The Daily Digest (Mayo plan part 2, Bachmann-Graves redo; statewide testing failed you?)

Minnesota lawmakers push ahead today on spending bills for health and human services, transportation and the judiciary with a key committee deadline looming next week.


New Mayo plan emerging at Capitol (MPR News)

“Mayo Clinic is dropping a complicated tax plan that relies on more than $500 million in state funds to make improvements in Rochester in favor of a plan that would rely on a direct contribution from the state.”

Senate Dems take up tax on clothing, personal services (MPR News)

“Even though Gov. Mark Dayton has dropped the idea, Democrats in the Minnesota Senate will push for an expansion of the state sales tax to clothing and many personal services, while also lowering the tax rate.”

Senate DFL signs on to all-day kindergarten (Star Tribune)

“DFL education leaders in the Senate unveiled their education plan Thursday, which called for $130 million in additional spending to allow all districts to provide all-day kindergarten.”

House Dems move to scaled-back transportation plan (Associated Press)

“The House Transportation Finance Committee is expected to discuss on Friday a budget bill that would let counties impose a half-cent gas tax and a $10 annual fee on vehicles registered within their borders.”

State education chief: Minnesota needs new student testing regimen (Star Tribune)

“The data show clearly that testing our children to greatness has been a failed experiment,” State Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius writes in an op-ed.

Business letter backs same-sex marriage bill (MPR News)

“In a letter DFL leaders copied to all lawmakers, the .26 executives pointed to evidence of shifting public opinion in favor of gay marriage and what they view as the inevitability of its legalization.”

Legislator asks for larger Vikings commitment to stadium (Star Tribune)

“The Vikings stadium project should be held up until the state can be assured that gambling revenues are sufficient or until the team agrees to cover all shortfalls, according to bills introduced by a GOP legislator Thursday.”

Iron Range miners, families await report on respiratory diseases (MPR News)

“University of Minnesota researchers travel to the Iron Range today to share findings of their study into possible links between asbestos exposure in taconite mines and mesothelioma, a rare cancer that has killed 80 former state miners.”

Franken raises nearly $2 million as campaign season kicks off (MPR News)

“Al Franken’s re-election campaign announced that the Democratic Senator brought in just a hair less than $2 million in the first three months of 2013 as the 2014 Senate election cycle begin in earnest.”

Graves to run again against Bachmann in 2014 (MPR News)

“Business executive Jim Graves will run again for Congress next year against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. Last year then-political newcomer Graves came within 2 percentage points of defeating Bachmann.”

Chief judge: Federal cuts put Minn. public safety at risk (KSTP)

“In a rare television interview, Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota Michael J. Davis said the $350 million in sequestration cuts to the federal judiciary had resulted in a 15.7 percent cut to US court operations in the state.”

Minnesota drops out of St. Louis River mercury project (Star Tribune)

“The decision to pull out of a four-year, $1 million research project to identify the sources of mercury pollution in the St. Louis River on the Iron Range has stunned the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa and dismayed federal regulators.”

Federal rent subsidies vanish for many low-income Minnesotans (Star Tribune)

“Low-income people who had been told they were going to get Section 8 subsidies were surprised to learn that money’s on hold, thanks to the automatic federal budget cuts.”


Suburban growth transforming federal gun debate (Washington Post)

Senators agree to start debate on gun safety measures (New York Times)

NBC/WSJ Poll: More Americans support gay marriage (NBC News)

Facebook chief calls immigration policy ‘unfit for today’s world’ (ABC News)

Gravesight issues still haunt national cemetery system (Washington Post)

Ellison backs disgraced politician Anthony Weiner for New York City mayor (Politico)