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.
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.
Republican Marty Seifert releases a list of current and former state lawmakers that are backing his campaign.
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.
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.
Minnesota gets $7 million for green jobs. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison is mentioned.
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.