The Daily Digest (Red light cameras done, liquor sales’ Sunday run; Is Facebook official or just for fun?)

Lawmakers today dig into topics from solar energy to regulating mortgage foreclosures. And a House panel looks at whether social media communications should be counted under the state open meetings law.

State

Committee to vote today on frac sand regulation bill (MPR News)

“The Senate Committee on Energy and the Environment is expected to vote on a bill to impose a production tax on the industry and require the state to conduct a generic Environmental Impact Statement on silica sand mining.”

Liquor tax proposal raises hackles in House (Star Tribune)

“A new proposal would hike the liquor excise tax by pennies a glass, and use the estimated $190 million in tax revenue raised to offset the legal and health care costs incurred by alcohol abuse”

Gay-marriage foes vow to ‘take out’ GOP opponents (Star Tribune)

“A national group that has spent millions to defend the traditional definition of marriage is pledging $500,000 to “take out” any Minnesota Republican legislator who votes to legalize same-sex marriage.”

Red light camera plan defeated in state Senate committee (Star Tribune)

“The Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee defeated a bill to allow cities to install cameras at high-traffic intersections to catch red-light runners. Prospects for reviving it don’t look good, the bill’s sponsor said.”

Bill would ease college financial challenges for students illegally in Minnesota (MPR News)

“The bill would reclassify students whose parents brought them to the U.S.without permission as residents of Minnesota for purposes of tuition and financial aid at all public colleges and universities in the state.”

Abortion licensing bill before lawmakers (Star Tribune)

“Minnesota lawmakers this year will consider requiring abortion clinics to get licensed by the Department of Health in order to operate and inspect all outpatient facilities that perform abortions. Gov. Dayton vetoed a similar bill last year.”

DFLers revive child care unionization effort (MPR News)

“A bill introduced Monday by two DFL lawmakers would authorize the in-home providers to collectively bargain with the state. A legal challenge derailed an earlier unionization attempt.”

Senators to talk Sunday liquor sales (Associated Press)

“Minnesotans who want liquor stores to open on Sundays said it’s about convenience, but opponents argued at a Senate committee hearing Monday that many liquor stores don’t want to increase costs by opening for another day.”

Social media tests bound of Minnesota meeting law (Associated Press)

“If a majority of members on a city council zing messages back and forth on Facebook, Twitter or another social media platform, is that considered an official government meeting? Not if a bill starting its travel through the Minnesota Legislature prevails.”

Nation

Spin and counter spin in automatic budget cuts debate (Washington Post)

GOP drafts plan to give Obama discretion on cuts (New York Times)

Prominent Republicans sign brief backing gay marriage (New York Times)

After seven-week struggle, Hagel poised for defense confirmation (NBC News)

Senate panel likely to vote on gun laws next week (CBS News)

Ex-GOP Leader: Discipline for 2008 override vote was mistake

Former Republican House Minority Leader Marty Seifert now says it was “dumb” to strip leadership positions from six Republicans who helped override the veto of the transportation bill in 2008.

At the time, Seifert was unapologetic. But in a Monday MPR News interview, he said disciplining the so-called “Override Six” was a mistake.

I, on a personal level, think it was dumb for me when we had the gas tax override to do anything in regard to the members that were involved in that. I’ve since then called them all of them personally and told them that. When we took some titles away from them or whatever it was.

I should have just told my caucus, you know what, if you want to bounce me as a leader, just do it, but people are going to vote their district and their conscience and that’s just the way it is.

Seifert said he now believes that both parties should allow individual members to vote their conscience on contentious issues at the Capitol. – Jon Collins