Good morning!

In Minnesota 

The Republican takeover of the Minnesota House of Representatives will not significantly affect the Democratic-controlled Senate’s agenda for the next legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said. (Pioneer Press)

Apparently it’s never too early to speculate about which DFLers could run for governor in 2018. (Star Tribune)

Minnesota’s health insurance exchange says it has enrolled nearly 8,000 Minnesotans in health plans in the first week of open enrollment this fall. (AP via Pioneer Press)

Stewart Mills, the Republican who came within a whisker of unseating 8th District Rep. Rick Nolan, isn’t ruling another bid for Congress. (Hibbing Daily Tribune)

National Politics

About 30,000 Minnesota immigrants will be eligible for work permits and temporary stays on deportation under President Obama’s new executive order, according to a new estimate by a think tank. (Star Tribune)

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is using her final weeks in office to rally against the Obama Administration’s immigration policies. Over the weekend she traveled again to the U.S.-Mexico border with Iowa Rep. Steve King. (Star Tribune)

A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees. (AP via MPR News)

The House of Representatives filed a long-awaited lawsuit Friday, alleging that the Obama administration ignored key aspects of its health care reform law when implementing the sweeping new government program. (Politico)

The 2016 GOP presidential nomination race could be chaotic and divisive. (New York Times)

Good morning!

In Minnesota

A Minnesota Republican Party official issued a “call to arms” against Muslims Thursday, calling them “terrorists” and “parasites” and suggesting that someone should “frag ‘em.” (Star Tribune)

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton hosted House Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt for lunch at the governor’s residence. It was their first meeting since Election Day, when Dayton won a second term and Republicans won control of the Minnesota House. (MPR News)

In the past, control of the state House has been won or lost in competitive suburban swing districts. Not this year. Are the metro suburbs becoming DFL territory? (MinnPost)

Even with its renewable energy standard and new solar law, Minnesota is not on track to meet federal emissions reductions aimed at addressing climate change, state officials said. (MPR News)

A recount of the state House race in District 48A has been completed, and it confirms the original results, with DFL Rep. Yvonne Selcer holding on to her seat by 41 votes. (Star Tribune)

National Politics

President Obama announced a plan to protect 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, infuriating Republicans but satisfying immigrants who have fought for years for such relief. (Washington Post)

A senior House Republican said Thursday that it’s impossible to “defund” President Barack Obama’s upcoming moves on immigration in an upcoming spending bill. (AP via Pioneer Press)

Retiring Congresswoman Michele Bachmann denounced the plan said Obama was trying to bring “illiterate” immigrants into the US who will become Democratic voters in 2016. The plan does confer citizenship on anyone. (MPR News)

Farm and livestock producers said President Obama’s executive action on immigration announced Thursday will do little to help farm operators struggling to get the workers they need and could drive more agricultural production outside the United States. (USA Today)

 

The main players at the Minnesota Capitol have been doing some pre-session socializing this week.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton hosted House Speaker-designate Kurt Daudt for lunch today at the governor’s residence. It was their first meeting since Election Day, when Dayton won a second term and Republicans won control of the Minnesota House.

“Pork and potatoes,” Daudt said. “It was good.”

Daudt said the conversation ranged from their dogs to their priorities for the 2015 session. He said they both included transportation funding.

“We didn’t get into real specifics about how to solve the problem,” Daudt said. “We just talked about the fact that we need to focus on transportation over the next two years. I think everyone realizes there are challenges in that.”

One of the challenges is coming up with the money needed to tackle a backlog of transportation projects. Dayton has repeatedly said additional revenue is needed. Daudt and other Republicans want to find money elsewhere in the state budget, and they want the emphasis on roads and bridges, not mass transit.

Dayton also held separate private meetings this week with DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and the outgoing DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen, who will serve as House minority leader next year.

Bakk said he expects transportation funding to be a front-burner issue in 2015, and it came up in his meeting with the governor too. Bakk  said Senate Democrats will not limit their discussion to roads and bridges. He said they’ll push for a comprehensive approach that includes transit.

“It is important transportation infrastructure here in the metropolitan area, to a lesser extent in rural Minnesota,” Bakk said. “But there are some communities where it’s important. So, I suspect that a Senate transportation thing is going to have more emphasis on transit than what I hear at least is coming from the House.”

Still, Bakk said he thinks disagreements over transportation funding and other budget matters can be resolved for a timely adjournment of the session in May.   He noted that the last time Minnesota had a DFL governor, a DFL Senate and a Republican House was in 1985. That session didn’t go well, and a special session was needed in June to pass a budget.

“That was a significant failure on the part of the Legislature,” Bakk said. “They weren’t able to negotiate an agreement. I don’t want to make the same kind of mistakes that were made in 1985.”

The 2015 session begins on Jan. 6.