The Daily Digest (Gun ban out of sight; next round in gay marriage fight; Senate run? Kline might)

The gun law debate returns to the Capitol this week as the state Senate hears testimony Thursday and Friday. Big crowds are expected and could be larger than they were for House committee hearings on gun bills.

Today’s legislative agenda includes hearings on local taxes , frac sand mining and repealing the state basic skills exam for teachers.

State

Weapons ban not on Senate gun agenda (MPR News)

“Proposed bans on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines won’t be on the agenda when the Senate Judiciary Committee discusses gun laws Thursday and Friday. The focus will be on background checks.”

Kline keeps U.S. Senate run on the table (MPR News)

“I guess I’ll be playing a role and I’m not sure what that role is,” Kline said during a briefing with reporters in St. Paul. He’s one of several Republicans mentioned as mounting a run against Franken. Kline says he’ll decide sometime in the summer.

Dayton’s budget frays alliance with business (Star Tribune)

“Gov. Dayton has spent two years painstakingly working to build an unlikely alliance between his union-backed DFL administration and the state’s powerful business community. But his budget and tax plan is fraying that alliance.”

Expect bill this week to allow gay marriage (WCCO)

“State Sen. Scott Dibble said he plans to introduce a bill to legalize gay marriage this week, believing it has the momentum to pass after voters defeated a constitutional amendment that would’ve strengthened the existing gay marriage ban.”

In light of new rules, House GOP proposes avalanche of amendments (MPR News)

“House GOP lawmakers propose more than 150 amendments to four noncontroversial bills after majority Democrats require floor amendments be submitted 24 hours before session. Republicans say the new rules will limit debate.”

Tax deductions bill heads to Dayton for his signature (MPR News)

Bill adjusts state tax law to match the federal tax changes, continues deductions for teacher expenses, mortgage insurance premiums and college tuition. GOP lawmakers complain it also removes citizen seats on Iron Range Resources Rehabilitation Board.

Lawmakers consider how to regulate frac sand mining (MPR News)

Most regulation has come from local communities, so far. Those local leaders expect to see more permit applications, and differing opinions over how to regulate this industry are forcing lawmakers to consider broad standards.

Bill would cover costs caused by military leave (Pioneer Press)

Under the proposal, “Minnesota would reimburse local governments for costs to replace staff when fire, police and paramedic personnel are on military service leave. St. Paul’s Fire Department spent $390,000 to cover for military members in 2012.”

Nation

Other countries court skilled immigrants thwarted by U.S. visa laws (Washington Post)

Pro-gun lawmakers open to limits on size of magazines (New York Times)

Obama could revisit arming Syria rebels as Assad holds firm (New York Times)

GOP senators waiting for Obama outreach (Politico)

Deadline looming, Obama urging Congress to deal with budget cuts (CBS News)