The Daily Digest

Governor Dayton is drafting a letter to his counterpart in Wisconsin asking for the final payment in the tax reciprocity settlement. Wisconsin missed the December first payment because of budget problems. Minnesota Revenue officials say it will cost Wisconsin an extra $975,000 in interest if they don’t make the payment until July first.

MPR and the Pi Press have stories.

House Republicans are eyeing the state’s workforce for budget savings. One bill would cut the state’s workforce by 15% by 2015. Another would freeze salaries and wages.

The difficulty for Republicans who say they can balance the budget by cuts alone is to not cut off essential services like care for the disabled. The Star Tribune takes a look at funding for Personal Care Attendants.

Gov. Dayton will appear on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell reports” at 12:30 today.

Dayton will release his budget plan on February 15th.

Gov. Dayton has named Larry Shellito, the former Minnesota National Guard adjutant general, as his commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Regent Candidate Advisory Board named former House Speaker Steve Sviggum, former GOP Laura Brod and AFL-CIO Secrtary Treasure Steve Hunter as finalists.

The Vikings say they’ll pay for a third of a roofless stadium. Vikings lobbyists were also seen walking into Gov. Dayton’s office on Tuesday evening. They didn’t meet with Dayton but did have discussions with the governor’s staff about the project.

A legislative retreat focused on the state economy.

GOP Rep. Sondra Erickson apologized for her “gestapo” remark.

The DNR Chief names the fish, wildlife director to the top post.

Environmental groups are concerned about plans to streamline permitting.

There is more information that has popped up as a result of a court battle between the Education Department, the ACLU and an Islamic Charter School.

Minnesota is set to implement a statewide rabies rule.

Congress

President Obama called for a new era of civility in politics during a speech in Arizona.

You can watch his speech here.

GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen’s speech on Giffords was called a “defining moment” of the Congressional prayer service.

GOP Rep. John Kline also condemned the attack in Arizona. Watch his House floor speech here.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz will hold a “Congress on your Corner” event on Friday at a supermarket in Mankato.

Members of Congress are being urged to report threats and to coordinate security.

AIG will fully repay the U.S. government.

It’s been one year since the earthquake in Haiti.

Minnesota will get $56 million more in federal funds to help the low income pay for heating.

The EPA delays carbon rules for the biomass industry.

Researchers say 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year on record.

A federal judge adds probation to a $296 million fine against Guidant Corporation.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is touring rural Minnesota to visit innovative businesses.

DFL Sen. Al Franken speaks out against the NBC/Comcast merger.

Franken also says the federal road sign rule is too costly.

Kline says he’d prefer to pass smaller education bills rather than a massive package.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

Gov. Pawlenty kicks off his book tour today in Washington D.C. He’s scheduled to speak at the National Press Club, MPR News will air his speech at noon.

Pawlenty appeared on The Daily Show on Wednesday and sparred with host Jon Stewart over rhetoric. You can watch the entire appearance here.

Pawlenty failed to outline any major ways to cut federal spending during an interview on CNN.

News Cut fact-checks Tim Pawlenty’s comments on how he wished he would have continued the government shutdown longer.

Think Progress says Pawlenty wants to raise the retirement age for Social Security.

Pawlenty will speak in Ohio later this month.

Sarah Palin accused her critics of “blood libel,” a phrase that has its roots in anti-semitism.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour met with politicos in South Carolina.

Bachmann for Prez Watch

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann will speak in Montana on February 5th.

A columnist for the Dallas Morning News handicaps the field.

2012 Race for Congress

DFL Rep. Tony Sertich’s last day in the Legislature is today. Sertich, who has been appointed to run the Iron Range Resources Board, says there’s no chance he’ll run for Congress in 2012.

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