The Daily Digest (Obama talking guns here; next gay marriage fight near?)

Guns and gun control may dominate the political conversation this week in Minnesota.

Today, President Obama is in Minneapolis to talk gun control and press his case for tougher federal gun laws. On Tuesday, state lawmakers kick off three days of likely contentious hearings on state gun laws and possible new regulations.

State

Dayton calls for higher campaign contribution limit (MPR News)

Dayton says he’d like to see a bill passed letting politicians raise more money from individual donors. Candidates for governor are allowed to raise $500 per person in years when they are not on the ballot.

Advocates seek more school mental health money (Star Tribune)

Backers of a new bill say more money for mental health services in schools should be part of the state’s response to the Connecticut school shooting.

State: Reward doctors for keeping Medicaid patients healthy (Star Tribune)

“Rather than pay providers each time they see a patient or administer a procedure, the new model would encourage providers to steer clients into preventative care.” Advocates say the change could save the state $90 million over three years.

Marriage amendment fight topped $18M (MPR News)

Opponents of the amendment spent more than $12 million to defeat the measure, while those in support spent nearly half that, final tallies show.

Martin re-elected state DFL chairman (Associated Press)

“The Minnesota DFL Party has re-elected Ken Martin as chairman to a second two-year term. The party says that under Martin’s leadership, it raised and spent a record $14 million in 2012, while canceling its debt.”

Gay marriage battle, round 2, coming to Minnesota Capitol (Pioneer Press)

“The battle over gay marriage in Minnesota begins its shift from the ballot box to the state Capitol this month. Kickoff events for both sides are scheduled around Valentine’s Day.”

Supporters, critics line up for fight over nominee (MPR News)

Supporters of B. Todd Jones, Minnesota’s U.S. attorney and interim ATF head, are defending him against criticism he didn’t do enough to prosecute violent gang and gun crimes. Jones is the nominee to take the federal ATF job permanently.

Nation

Obama says Boy Scouts should end ban on gays (Washington Post)

Obama: “No doubt” more revenue still needed (CBS News)

Defense chief: Letting automatic cuts happen would be ‘shameful’ (Washington Post)

Broad powers seen for Obama in cyberstrikes (New York Times)

Dayton to DC to press for more federal health money

Gov. Mark Dayton meets Tuesday with U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to lobby for federal money for MinnesotaCare, the state-subsidized health plan that insures about 130,000 people under age 65.

Dayton and state health commissioner Lucinda Jesson will press Sebelius to let the state use federal health care law money to fund MinnesotaCare

Under the federal health care law, states have the option of enacting a similar program known as a Basic Health Plan. Dayton and Jesson will urge Sebelius to allow Minnesota to access the Basic Health Plan money to fund MinnesotaCare.

– Elizabeth Stawicki