Welcome to the Daily Digest, where the state has a surplus….
….but not for long, as MPR’s Tim Pugmire explains.
The extra cash is already spoken for, and the state’s forecasters say we’re still in for a $1.1 billion deficit by 2014.
Republicans are using the surplus to support their case for lower spending.
Now that they know what the state’s fiscal situation looks like, Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders want to focus on job creation for the rest of the session.
Minnesota’s economic outlook has improved, but not dramatically, the forecast indicates.
Expect an announcement on a stadium deal today.
Two non-binding legal opinions say UMN regent Steve Sviggum’s second job as the Senate GOP’s spokesman represents a conflict of interest.
Rep. Kate Knuth will not seek re-election.
After a winter hibernation, PoliGraph is back. It says Barack Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, missed the mark on the President’s two-year record.
Sen. Gary Kubly was at Regions Hospital in critical condition Wednesday night.
Entrepreneurship in Minnesota
MPR’s Ground Level project is looking at entrepreneurship in Minnesota.
This story profiles Jason LaValley, and his start-up in Bemidji.
Ground Level has also come up with some fantastic graphics that show changes in Minnesota’s business culture.
You can read more about Minnesota’s entrepreneurs here.
The U.S. House is expected to vote on legislation that would allow the $700 million St. Croix River to be built.
The debate has pitted Rep. Michele Bachmann, who supports the bill, against DFL Reps. Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, who argue the bridge is too expensive.
Remember: Redistricting will force McCollum to campaign in the Stillwater area. The proposed bridge would connect the area to Wisconsin.
Ahead of the vote, congressional lawmakers are getting an earful on the bridge from Minnesota’s officials, MinnPost reports.
The federal government is close to compensating Minnesota’s Chippewa bands for tribal land it sold. Members of Minnesota’s Washington delegation are behind the bill.
In Capitol Hill testimony, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy will grow modestly this year, the New York Times reports.
Centrist Republicans are becoming a rare species in the Senate.
North Korea will suspend its nuclear weapons tests. The U.S. is sending food aid in return.
Tensions overseas are having an effect on gas prices, the New York Times reports.
On the Campaign Trail
Rick Santorum is focusing on Ohio, where he hopes to pull out a win after victories for Mitt Romney in the Arizona and Michigan primaries.
Santorum is calling the Michigan primary a victory because he split the delegates with Romney (though Romney won the state’s popular vote.)
The New York Times reports that Obama’s campaign theme is starting to coalesce: America’s making a comeback.