Daily Digest: 1-5-09

After counting wrongly-rejected absentee ballots, Al Franken’s lead increases to 225 and the Canvassing Board is expected to certify him as the winner today. MPR, Washington Post, Reuters, Star Tribune and AP have stories.

But it’s not over yet. Norm Coleman will likely contest the election in court. MPR, Star Tribune, PiPress and Wall Street Journal have stories.

Minnesota will have one senator when Congress is sworn in tomorrow. Coleman’s term expired at noon on Saturday.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer declared Franken the winner on Sunday.

But the GOP isn’t ready to seat to Franken.

State Government

Legislators are preparing for the start of the 2009 legislative session tomorrow.

A new study shows that fees for state services are up sharply while tax revenue has fallen.

The Star Tribune looks at what is at stake for Gov. Pawlenty.

Counties are trying to get creative with cost cutting.

Cities are also looking at how to plug the holes left by cuts to local government aid.

Teach for America wants to expand into Minnesota thanks to our growing achievement gap.

Technology spending in MN schools varies widely from district to district.

Public transit has plenty of riders, but not enough money.

The legislature will look at a bill aimed at getting the petroleum industry to produce cleaner fuel.

Congress

Rep. John Kline encourages the incoming Congress to “cut the pork.”

The 111th Congress reflects greater religious diversity. Rep. Keith Ellison is mentioned.

Congress will be off to a quick start tomorrow.

But a stimulus bill is unlikely to be ready by the time President-elect Obama is sworn in.

Obama

Obama will be meeting with Congressional leaders today to sell his economic stimulus plan.

His plan includes $300 billion in tax cuts.

Gov. Bill Richardson has withdrawn his nomination for Commerce Secretary due to a federal investigation into his connections to a company that has done business in his home state of New Mexico.

Obama has chosen Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to be the new chairman of the D.N.C.

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