program could bring prison transfer (KSTP)
"State lawmakers say Minnesota Sex Offender Program patients at Moose Lake who assault staff and other patients should face prison. Right now, those convicted simply remain at MSOP."
Dayton signs bill ratifying state employee contracts (MPR News)
"The contracts give a two percent across-the-board pay increase to 35,000 state workers, retroactive to the start of the year. GOP leaders argued questioned the raises at a time when many private sector workers aren't getting pay increases."
Senate panel studies expanded Minn. voting window (Associated Press)
A bill to open Minnesota voting booths two weeks before an election and allow voting on weekends is being aired for the first time. Minnesota is among a dwindling number of states without in-person early voting.
Congress looks for road repair funds (Politico)
Justices take case on overall limit to political donations (New York Times)(0 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Minnesota's two Democratic Senators and five DFL U.S. House members are lobbying President Barack Obama to name former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar as the next Secretary of Transportation to replace the current secretary, Ray LaHood, who is retiring.
Oberstar certainly has chops in the field of transportation policy. He chaired the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2007 until early 2011. After serving 36 years in Congress, Oberstar was defeated by Republican Chip Cravaack, who was himself defeated two years later by current U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan.
In a Feb. 8 letter to Obama, the delegation's Democrats called Oberstar "a preeminent leader" in the field of transportation issues and touted his "practical, bipartisan approach to public policy."
Nolan's office released the letter and said it was part of a "behind the scenes" effort to secure the job for Oberstar.
Last month, Oberstar told Politico he was interested in serving as Transportation Secretary if the job opened up.
Still, Oberstar's road to nomination faces some potholes. At 78, Oberstar would be nearly a decade older than the next oldest member of Obama's cabinet, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, 70. Oberstar also clashed with the White House over his 2009 proposal to bring forward a $500 billion highway bill that would have required a politically unpopular gas tax increase. Under pressure from the administration, that bill was shelved.(0 Comments)