The Daily Digest (Ties to insurance broker raises questions for two lawmakers, Fiscal cliff talks, Feds looking at MN Medicaid)

MPR says two GOP state legislators are under scrutiny for ties to an insurance broker who pushed for changes to the MinnesotaCare program. GOP Rep. Steve Gottwalt, who steered legislation through the House that dropped thousands of people from the state-run MinnesotaCare program, is now an independent contractor for an insurance brokerage firm that lobbied for the change. GOP Senate Minority Leader David Hann also has links to the firm but says he has received no money from the business. The ties raise questions about possible conflicts of interest and disclosure rules.

The Pi Press has a good look at overtime costs for the St. Paul Fire department and how it affects the public pension.

The Star Tribune says public safety officials are not collecting DNA samples from all felons even though it’s required by state law.

AP says Minnesota Republicans are looking ahead after their large number of defeats in 2012.

The PoliGraph takes a look at some claims made around the state budget.

Bidding for the new Vikings stadium appears to be competitive.

Gov. Dayton tells the AP that he opposes easing Minnesota’s marijuana laws. He also wants $209 million to refurbish the State Capitol.

Congress

President Obama and Speaker John Boehner met privately yesterday to discuss the fiscal cliff.

AP says Fiscal cliff ads have picked up where the campaign has stopped.

The New York Times says new taxes will take effect to fund the Affordable Care Act.

The federal HHS is probing Minnesota’s Medicaid program.

The Supreme Court will take up issues around same-sex marriage.

The Star Tribune says DFL Rep. Collin Peterson is struggling in Congress because he’s a moderate.

Here’s a look at the last campaign finance reports of 2012.

Economy

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent.