The Daily Digest

MPR reports that Minnesota’s top companies are flush with cash but they haven’t been using that money to hire.

A panel in the Minnesota Senate approved a bill that would provide $200 million in tax cuts to businesses.

The Star Tribune says the House Tax Chair wants to cap the profits HMOs make from state money. The story focuses on what others have reported – Republican lawmakers are looking for new money to fix the budget deficit.

A legislative auditor report says environmental permitting in the state is flawed.

Gov. Dayton said on MPR’s Midday that it’s time for GOP legislative leaders to release their budget plan.

Vikings executives are in Minnesota to ramp up stadium efforts.

A Minnesota House committee has approved a bill that would forbid state officials from requiring that new homes built in Minnesota include fire sprinklers.

House Tax Chair Greg Davids chides Revenue Department officials for delaying the Tax Incidence Study.

Minnesota Nurses speak out against anti-union bills.

MA enrollment started yesterday.

An environmental group issues a report saying it’s not certain whether PolyMet has the funds necessary to protect taxpayers from paying environmental clean up costs after the mine closes.

Calls from jail shed light on intimate crime.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker introduces a budget plan that offers deep cuts to education and aid to cities and counties.

Congress

The U.S. House passed a bill that would cut $4 billion in federal spending and avert a shutdown (for two weeks).

Minnesota’s House delegation split its vote. DFLers Tim Walz and Collin Peterson joined Republicans John Kline, Erik Paulsen and Chip Cravaack in supporting the bill. GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann joined Democrats Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum in voting against the bill. Bachmann was one of five Republicans to vote against it. She said she did because the bill doesn’t defund the federal health care law.

President Obama’s Chief of Staff, Bill Daley, fires off an op-ed saying his boss is probusiness. The column is in response to 3M CEO George Buckley’s criticism that Obama is anti-business.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann introduces a new St. Croix bridge plan that would violate U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

Americans United for Change, a liberal group, has put up a billboard on I-35 telling GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack to “not privatize Medicare.” The group says it’s concerned that House Republicans are looking to create a voucher system for the federal program.

2012 Race for Congress

Former DFL state Sen. Tarryl Clark is showing signs that she’s keeping her options open in 2012. She joined the BlueGreen Alliance to help spearhead an effort to discuss jobs.

2012 Race for President

Tim Pawlenty says he’ll announce his plans sometime in the next 45 days.

Pawlenty hasn’t given any hints as to what that announcement will look like.

Tim Pawlenty’s archives have been released.

Pawlenty wants Minnesota’s nonbinding caucuses to be changed so Iowa and New Hampshire go first.

The conservative blogger for the Washington Post takes a look at how Pawlenty handled the bus strike. His former spokesman seems to exaggerate some claims like the Twin Cities media covered the 2004 bus strike like it was “Y2K.”

Pawlenty will speak at a Club for Growth conference this weekend in Florida.

Michele Bachmann is also expected to speak at the event. Bachmann will speak to a Tea Party chapter in Florida on Friday.

Bachmann says she’s a “student of foreign policy.”

Newt Gingrich is exploring a bid for president but it isn’t certain if that will include an exploratory committee announcement this week.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he could win the White House (but says he won’t run).

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