A bigger car rental tax, more Minnesota foreign trade offices, money to study the impact of wind turbines on birds and bats and more money for courts. MPR looks into the details of Gov. Dayton’s budget that haven’t yet grabbed headlines.
Not all cities see LGA gain in long run (MPR News)
Minnesota cities would benefit under Dayton’s plan to spend $80 million more a year in local government aid, but some would gain a lot more in the long run. Much of the increase would go outstate in 2014 but shift to the metro area in later years.
Gov. Dayton’s plan to tax clothing has drawn strong opposition from the Mall of America, which attracts out-of-state visitors with the promise of tax-free shopping on clothes and shoes. Senate Majority leader Tom Bakk says lawmakers may need to look at a sales tax rebate for out of state shoppers at MOA.
Businesses: Plan to tax services a ‘killer’ (Star Tribune)
“Foes say Dayton’s revenue proposal would hurt jobs, punish small companies and be a nightmare for firms trying to compete out of state.”
Lawmakers propose more penalties for data breaches (Star Tribune)
State lawmakers say they’ll seek “stiffer penalties on public employees who misuse data and force local governments to disclose more information about the cases.” The move comes after a recent DNR breach.
Background checks on guns flawed, officials say (Star Tribune)
“Top law enforcement officials tell legislators to fix mental health loopholes.”
Ex-Senate staffer Brodkorb injured in crash (Pioneer Press)
Ex- Minnesota Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb “appears to have been seriously injured” overnight in a car crash on Interstate 35E. He was fired in 2011 after his affair with then-Majority Leader Amy Koch became public. He’s suing for gender discrimination.
Gun control proposals could split Obama, Reid (Washington Post)
House vote sidesteps an ultimatum on debt (New York Times)
Republicans are open to gun control, but not Obama’s gun control plan (Washington Post)
Dayton budget reverses his campaign positions
Gov. Dayton’s recent budget plan reverses campaign pledges he made during 2010.
During the race for governor, Dayton said he opposed raising cigarette taxes. His plan would raise tobacco taxes 94 cents a pack. He says he still doesn’t like raising the tax but has been convinced it’s good policy because the higher prices would discourage smoking.
Dayton also said during the 2010 campaign that he wanted to close the state’s trade office. His budget plan now funds an expansion of the Trade Office in three foreign locations. Officials with the Department of Employment and Economic Development say no decision has been made as to where the offices would be located. — Tom Scheck
Federal budget cuts bad for your health?
There has been a lot of worrying over the impact of the automatic, across the board spending cuts that would kick in if President Obama and Congress don’t reach a budget deal by March 1.
One area that could see a big hit is the Minnesota Department of Health. The Health Department’s Dave Greeman told the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee that his department would see cuts between $22 and $25 million over the next two years if the so-called sequestration kicks in. — Tom Scheck
Pro-gun group seeks donations to pay lobbyist
The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance is looking to raise money to hire a lobbyist at the Capitol. The group sent out an email, also posted on its Facebook page, noting that it’s been running on “shoestrings and bubble gum … If we got just one dollar from each of the 115,000 Minnesota permit holders, we’d have a full-time lobbyist…”