The Daily Digest

State Finance officials will release the budget forecast today and no one is expecting good news. Gov. Pawlenty and folks in his administration are suggesting the deficit in the current budget cycle could be between $1 billion and 1.5 billion. House and Senate DFLers say privately that they think it will likely be between $500 million and $1 billion. Are DFLers too optimistic? Are Pawlenty’s folks trying to drive up the number so it doesn’t look as bad when it comes in at a lower number? We’ll know later this morning.

AP has a q and a on the forecast. The Pi Press goes straight ahead with the story. The Star Tribune previews the number by suggesting it could be north of $1 billion.

Here’s a few numbers that matter: AP says 9 of the 13 twice-yearly forecasts done since Tim Pawlenty became governor have shown deficits.

MPR says the elimination of General Assistance Medical Care will mean that many ex-offenders may be forced to lose their anti-psychotic meds. That could mean a trip back to prison for some of them.

Immigrant detention grows in Minnesota.

Minnesota ranks sixth in students with college debt.

The PUC approves a CenterPoint rate increase.

An organization helps disabled veterans find jobs.

Charter school building draws the attention of state lawmakers. KARE and the Star Tribune have stories.

Congress

President Obama announces a plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Here’s reaction from most of the delegation.

MinnPost says Democrats are reacting cautiously to the proposal.

The Star Tribune focuses on what DFL Rep. Tim Walz and GOP Rep. John Kline, both veterans, think about the plan. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison will likely oppose it.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum wants a tax to pay for the troop increase.

The CBO says the stimulus created or saved jobs.

Some Democrats are criticizing the first stimulus bill. Oberstar is mentioned.

Tempers flare as the Senate nears a health care vote.

A new public option plan is being considered.

President Obama punted on higher ethanol blends.

Here’s a look at the delegation’s office expenditures.

A Duluthian is placed on Obama’s jobs team. DFL Rep. Jim Oberstar made the recommendation.

2010 Race for Congress

GOP state Rep. Randy Demmer jumps in the race in Minnesota’s 1st District. MPR, the Star Tribune, AP and the Mankato Free Press have stories.

You can listen to an interview with Demmer here.

Another mystery candidate will enter the race today. The Rochester Post-Bulletin suggests Jim Hagedorn, son of former Congressman Tom Hagedorn, is the candidate.

CQ suggests Julie Rosen and Brad Finstad could also get into the race. One problem for Finstad is that he authored the Twins ballpark bill, which could upset GOP delegates.

2010 Race for Governor

Minneapolis police chief Tim Dolan proposes a budget that cuts crime prevention specialists. WCCO and MinnPost have stories. Could this blow back on R.T. Rybak?

Mark Dayton is asking supporters to give him $1. Is it an effort to boost the number of contributors to the candidate who typically self funds his campaigns?

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Politico says GOP candidates, including Pawlenty, are running from the climate change bill.

Other

IRV backers in St. Paul are fined $5,000 but still win.

  • http://www.minnesotacentral.blogspot.com Minnesota Central

    I saw the CQ comment with Brad Finstad’s name being mentioned as a challenger for Tim Walz and wondered how quickly the kids grow up ? A January 31, 2008 press release announced that he would not seek reelection stating “With three young kids, I’ve decided its time to spend more time at home with my family”. OK, I bought that story then since he would have easily won reelection and he is in his young 30’s . IMO, Finstad has done valuable work with as Executive Director, Center for Rural Policy & Development and would be an excellent challenger for Congressman Walz, but the time and money to campaign would have a big impact on his family life.

    Senator Rosen is a different story … her family fortune is larger than Glen Taylor’s … she could definitely self-fund a campaign … but does she want to ?

    Seeing these two names make me wonder if they are being pushed just to get some media attention for the First District contest and to offer somewhat more moderate choices than the three Conservatives already mentioned. Who the MN-GOP selects to oppose Congressman Walz could have a big impact on the Governor’s race. Remember that in 2006, Walz beat incumbent Gutknecht in Rochester (Gilknecht’s home turf) but Pawlenty beat Hatch/Hutchinson in that county.

  • http://www.minnesotacentral.blogspot.com Minnesota Central

    Regarding the comment that Finstad was a prime mover on the Twins stadium and that might not sit well with some Republicans, made me wonder where others stood.

    Thanks to MPR’s invaluable resource VoteTracker, it should be noted that Rosen and Demmer voted for the Twins Stadium … so does Finstad get “credit” for authoring the legislation but those that just voted for it, get a pass ?

    Interesting that vote included a number of gubernatorial candidates.

    Voting for the stadium were : Kelley, Entenza, MAK, Rukavina and Thissen.

    Voting against the stadium were : Bakk, Hann, Marty, Emmer and Seifert.

  • Jamie

    “Here’s a few numbers that matter: AP says 9 of the 13 twice-yearly forecasts done since Tim Pawlenty became governor have shown deficits.”

    First : “Here ARE a few numbers…” Don’t journalists learn English usage any more? I hear and read that mistake frequently on MPR and other news outlets. It’s such a basic part of the structure of the language that it makes me wonder if I should take seriously what they’re saying. Just because it’s popular to misuse the language doesn’t make it ok for journalists, whom I expect to be masters of English.

    Second: Pawlenty is probably proud of all the deficits. He certainly was happy about the opportunity to be a dictator with the budget earlier this year. And now he’s reportedly saying he wants to work with the Legislature to solve the continuing budget problems. How magnanimous of him!! He shouldn’t even have to SAY that. It should be a ‘given’ that the Legislature works it out with input from the governor.