The Daily Digest

Minnesota’s State budget picture has improved but the path out of the 2011 legislative session isn’t any clearer.

State Finance officials say the state’s budget deficit shrunk from $6.2 billion to $5.03 billion. Read the full forecast here.

The State Economist says the state’s recovery could be slow going. One major factor for the rosier forecast is that more people are expected to cash in their capital gains because President Obama and Republicans in Congress extended the Bush tax cuts.

Here are the factors contributing to the forecast.

Governor Dayton dropped his 3% surtax on people making more than $500,000 a year. He also announced he’s restoring some funding to the cuts he made to nursing homes, transit and fire training. Watch video of Dayton’s newser and read his revised budget plan here.

Dayton will be on MPR’s Midday today at 11am.

Republicans say Dayton’s tax hikes are unacceptable. They also introduced a new talking point into budget talks: They say businesses dislike uncertainty and they say that’s what Dayton’s plan does. They’ll release the framework for their budget plan next week. Here’s video of their newser here.

House and Senate DFLers say Republicans should get moving on the budget proposal. Watch video of their newser here.

MPR takes a look at the main talking points that Dayton and the GOP are using to win the public on this issue.

Dayton and Republicans reached a compromise on the Alternative Teacher Licensure bill. Education Minnesota opposes the measure.

The Minnesota House sent a bill to Gov. Dayton that would decrease the time it takes for a business to get a state permit. Dayton says he isn’t sure how he’ll act on the bill. The House took the action just a day before the Legislative Auditor will release a report on permitting in Minnesota.

Minnesota is taking steps to release committed sex offenders. MPR reports the state has have signed a contract with a nonprofit agency to house and treat the state’s most dangerous sex offenders if they’re released from civil commitment. The contract represents a big shift for the state.

The Star Tribune wonders why the Vikings stadium bill hasn’t been introduced.

Arden Hills moves forward with its Vikings stadium plans.

The LCCMR dropped 25 projects from its list after Republicans say the recommendations wouldn’t pass the Legislature.

The DNR says research bears are fair game for hunters.

The U of M says it’s worth $8.6 billion a year to the state of Minnesota.

Wisconsin

A majority in a new poll back employees in public unions.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will release his full vision for the state’s budget.

A GOP group launches a pro-Walker ad.

Congress

It appears that a government shutdown has been averted but it all depends on the GOP freshman.

A GOP plan to sharply cut spending this year would cut 700,000 jobs, according to a new report.

3M’s CEO warns that President Obama is driving Minnesota’s businesses away from the U.S.

Obama backs easing some state health mandates but insists the concept of the health care law will stay on the books.

The U.S. freezes Libyan assets.

House GOP leaders say they’ll defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

The TARP bailouts are shaping up to be cheaper than expected.

MinnPost takes a look at the National Journal rankings.

GOP Rep. John Kline introduces a bill that would remove wolves from being listed as an endangered species.

Kline and GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack sign on to a bill that would require at least one parent to be a U.S. citizen for a newborn to receive citizenship.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum says workers are under attack by the “union busting GOP.”

DFL Rep. Keith Ellison says “there are prices to pay” for supporting anti-Israel policies in Congress.

2012 Race for President

Stu Rothenberg picks up on what many in Minnesota have been saying for weeks: Tim Pawlenty has a Michele Bachmann problem.

The Des Moines Register takes a look at where the candidates will campaign in Iowa this month.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he’s excited about the prospects of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann running for president.

Finally

Good-bye Andrew Wilfahrt. The Rosemount native was killed while serving this country in Afghanistan.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Squash one Republican Big Lie, they invent another. MPR’s PoliGraph brands Republican Leader Kurt Zeller’s exaggerated tax claims as “false,” and Zellers promptly comes up with a new phony argument, “uncertainty.”

    In reality, Governor Dayton is very certain about taxes. Unlike the Republican Plan to Tax the Middle Class, the Governor would tax the Rich as well. The only “uncertainty” is caused by the Republicans’ continuing failure to put forth a budget.

  • Jamie

    I was thinking the same thing. In addition to the Poligraph thing, NPR had the story on Friday evening about research that said rich people didn’t leave town when their taxes were raised, and there have been other assorted similar stories, so now they have to make up another phony reason for not wanting to tax millionaires and billionaires.

  • Jamie

    3M’s CEO warns that President Obama is driving Minnesota’s businesses away from the U.S.

    Ha! 3M has been taking jobs away from the U.S. for many years! Did their CEO say this about Bush too? I doubt it.