The Daily Digest (Budget and bonding time, Dems eye John Kline; a Mayo package redesign?)

With the political spring break over, action resumes today at the Capitol as lawmakers push ahead on budget, bonding and other legislation with seven weeks to go.

State

Two Democrats plan to run against Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline (Star Tribune)

“Sona Mehring, a political newcomer who founded the CaringBridge website, said Monday she plans to run in Kline’s district. So does Mike Obermueller, a former state lawmaker who ran against Kline last year.”

Legislators balk at $500M request from Mayo to aid expansion (MPR News)

“Lawmakers say they want to help the hospital and clinic system grow, but some have concerns about the size of its funding request and the overall financing plan. That has key lawmakers asking for an alternative proposal.”

After break, Minn. lawmakers face long to-do list (Associated Press)

“The Legislature returns today with about seven weeks to finish writing a new two-year budget, decide whether to legalize same-sex marriage and make any revisions to state gun laws.”

‘Medical amnesty’ bill raises police eyebrows (Mankato Free Press)

“Certain underage drinkers would have immunity from citations for minor consumption if they are seeking medical attention for a drunk companion under legislation moving forward in the Minnesota House and Senate.”

Push on in Minnesota Legislature for education funding (Star Tribune)

“If higher taxes are the medicine the DFL wants the state to swallow, then more money for education — from finger-painting preschoolers to debt-burdened undergrads — could be the sweetener that makes it go down easier.”

Metro, outstate again at odds on Legacy parks funding (St. Cloud Times)

“Lawmakers and advocates have clashed over how to distribute Legacy money. Now, some metro parks advocates say an agreement reached last fall on how to distribute the money doesn’t fully address the needs of Twin Cities-area parks and trails.”

Xcel Energy Center, Target Center could be jointly managed under legislative bill (Pioneer Press)

“Instead of competing for concerts and conventions, Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul and Target Center in Minneapolis would be run jointly under a bill backed by state lawmakers from both cities. The bill calls for a feasibility study by February.”

Walz, Klobuchar back legislation on mental health aid for misdiagnosed vets (MPR News)

“The two Minnesota lawmakers are pushing legislation they say will help thousands of military veterans who may have had post-traumatic stress disorder were wrongly diagnosed and denied VA benefits.”

New tea party group pursues young, fun vibe (Pioneer Press)

“A tea party group that aims to be younger and friendlier is opening for business. The first meeting of the East Metro Tea Party will be Thursday with the founder promising a lighter touch than the approach of other tea party groups.”

Minnesota’s state Capitol restoration project failing diversity test (Star Tribune)

“State diversity watchdogs gave a failing grade to the construction company restoring the State Capitol after the workforce restoring the People’s House didn’t reflect the changing face of Minnesota’s population.”

Nation

Pro-gun forces find success targeting key bills (Washington Post)

‘Man of mystery’ is behind Michele Bachmann campaign cases (Star Tribune)

Small firms’ offer of plan choices under health law delayed (New York Times)

White House mum on West Wing furloughs (Politico)