Good morning!

In Minnesota

A look at how Kurt Daudt became one of the youngest and least experienced Speakers in Minnesota House history. (MPR News)

Minnesota patients seeking medical marijuana come July 1 can expect monthly bills of $100 to $500 for their treatment, according to estimates from the state’s manufacturers. (AP via Pioneer Press)

Minneapolis Public Schools’ superintendent Bernadeia Johnson is stepping down from the job she has held for more than four years, creating more turmoil in the district at a time when it faces tough challenges. (MPR News)

Incoming state lawmakers go to school to learn procedure, give speeches and not take any of the rough and tumble personally. (AP via MPR News)

National Politics

Jeb Bush announced that he has decided to “actively explore the possibility” of a run for president in 2016. Bush is the former Republican governor of Florida, son of President George H.W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush. (Politico)

Meanwhile. in an interview with MSNBC, DFL Sen. Al Franken said he plans to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s likely bid for the White House. (MPR News)

Ride-sharing service Uber has responded to inquiries from Franken about its privacy and data-handling practices, but he said the company’s reply is alarmingly light on specifics. (Pioneer Press)

The least-productive Congress in modern history drew to an abrupt close late Tuesday after the U.S. Senate confirmed scores of Obama Administration nominees whose nominations had languished for months. (Washington Post)

President Obama has issued a form of executive action known as the presidential memorandum more often than any other president in history — using it to take unilateral action even as he has signed fewer executive orders. (USA Today)

RIP Alpha House, the real one, not the TV show (which isn’t that good). (New York Times)

 

WASHINGTON — With the 2014 elections behind him, DFL Sen. Al Franken has his eyes on 2016 — and more specifically who he’s backing to run for the White House.

In an interview with MSNBC, Franken said he plans to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“I think Hilary would make a great president,” said Franken. “I haven’t announced that I’m supporting her, but does this count? I guess maybe this counts.”

Franken is close allies with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom many liberals would like to see in the race. Warren has emphasized that she is not running and plans to serve out her term in the Senate.

Franken told MSNBC that Clinton is “great” and has plenty of experience.

Minnesota’s other senator, DFLer Amy Klobuchar, has also encouraged Clinton to run for president.

Good morning! Sorry for the technical problems yesterday that delayed the newsletter.

In Minnesota

Outgoing DFL Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is considering a run for mayor next year in her hometown of Duluth. (MPR News)

MNsure officials say Minnesotans now have until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 to enroll in a health plan through the exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1. The original deadline was last night but demand for insurance has been high, the site’s CEO says. (MPR News)

A departing state lawmaker who pushed for tougher security measures inside the state Capitol building, including tighter restrictions on guns, offered a harsh assessment today of the special committee designed to address those sensitive topics. (MPR News)

National Politics

The Senate narrowly confirmed Vivek Murthy to be the nation’s next Surgeon General over the strong opposition of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. (Politico)

The giant spending bill that just passed Congress may be a sign of a new governing coalition in Washington that includes fragments of the Republican and Democratic parties. (Roll Call)

U.S. Rep. John Kline, who chairs the House Education Committee, predicts the new Republican-controlled Congress will act quickly next year to dismantle the No Child Left Behind law that dictates how students and schools are evaluated and transfer education decision-making to states and local school districts. (Pioneer Press)

In June, NASA finished work on a huge construction project here in Mississippi: a $349 million laboratory tower, designed to test a new rocket engine in a chamber that mimicked the vacuum of space. Then it shut down the tower because the rocket program the tower was built for had been cancelled. (Washington Post)