Gov. Pawlenty plays a little peak a boo with his budget announcement. He’ll release the details at 2:30 this afternoon. Just in time for the state agencies to go dark for the weekend. Just in time for us to barely get our stories on for the 5 pm news. Just in time for us to get wonderful and colorful reaction from opposing points of view. Do you think it was planned that way?
MPR reports that union organizing heats up in Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office. No comment from Swanson.
Lead House and Senate negotiators will start reconciling their differences on the bonding bill. Gov. Pawlenty says the size of the bill is too big. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune, AP, the St. Cloud Times and Forum Communications have stories.
Bar owners vow to keep theater nights going despite a MDH ruling saying they violate the smoking ban law. We’ll see how many $10k fines it takes for them to fold.
Minnesota manufacturers put out the help wanted sign for skilled workers.
The Pawlenty Administration curtails public access to certain data.
State aid to cities will increase $90 million under a plan.
A Senate subcommittee says GOP Sen. Julianne Ortman does not have a conflict of interest because she works for the Hennepin County Sheriffs Department and sponsored certain legislation.
The Hill says passing a budget in the Senate could be difficult. GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is mentioned.
Coleman seeks federal help to battle bovine TB.
He also wants to sweeten a sugar deal.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum signs on to a letter asking the Defense Department relating to the Army error leading to a denial of GI Bill education benefits to hundreds of members of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard that served in Iraq
Lawmakers may extend the current Farm Bill one month while negotiations continue on a new Farm Bill. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.
DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is scheduled to have hip replacement surgery.
The FAA files a record fine against Southwest Airlines. Oberstar is mentioned.
2008 U.S. Senate Race
Democrat Al Franken agrees to pay a worker comp fine.
Franken was in Washington DC on Wednesday for a fundraiser.
A second Senate candidate, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, failed to provide worker’s comp.
MinnPost says Democrat Mike Ciresi is losing in the delegate count.
The New York Times says Democrats are hoping to pick up 60 seats in the Senate.
2008 Race for Congress
The Fix puts Minnesota’s 3rd as ninth most competitive race.
2008 Race for the Legislature
Three of the so-called “rogue Republicans” have endorsing conventions this weekend.
The Pi Press says GOP Rep. Dennis Ozment says his former GOP foe is “just not electable.” Ozment is retiring.
2008 Race for President
Ron Paul steps aside but says the Revolution will continue.
Pawlenty for VP Watch
AP says John McCain is noncommittal on a VP choice.
Attorneys ask St. Paul to protect the rights of protesters.