The Daily Digest

The final fiscal signpost for the 2011 legislative session will be announced today when state finance officials release the budget forecast. The key question is what will the GOP blueprint for the budget problem look like? Gov. Dayton is proposing a income tax hike on top earners to balance the budget. Neither side is budging from their respective talking points right now.

House and Senate GOP hold an avail in the early afternoon to discuss the forecast. Gov. Dayton meets with President Obama at the White House today. He’ll hold an avail in the late afternoon when he gets back to Minnesota.

One thing for the GOP to be cautious about: State spending cuts slow economic growth across the U.S.

President Obama has few options to aid cash strapped states.

MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton sent a letter to GOP lawmakers saying a revenue increase violates their principles.

Republicans say they’ve made their final offer on alternative teacher licensure.

The PoliGraph says House Speaker Kurt Zellers exaggerated the tax increase impact on small businesses.

Dayton is wrapping up his trip to Washington D.C. today. He met with President Obama on Friday.

He talked Medicaid and flood control at the National Governors Association.

A panel awards the Metrodome roof repair contract.

Minneapolis has everything the Vikings want for a new stadium except for the bags of taxpayer money to pay for it.

Fishing rule changes take effect tomorrow.

Conflict of interest questions arise on the Legacy Council funding.

Minnesota got a $1 million grant for the health insurance exchange.

Forum Communications and the Star Tribune takes a look at Dayton’s cabinet.

Wisconsin

Protesters defy an order to leave the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says the protests haven’t swayed him.

Protesters across the country rallied in favor of unions.

Congress

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is ready to aid the opposition in Libya.

Senate Democrats say a stopgap measure put forward by the House GOP is acceptable. The measure, if passed, will avoid a government shutdown.

The Tea Party sends a message to Republicans in Congress.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar campaigned in southern Minnesota.

Klobuchar also introduced a bill to reduce homelessness for the nation’s veterans.

DFL Sen. Al Franken wants legislation that invests in STEM education.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz met with constituents in Rochester.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum wrote an op-ed defending public broadcasting. Full disclosure: MPR receives CPB money.

There are two stories on GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack’s first two months in Congress. MPR says he’s voting for spending cuts and pro-union votes. The Star Tribune says his voting record is all over the map.

2012 Race for President

Tim Pawlenty is in Washington D.C. today for a fundraiser and to meet with Congressional Republicans.

Pawlenty lost a Tea Party straw poll to Herman Cain.

Tim Pawlenty said “The government is too damn big” during a speech to Tea Party activists in Arizona. Listen to his speech here.

AP writes that Pawlenty’s speech is an attempt to win support of a group that isn’t in his corner.

He also said Republicans should consider a government shutdown if the budget cuts aren’t enough.

Newt Gingrich will form an exploratory committee within the next ten days.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann says the Tea Party is keeping them honest.

Bachmann was in Mexico and Colombia for a congressional delegation trip. She’s a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

The FEC warns Bachmann on her campaign finance report.

Politico says President Obama is looking less beatable to the GOP.

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