The Daily Digest (Honour runs for governor, E-Verify, online sales taxes)

In Minnesota

Wayzata businessman Scott Honour is the first Republican to officially announce his candidacy for governor in 2014.

Honour turned down interview requests from Minnesota media but the former investment banker and private equity investor did have time to speak with the Wall Street Journal.

A prominent Republican operative, Brian McClung, endorses same-sex marriage. Only one GOP state senator supports same-sex marriage.

The House passed a tax bill that raises levies on income, alcohol and tobacco.

Meanwhile, a bonding bill’s prospects look less bright in the Senate.

The Poligraph weighs in on a proposed hike in alcohol taxes and whether alcohol abuse costs the state billions.

Washington/National Politics

As the immigration bill continues to get scrutiny on Capitol Hill, DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken says small employers such as dairies shouldn’t be forced to use an electronic verification system to determine a worker’s residency status. MPR News looks into E-Verify’s track record in Minnesota.

A Senate vote on President Obama’s nominee for Labor Secretary, Thomas Perez, has been postponed after Republicans invite a whistleblower to a hearing. The whistleblower was concerned about how Perez handled a settlement involving the City of St. Paul.

The U.S. Senate is considering legislation to allow states to collect sales tax from online retailers based out of state. Minnesota’s senators are both on board, as are Target and Best Buy. The measure could add hundreds of millions of dollars a year to state coffers.

Shortest campaign ever? Three weeks after announcing a challenge to Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline, CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring announces she won’t run after all. Kline’s challenger last year, former DFL state Rep. Mike Obermueller, remains in the race.

Lawmakers don’t appear to be that concerned about long-term unemployment. At a hearing in Washington on Wednesday, DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the only lawmaker on the dais at one point and no Republicans appeared to show up, reports the Huffington Post.

A revolt among conservatives in the U.S. House forces GOP leaders to pull a bill that would have diverted funds from the health care law into high-risk insurance pools.

Michele Bachmann will re-launch the House Tea Party Caucus this afternoon. The group has been mostly moribund since she began her presidential bid in mid-2011.

More from the sequester files: New York’s Fleet Week is canceled.