The Daily Digest

Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are taking aim at public worker benefits. MPR says they’ll hold a news conference today to discuss a bill that would require public workers to increase their pension contributions while state and local units of government cut them. The move is the latest effort to target state and local government employees and is being characterized by union leaders as an attempt to follow Wisconsin’s lead on union matters.

The Star Tribune takes a look at some of the biggest recipients of public pensions.

House Tax Chair Greg Davids will hold a hearing on his tax bill today. The plan cuts income taxes and business taxes. Republicans are pushing the tax cuts despite Minnesota having one of the largest budget deficits in the country.

The proposal is also likely to include deep cuts in LGA to Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and every Twin Cities suburb. The House Property Tax Division introduced those measures over the weekend.

The House Capital Investment Committee Chair wants to cancel projects in DFL districts.

The PoliGraph says GOP Sen. Julianne Ortman got a tax claim wrong.

Republicans in the House and Senate said they would focus on the budget in the coming weeks but their committee schedules show bills focused on voter id, abortion, Sunday liquor sales and ending collective bargaining for teachers.

The Timberwolves have floated a $1.2 billion stadium financing proposal that would solve every stadium matter in Minnesota.

On Friday, Republicans backing a bill that would allow for the construction of a new nuclear power plants in Minnesota balked at Gov. Dayton’s conditions. They may have more work ahead of them as a result of the meltdowns occurring in Japan. The New York Times says the U.S. industry faces uncertainty.

The memorial service for Ed Burdick has been scheduled.

Japan

A state of emergency has been declared as Japanese officials race to stop a nuclear meltdown. Two explosions occurred at one of the plants.

Officials say more than 10,000 people died.

Middle East

Pro-Qaddafi forces reclaimed an oil town in Libya.

Police and protesters clashed in Bahrain.

Congress

CNN says Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, a supporter of nuclear power, says hold off on new nuclear power plant construction for now.

President Obama has shied away from union protests in Wisconsin.

State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley resigned after making statements critical of the military’s handling of the WikiLeaks leaker.

The Star Tribune says political pranksters are turning up the heat.

DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar holds a news conference at a gas station today to call for action on high gas prices. Key question is what has she done over the past five years?

The Hill says Klobuchar and South Carolina Lindsey Graham are thinking about renewing their bipartisan group that was tasked with addressing a slew of energy issues in 2008.

Klobuchar is also praising a decision by Apple to change how apps are charged.

A Senate turf war is brewing over online privacy. DFL Sen. Al Franken is mentioned.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank rips the recent hearings on the radicalization of Muslim Americans. DFL Rep. Keith Ellison and GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack are mentioned.

Senate District 66 Special Election

DFL Rep. John Lesch is the first Democrat to file for the seat. Republican Greg Copeland also filed.

2012 Race for President

Politico says Wisconsin’s union protests allow President Obama to test a major theme for 2012 – that his reelection is the only thing that can stop GOP radicals.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann made a major mistake while campaigning in New Hampshire. She told an audience there that the shots heard around the world started in New Hampshire. Those shots were fired in Massachusetts not New Hampshire.

Bachmann tried to manage the error by taking a shot at President Obama on her Facebook page.

Politico picks up on what others have already reported, Bachmann has a history of getting facts wrong.

Despite the gaffe, MPR says Bachmann charmed New Hampshire Republicans.

Conservative commentator George Will says Bachmann is not among the serious 2012 contenders.

Tim Pawlenty talked health care during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

AP says Pawlenty faced some skeptical doctors.

The New York Times says Pawlenty is campaigning as All Things to All Republicans.

The Fix says Pawlenty’s lack of major weaknesses is his major strength.

Stephen Colbert mocks Pawlenty’s videos.

Big GOP donors are taking their time getting into the race.

Finally

Good-bye Arthur Hoehn.

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