The Daily Digest (Background checks shelved, Sunday alcohol sales and Bachmann probe continues)

In Minnesota

Legislation to expand background checks for gun buyers will be shelved until next year.

Pay raises for lawmakers are never popular. So in a potentially risky move for senators’ paychecks, a Senate committee is looking into whether voters should decide whether they deserve a pay increase.

Negotiations begin to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the $11.2 billion Health and Human Services bill. That accounts for more than 30 percent of the state’s general fund spending.

The Senate approves legislation to offer in-state tuition to students living in the state illegally.

A bill to expand protections for victims of child abuse passed the House with an overwhelming majority.

Our Poligraph asks a metaphysical question about the proposed alcohol tax hike: Is seven cents a drink seven cents a drink?

On the booze front, the House shot down a proposal to allow Sunday alcohol sales.

On the not-booze front, lawmakers from both parties plan to introduce legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

Washington/National Politics

An Iowa Senate ethics panel has approved an investigation into whether Michele Bachmann’s presidential campaign made improper payments to a state senator who worked on the campaign (until he defected to Ron Paul’s camp).

As the waters in the Fargo-Moorhead area appear to crest, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven say the U.S. Senate will vote on a water bill next week that will include funding for a $1.8 billion flood diversion project for the Red River.

A well-financed outside group founded by former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman is running ads in support of the Senate’s immigration bill to give Republican lawmakers political cover as the debate over the bill continues. The American Action Network has also been very active in congressional races during the past two election cycles.

Republicans are starting to rally around former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford after the Appalachian Trail’s most famous non-hiker’s campaign for what should be a safe GOP House seat falters.

From the “Can this possibly be true?” files: Three in 10 American voters believe an armed rebellion against the government might be necessary within a few years. 44 percent of Republicans agreed with that sentiment, just 18 percent of Democrats did.

Fans of political comedy will be relieved to know that HBO has renewed “Veep” for a third season.

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