The Daily Digest

There are seven days to go until the end of the legislative session and Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are no closer to a budget deal.

Tidbit1: There was talk that the two sides would meet today to begin budget negotiations in earnest.

Tidbit2: One sticking point may be the failure by GOP legislative leaders to post a full budget. The Jobs and Economic Conference Committee and the Judiciary and the Public Safety Conference Committee has not posted their agreement yet.

Some of the particulars of the other budget bills are being released.

The Health and Human Services budget makes dramatic changes to state subsidized health insurance, cuts funding to disabled people and those with mental health problems.

A welfare program for the poor is also eliminated in the GOP plan.

U of M President President Bob Bruininks isn’t happy about the proposed cuts to higher education.

Poll Data

The Star Tribune released the final portions of their poll.

Dayton’s plan to raise taxes and make cuts gets higher support than an all cuts plan.

Gov. Dayton’s approval rating is at 54%.

Under the Dome

Opponents of a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage will rally at the State Capitol Today.

Tidbit: The New York Times reports that wealthy GOP donors are giving to an effort to allow same sex marriage in New York.

The Star Tribune says there are efforts to use private money to build roads in Minnesota.

The House passed a bill on Saturday that would expand the state’s gun laws.

The House also passed the Legacy Amendment but only after a skirmish broke out over funding for parks.

The Minnesota Senate passed limits on liability lawsuits.

A bill would protect women who were trafficked for sex.

Fishing Opener

Gov. Dayton caught a Northern Pike.

Redistricting

The Senate is expected to adopt the House plans for the legislative and congressional maps. Votes are expected early this week.

The House passed the plan for the Congressional lines on Friday.

DFL Rep. Tim Walz says “whatever comes will come” when asked about his district.

Vikings Stadium

The Vikings are pushing back on the suggestion that the Arden Hills site would not be a “people’s stadium.’ Gov. Dayton raised those concerns on Friday.

Some lawmakers are questioning why the Vikings Stadium is getting so much attention at the end of the legislative session.

Congress

The head of the International Monetary Fund has been arrested for assaulting a hotel employee in New York City.

President Obama is going to open areas to offshore drilling for the first time.

GOP Rep. Chip Cravaack will hold three town hall meetings this week.

MNGOP

MNGOP Chair Tony Sutton quit all outside positions after criticism mounted over his involvement with an anti-gambling group that is funded by Native American tribes.

Race for U.S. Senate

The AP reports that Republican Dan Severson will announce today that’s he’s challenging DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar. It’s not a surprise since Severson was at the Capitol on Friday preparing for his announcement.

Race for President

The scramble is on for Huckabee supporters.

Mike Huckabee announced that he is not running for president making the wide open Republican race in 2012 even more wide open.

Huckabee’s decision also helps Tim Pawlenty’s “Last man standing” strategy. Huckabee, Haley Barbour and John Thune all decided against a run.

The Fix says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is a winner as a result of Huckabee’s decision.

Bachmann teased “a run for higher office” in an e-mail.

The Christian Broadcasting Network says Pawlenty could pick up the support of Evangelicals.

The profile of the Iowa Straw poll has been raised because of the wide open field.

Pawlenty campaigned in Iowa over the weekend.

He says he can court undecided voters.

Ron Paul announced he’s running.

Note:

It’s the last week of the legislative session so the Digest will be shorter and could come at weird times. I expect to be working long hours so don’t be surprised if the Digest comes at 2am (before I leave work) or 10am (when I wake up).

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