The Daily Digest (Puppy mills, voting drills; A GOP name on same-sex bill?)

Gov. Dayton’s school finance, budget and tax plans will be scrutinized in hearings across the Capitol today.

State

Contentious frac sand mining hearings start at Capitol (MPR News)

“Opponents packed a legislative hearing to urge Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers to regulate the sand mining industry. But industry officials say such regulations will limit job growth and create unnecessary burdens on them.”

GOP lawmaker preparing to co-sponsor gay marriage bill (Star Tribune)

State Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover would be the “first GOP legislator to publicly support same-sex marriage, highlighting the rapidly changing dynamics of the issue at the Capitol.”

Special cause license plates vex Minn. lawmakers (Associated Press)

“Protect the environment. Support troops. Show college pride Special Minnesota license plates are causing angst among some lawmakers, who worry about where to draw the line. More special plate requests are before the Legislature this year.”

Lawmakers take first look at Dayton’s school funding plan (MPR News)

House Education Finance Committee chair “mostly praised the governor’s approach” but says proposal doesn’t do enough to equalize funding between property-poor school districts and property-rich districts.”

Bill hopes to stop unethical breeders In Minnesota (WCCO)

“Gov. Dayton, a dog owner supports a bill to clamp down on state breeders who run puppy or kitty mills. The terrible images of animal mistreatment get attention, but animal advocates say there’s no Minnesota law to stop unethical breeders.”

Violence inside state sex offender program could bring prison transfer (KSTP)

“State lawmakers say Minnesota Sex Offender Program patients at Moose Lake who assault staff and other patients should face prison. Right now, those convicted simply remain at MSOP.”

Dayton signs bill ratifying state employee contracts (MPR News)

“The contracts give a two percent across-the-board pay increase to 35,000 state workers, retroactive to the start of the year. GOP leaders argued questioned the raises at a time when many private sector workers aren’t getting pay increases.”

Senate panel studies expanded Minn. voting window (Associated Press)

A bill to open Minnesota voting booths two weeks before an election and allow voting on weekends is being aired for the first time. Minnesota is among a dwindling number of states without in-person early voting.

Nation

Congress looks for road repair funds (Politico)

Obama warns looming budget cuts would devastate economy (NBC News)

Does the federal government spend more on ‘welfare’ than anything else? (Washington Post)

High court seems inclined to protect Monsanto patent rights in seed dispute (Washington Post)

Gen. Allen exit latest fallout from David Petraeus scandal (Politico)

Justices take case on overall limit to political donations (New York Times)