The Daily Digest (Big donors used, water permits abused; bracing for bad budget news?)

Legislation to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage gets a deep look today at the Capitol. Lawmakers also dig into bills on children’s mental health, taxes and protecting personal data.

Supporters of same-sex marriage unveil legislation today at the Capitol.

State

Hundreds of water permit holders pump more than allowed (MPR News)

“Over the last six years, hundreds of individuals, businesses and even state agencies have pumped billions more gallons than permits allow. Even in a drought, violators face few consequences; DNR concedes there’s little enforcement.”

Minnesota legislators brace for more bad budget news Thursday (Star Tribune)

“The state’s slow economic recovery remains stronger than many states, but bruising political fights in Washington over the so-called fiscal cliff, automatic budget reductions and the debt ceiling continue to weigh on the economic outlook.”

Big giving by wealthy shaped Minnesota’s ’12 campaigns (Star Tribune)

“Three donors are responsible for nearly $6 million of the $9 million given by the top 25 donors to state parties and campaign committees in the 2012 election cycle, according to a Star Tribune analysis of campaign finance records.”

School officials turn down lawmakers’ repayment offer (MPR News)

“Lawmakers are offering to pay back the money they borrowed from schools, but education officials say they’d prefer the state use its money to provide new funding for schools, money that would likely continue into the future.”

Frac sand moratorium bill passes first legislative stop (Associated Press)

“A state Senate committee approved a one-year moratorium on new silica sand mines on Tuesday as part of a senator’s broader effort to increase oversight of the booming industry. The bill passed on an 8-4, party-line vote.”

Tighter Financial Controls in Mayo Expansion Bill (Associated Press)

“The public dollars would pay for infrastructure upgrades associated with Mayo Clinic’s planned expansion. Lawmakers added language requiring consulting arrangements and other contracts using the public money be subject to state audits.”

Nation

Justices turn back challenge to broader U.S. eavesdropping (New York Times).

The repeal Obamacare chorus quiets (Politico)

White House not hopeful automatic budget cuts will be averted (CBS News)

Poll: 87 percent say never OK to cheat on taxes (Associated Press)

GOP activist Pat Anderson: Minn. Republicans should back same-sex marriage

In a Pioneer Press column, Pat Anderson, a leading GOP voice in Minnesota and former state auditor, urges Republicans to support same-sex marriage.

“We’re not losing elections because our principles are weak, and we’re not losing young voters because our message isn’t relevant to them. Conservative principles of limited government, individual liberty and personal responsibility are more important now than ever,” she said in the column published Tuesday.

“We’re struggling as a party because we continue to dangerously alienate significant groups of Minnesotans — including same-sex couples and the people who know and love them.”

Biden taps Minnesota native as next National Security Advisor

A Minnesota native already runs the White House staff. Now another will become the top national security aide to Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden named Jake Sullivan to be his new national security adviser on Tuesday. Sullivan, who’s from Minneapolis, comes to the White House from the State Department, where he served as the head of the highly influential Policy Planning Department and also worked as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff.

Sullivan also worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and served briefly as U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s chief counsel.

Last month President Obama named Stillwater native Denis McDonough as White House chief of staff. – Brett Neely