The Daily Digest

The Minnesota Senate will vote today on a conference committee report that cuts $900 million in state spending. The move comes one day after the House passed the conference committee report.

The House and Senate action sets up a showdown with Gov. Dayton, who has opposed the action.

Dayton will be on MPR’s Midmorning at 9AM.

The Senate will also take up a bill that would freeze salaries for public school employees.

The House will take up a bill allowing for alternative teacher licensure and another bill streamlining environmental permitting.

On Wednesday, Gov. Mark Dayton calls on Minnesota to “invest to progress” during his State of the State address.

You can read his speech here or listen to it here.

Dayton criticized Tim Pawlenty for leaving him a “horrendous fiscal mess.”

Dayton also aims to expand the streamlining that Gov. Pawlenty touted.

The PoliGraph says Dayton’s tuition claims can be read two ways.

GOP Rep. Jim Abeler, who was criticized for calling a hearing to discuss a possible shutdown, says he hopes the hearing makes everyone think about the impact of a shutdown on the state.

A House panel approves a measure that would lift the ban on new nuclear power plant construction. The next stop for the bill is the House floor.

Gov. Dayton and DFL Sen. Al Franken will hold flood meetings in Moorhead this weekend.

Dayton’s point man on the Vikings Stadium wants an umbrella agency to oversee the “stadium glut” in Minnesota.

The Vikings say the state should use lottery money to help pay for a new stadium.

DFL Sen. Tom Bakk also says the business community isn’t stepping up to back a new Vikings stadium.

College officials don’t like a bill to freeze tuition.

Minnesota colleges are also likely to tap reserve funds to cover the cost of looming cuts.

MPR’s lawsuit over light rail appears headed to trial this fall.

Congress

New York Congressman Chris Lee, a Republican, abruptly resigns after trying to pick up women on Craigslist.

Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat, announces he won’t run for another term.

Democrats are arguing Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas should recuse himself from any health rulings because his wife financially benefitted from efforts to repeal the law.

Republicans in the House are trying to deal with being in the majority. House leadership is proposing deeper spending cuts after mini-revolts over the past two days.

Republicans say Democrats, like DFL Rep. Tim Walz,are the reason they couldn’t pass a bill extending the Patriot Act.

President Obama had lunch with House leadership.

The White House plans to cut energy assistance for the poor.

GOP Rep. John Kline warns that Pakistan could lose aid dollars over a detained U.S. diplomat.

Special Election

The candidates in House District 5B met in a forum.

Pawlenty for Prez Watch

CPAC starts today. Pawlenty is holding a reception tonight. Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee won’t attend the event.

Tim Pawlenty draws fire over his comments regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Pawlenty is headed back to New Hampshire in March.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels says he would have the cash and the support to win.

Bachmann for Prez Watch

Former MNGOP Chair Ron Carey, who served as GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann’s Chief of Staff, told the AP that Bachmann isn’t electable and isn’t ready to be president.

Bachmann will be the first speaker at CPAC.

Bachmann’s office tells John DiStaso that she has no plans to visit New Hampshire.

Finally

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