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