The closing days of the legislative session are likely to be messy, if the 17-hour debate over the unionization of child care providers and personal care assistants is any indicator.
A jobs and economic development budget bill headed to the Minnesota Senate cuts the unemployment insurance tax for businesses, provides funding for job training and spends taxpayer money to jumpstart business expansion in the state.
The two declared Republican candidates for governor say they will not push to repeal the new law that allows same-sex couples to marry in Minnesota.
Minnesotans United, which successfully lobbied to pass the bill that legalizes same-sex marriage, has formed a political action committee to support and re-elect legislators who voted for the marriage bill.
A conference committee at the state Legislature rejected a bill this week that would require accreditation for crime labs.
In Washington/National Politics
The acting commissioner of the IRS is out of a job, the first victim of an outcry over the agency’s targeting of conservative groups that applied for nonprofit status.
Minnesota Majority is the second group in the state that says it believes the IRS targeted it for extra scrutiny because of its conservative stand.
The House Ways and Means Committee will hold hearings on the IRS scandal on Friday. 3rd District GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen is on that panel and spoke to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about the hearings.
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who used to work for the IRS, will hold a press conference this morning with tea party activists and many members of Congress on the IRS scandal.
The House will vote Thursday for the 37th time to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The bill getting a vote this time was penned by Bachmann though the Senate won’t take it up and President Obama vowed to veto the legislation should it reach his desk.
It’s only 18 months to Election Day 2014. Apparently that’s soon enough for Bachmann to begin airing TV ads in the Twin Cities media market.
One of the other controversies on Capitol Hill is the Justice Department’s subpoenas of AP reporters’ phone records. But Roll Call reports that many lawmakers remain neutral about what news organizations say was a serious threat to freedom of the press.
Between the IRS scandal, the AP story and probes into how the administration responded to the Bengazi terror attacks, Politico says the GOP smells blood.
Meanwhile, House lawmakers spent Wednesday marking up the farm bill, likely to be one of the most significant (and costly) pieces of legislation this Congress has a chance to finish.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar introduced legislation to tighten the standards for military personnel selected to handle sexual violence prevention cases as part of a growing scandal in the armed forces.