The Daily Digest: 12-3-08

Scott and Wright Counties begin recounting votes today. On Tuesday, the news was dominated with newly discovered ballots in Ramsey County. Meanwhile both campaigns say they will withdraw challenged ballots (which they have said again and again and again).

The Secretary of State’s office also called on all elections officials to sort their rejected absentee ballots to see if any were wrongly discarded (but not open them). MPR, AP, the Pi Press and the Star Tribune have stories.

Forum Communications says the Senate race loses some significance after a Republican won the Georgia Senate runoff.

State Budget

Gov. Pawlenty says he has concerns about federal aid for states. He made the comments after he and other governors met with President-elect Obama. Forum Communications, the Star Tribune, MinnPost, AP and MPR have stories.

Pawlenty also said the state budget will be in deficit in a few months and says he may unallot.

Pawlenty told Politico the tone of the meeting was constructive and positive.

GOP Rep. Paul Kohls proposes a freeze in state spending but not all state spending because schools could get more while other programs are cut more deeply.

Washington County faces an additional $540,000 in budget cuts. A number that will grow when the budget forecast is released and lawmakers eye state cuts.

Minnesota cities are also eyeing cuts.

The state turns off the lights at the State Capitol to save money.

Economy

World markets are mixed but Wall Street may take a dip.

Auto executives push for a new bailout package. General Motors says it needs $12 billion.

U.S. Steel lays off 400 from its Keewatin Plant.

State Government

The St. Cloud Times looks at per diem payments to lawmakers.

12 carp a leaping! A leaping carp is found in the Mississippi River.

Minnesota extends the biodiesel grant deadline.

Congress

A report says the world is at risk for biological or nuclear attack by 2013.

DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar says the jobs plan will be ready when Obama takes office.

Ethanol poses a big challenge for the next EPA chief. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.

Politico says GOP Rep.-elect Erik Paulsen is a Young Gun in the GOP.

There’s talk of restructuring the USDA. DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is mentioned.

An ornament made in Stillwater will hang on the Christmas tree at the White House.

Obama

President-elect Obama will name New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary.

MinnPost says some Ag folks are concerned about Obama’s “Millionaire farmers” remark.

  • Jim

    We don’t know the exact amount of the state budget deficit yet, but we do know of several media-hyped adjectives used to describe it – I’m collecting them, and here’s what I’ve got so far:

    “Shocking”

    “Very, very bad”

    “Historic”

    “Significant”

    Will there be others? I’m guessing there will be! One can only hope!