The Daily Digest

Governor Mark Dayton and Republicans in the House and Senate have established their talking points regarding the budget.

Dayton:

“My budget proposal protects 95% of Minnesotans from paying a single dollar in higher taxes in the income tax or the property tax. Their proposal (GOP legislators) last week raised property taxes by $428 million on all Minnesotans so I guess my priority is to protect 95% of Minnesotans and their priority is to protect 5% of Minnesotans. I’d say I’m on the side of the people of Minnesota.”

GOP legislative leaders (Through GOP Sen. Majority Leader Amy Koch):

“We believe it’s a 20th Century budget for a 21st Century economy. It puts us a terrible disadvantage.”

Dayton and GOP legislative leaders repeated those statements in several rural Minnesota cities on Wednesday. Don’t worry if you missed them because you’re sure to hear them again.

Dayton says critics of his plan should put together their own bill first. GOP legislators say the budget can be balanced by cuts alone.

The Minnesota House takes up a bill that would lift the moratorium on new nuclear plant construction in the state.

The Tax Committees in the Minnesota House and Senate started their scrutiny of Dayton’s tax plan.

Union members rallied in favor of Dayton’s budget.

Health care providers are stunned by Dayton’s cuts.

Dayton explains why he changed his income tax hike from what he said during the campaign.

AP takes a look at the fees in Dayton’s budget.

Swing voters weigh in on Dayton’s budget plan.

Dayton is proposing a new grant program to spur innovation in education.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will be in Minnesota today. Dayton will appear with him near the lunch hour.

MnSCU students rally against tuition increases.

Thousands protest an anti-union bill in Wisconsin.

Union members in Minnesota booed the plan.

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, says she’s not a fan of the individual mandate in the federal health care law.

DFL Rep.-elect Carly Melin visits the State Capitol. She says she expects to be sworn in early next week.

Congress

The House continues to take up its budget cutting bill.

The GOP bill would cancel rural air service subsidies.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum proposes cuts to NASCAR ads, military bands and Cuban broadcasting.

Senate Democrats back President Obama’s spending freeze.

GOP Rep. John Kline will meet with Obama on No Child Left Behind.

The New York Times says President Obama ordered a secret report in August that examined unrest in the Arab world.

Bill Burton is leaving the White House.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar will co-chair the Congressional farm co-op caucus.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum says she’ll fight any GOP cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Full disclosure: MPR receives CPB money.

2012

The MNGOP will host the Midwest Leadership Conference in October. It will include a presidential forum.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is headed to New Hampshire on March 11th and 12th. One day after Tim Pawlenty will be in that state.

Bachmann appeared on Good Morning America this morning.

Pawlenty was in Arkansas and Florida on Wednesday.

Pawlenty says he wished he could have passed a teacher merit pay bill in Minnesota that was vetoed in Florida.

Pawlenty also criticized President Obama for a statement on Israel.

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