The Daily Digest

Did session start yet? It sure feels like it.

The Pawlenty Administration has now reached into every couch cushion and turned over every rock to find money. State finance officials now say they may have to withhold payments to schools to meet the state’s cash flow needs. This is different than the school payment delays that Pawlenty used when he unilaterally cut the budget in July. Finance officials say these delays will only last a few months and will be paid back by the end of the fiscal year. MPR, the Star Tribune, the Pi Press and Forum Communications have stories.

While State Finance officials were discussing ways to ensure the state pays its bills, supporters of General Assistance Medical Care were calling on the Legislature to keep the program alive. Pawlenty line-item vetoed funding for the program last session. The Star Tribune, MPR, KARE, the Pi Press and MinnPost have stories.

The House Ag and Vets Committee looked for additional cuts to those programs.

Attorney General Lori Swanson is pushing a bill that would tighten rules on utility rate hikes. The Star Tribune and MPR have stories.

A state report says there are fewer errors in hospitals. The Star Tribune and AP have stories.

A decision to end the “cost effectiveness study” could mean changes to the proposed Central Corridor Light Rail Line. The Star Tribune, the Pi Press and MPR have stories.

2010 Race for Governor

The Minnesota Campaign Finance Board fined the DFL Party and Margaret Anderson Kelliher’s campaign for governor $24,000 over a fundraising flap. Kelliher paid the fine already. The MNGOP Chair said he’s vindicated by the ruling. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune, AP and Forum Communications have stories.

The DFL candidates for governor will focus on Native American issues at a debate tonight in Bemidji.

Matt Entenza’s campaign manager has left the campaign. The news, first reported by MNPublius was followed up with reporting from the Star Tribune.

Republican Marty Seifert releases a list of current and former state lawmakers that are backing his campaign.

Poll

The Pi Press writes about a new poll that says a large majority doesn’t want to pay for a new Vikings stadium. The poll also gives Pawlenty his lowest approval ratings ever and a majority don’t think he’s “paid sufficient attention to Minnesotan’s problems…”

There are also results for governor, Racino and photo id at the polls.

Congress

President Obama engaged in marathon behind closed door talks with House and Senate leaders regarding the health care bill.

Obama also concedes he has not brought the country together.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar and DFL Reps. Jim Oberstar and Keith Ellison each issued a news release calling for action to help Haiti.

Klobuchar also said the Essar Steel Plant is still a go. She was in northern Minnesota pushing exports.

DFL Sen. Al Franken visited Afghanistan and said he’s cautiously optimistic. MPR, AP, the Pi Press, MinnPost and the St. Cloud Times have stories.

Minnesota gets $7 million for green jobs. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is mentioned.

The seating of the winner of the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts could take a while. A Democratic aide abuses a reporter covering the race.

Sarah Palin makes the smart move and will now allow the media to cover her speech to the Tea Party. No word (in this story) on whether the rest of the event, including GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s speech, will be open to the press.

DFL Rep. Collin Peterson will speak at the “Strategic Animal Ag Conference” in Willmar.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

I can’t find any details on where Pawlenty raised money in Texas on Wednesday. His PAC spokesman said he was attending a fundraiser for his PAC but didn’t offer any other details.

Politico is reporting that Gov. Pawlenty has accepted a speaking engagement to the Susan B. Anthony List.

Pawlenty is also conducting a fundraising blitz in January.

Glenn Beck said “It’s Mitt Romney’s turn to win the nomination.”

Former New York Governor George Pataki will visit New Hamspshire.

Former PA Sen. Rick Santorum is headed to Iowa.

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

    Maybe this will appear in tomorrow’s Daily Digest, but the Winona Daily is reporting that Rob Hahn will announce his candidacy for Minnesota governor under the Independent Party banner this morning. The paper reports that he is a St. Paul businessman and his previous success at elective office was as …. wait for … drum roll please … President of the Junior Class at Cotter High School.