The Daily Digest: 3-14-08

Today is a deadline for bills to get out of respective policy committees. Since nothing is ever dead until the gavel falls, it’s generally just an excuse for lawmakers to kill bills they don’t like. Get ready to see committee chairs act like auctioneers throughout the committee rooms.

Gov. Pawlenty has been racking up the frequent flyer miles. An MPR News analysis found that Pawlenty has been out of the state for an average of at least one out of every three days.

Negotiators in the House and Senate will now have to reconcile their differences on a bridge compensation fund. The Minnesota Senate passed its version of the bill yesterday. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune and AP have stories.

The Castle Doctrine bill gets shot down. That bill would have broadened the times when a person could shoot others in self defense. The bill’s author says he’ll keep pushing to get the bill passed into law. The Pi Press, the Star Tribune and AP have stories.

The Pi Press says lawmakers are mulling how to rate schools.

Forum Communications says transportation issues turn to policy issues.

Highway bridge rating signs could become a part of the landscape.

MinnPost speculates that former St. Paul Mayor Randy Kelly could be named as the next Transportation Commissioner.

There is also talk about a boost for biodiesel.

The Pi Press says Minnesota is 10th in U.S for mortgage fraud.

Pawlenty plans to sign a bill that lowers the blood donation age.

Former Gov. Arne Carlson criticizes Gov. Pawlenty’s budget fix. MPR and the Star Tribune have stories.

Negotiations on the bonding bill have stalled.

A bill to allow 13 years olds be charged as adults was approved in committee.

The Star Tribune says the DNR to buy an “incredibly rare” wetland in Carver County.

Midwest carbon talks get underway.

KARE says tempers flared on the House floor over sanctuary cities debate.

The Star Tribune says a shortage of ventilators is warning of a potential crisis.

Congress

The Senate defeats a measure that would ban earmarks for one year.

GOP Sen. Norm Coleman and DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar both voted against the earmark ban.

The House and Senate consider budget plans.

Lt. Governors back Klobuchar’s regional presidential primary plan.

An outside group says private tax collectors are collecting less than the IRS would if they did the job. GOP Rep. Jim Ramstad says the program is working.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum pushes a bill to reduce infant deaths. She’s teaming up with GOP Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on the initiative.

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison urges Liberians to run for office.

President Bush says he’ll sign a Farm Bill extension. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.

The FAA fines on Southwest are prompting wider worries. Southwest’s schedule is back to normal. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar is mentioned in both stories.

Norway’s foreign minister will be in Minneapolis later this month to explain the consul change.

2008 Race for President

The Fix says Minnesota could go GOP in 2008.

The NY Times says DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is part of Obama’s entourage.

The Star Tribune says some former DFL Party Chairs are upset with the current chairs for backing Barack Obama.

2008 Race for Senate

The Fix asks “How bad is it for Senate Republicans?” Coleman is mentioned.

The NY Times editorial board writes about Al Franken’s candidacy.

Race for Congress

DFLer Jim Hovland drops his bid for Congress. Democrats Ashwin Madia and Terri Bonoff will continue to battle it out for the endorsement. Republican Erik Paulsen stands alone. MPR, the Star Tribune and AP have stories.

DFLers dial for delegates in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District.

Pawlenty for VP Watch

The Financial Times says Pawlenty is the betting favorite on trading sheets.

2008 RNC

Did someone say show tunes? The RNC hired a broadway producer for the event.

  • http://www.trailblz.com Brian Hanf

    “Gov. Pawlenty has been racking up the frequent flyer miles. An MPR News analysis found that Pawlenty has been out of the state for an average of at least one out of every three days. ”

    I remember back when Gov. Jesse Ventura left the state for 1 day a week, when the Leg was not in session, and the press and parties had a field day. Why is this not getting the same kind of response?

    I ask for the ethics of the reporting, kind of like the ‘covering’ advertising question posted a while back.