The Daily Digest

The state’s budget debate will pick it up a notch next week after the revenue forecast is released on Monday. GOP legislative leaders are then expected to start outlining their targets to erase a $6.2 billion budget deficit.

Senate Republicans are working to show that they’re opposed to tax hikes. They reemphasized that point in a letter to Gov. Dayton. The only problem is they aren’t saying whether tax hikes include tax expenditures. The Senate Tax Chair says she viewed tax expenditures as government spending on Wednesday. She declined further comment on Thursday. Dayton said it’s time for Republicans in the House and Senate to stop with the “rhetorical game playing” and put their budget plan out.

MPR takes a look at the debate over whether Gov. Dayton’s proposed income tax hike will prompt top earners to leave the state. A new study of New Jersey residents finds that wealthier residents didn’t leave the state after a so-called “millionaire’s tax” went into effect in 2004.

Gov. Dayton is in Washington D.C. again today. On Thursday, he met with the Ag Secretary and the Transportation Secretary. He said high speed rail from Chicago is still a possibility.

Dayton and DFL Sen. Al Franken praise a biotech firm for expanding.

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill that would quicken business permits.

The Minnesota House approved a crackdown on synthetic marijuana.

The House also voted for a bill that would create stiffer dog abuse penalties.

Democrats in the Minnesota House say the health insurance plans that take care of the state’s Medicaid patients need to explain the skyrocketing cost of health care for Minnesota’s poor.

The Senate GOP will launch a weekly radio show that will be broadcast from Owatonna.

Dayton will speak to the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce on March 3rd.

The business that designed and installed the Metrodome roof has been hired to fix it.

The House Redistricting Committee will hold a hearing today in Rochester.

Dayton says all proposals for a new St. Croix River Bridge will be open to consideration.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker warns state workers that layoff notices will come next week if a budget isn’t passed. He also said payments to nursing homes could be delayed.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed the budget bill. The key sticking point is the Wisconsin Senate and all of the Democrats who fled the State Capitol.

Republican governors praise Walker but don’t embrace his stance on collective bargaining.

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison calls on President Obama to visit Wisconsin.

Congress

Moammar Gadhafi strikes back at rebels in Libya.

The White House will seek sanctions against Libya.

GOP Rep. John Kline weighs in on the unrest in the Middle East, the situation in Wisconsin and the federal budget stalemate. You can listen to his briefing here.

The U.S. is trying to pick winners in the new Middle East.

Rolling Stone says the army deployed psy-ops against DFL Sen. Al Franken, other senators.

Senate Democrats are readying a new offer on the budget.

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison spoke about civility and inclusion in Minneapolis yesterday.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum blasts GOP efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Cuts in student aid may close the door to college for some students.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz holds a Congress on your Corner event today in Rochester.

GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack visited an elementary school in Brainerd.

Race for Congress

DFL state Sen. Roger Reinert says he won’t run for Congress.

2012 Race for President

President Obama will file the official paperwork for the 2012 election in a few weeks. That means he can start raising money for the race.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann raises money off of President Obama’s decision to no longer challenge the federal DOMA law.

MPR says there is a wide list of potential candidates but no one who’s officially in the race yet.

Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney both pledge support for Scott Walker.

Pawlenty speaks to a Tea Party group in Arizona on Saturday.

A Romney spokesman said Romney is “proud” of getting everyone health care. in Massachusetts

Finally

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