Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders have announced a deal on an overall tax bill that would increase roughly $2 billion in new taxes.
With the countdown clock ticking on the legislative session, state lawmakers are still negotiating most of their budget bills and appear to have given up on a minimum wage increase.
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 provides generous financial incentives to specific companies.
A public safety bill that increases spending for prisons and the courts system, as well as fill in holes in Minnesota’s criminal background check system, is ready for Gov. Dayton’s signature, reports the Pioneer Press.
So long electronic gambling taxes, hello cigarette taxes and additional corporate income taxes. That’s Governor Mark Dayton’s plan to close the revenue gap in the Vikings stadium financing plan.
Twin Cities lawmakers are fighting with rural lawmakers on how to distribute millions of dollars of parks money.
In Washington/National Politics
Congress holds its first hearings on the IRS scandal this morning. The Washington Post reports that one issue lawmakers plan to focus on is whether IRS officials misled Congress about a policy that targeted conservative groups for extra screening.
The IRS has a new acting commissioner.
MPR reports that Minnesota lawmakers in Washington are preparing for a long, hot summer of IRS investigations. Michele Bachmann is particularly eager to talk about the scandal.
Remember that mysterious ad purchase Bachmann’s campaign made 18 months before the next election? The campaign-style ads launched Thursday celebrate Bachmann’s bill that passed the House Thursday to undo President Barack Obama’s health care law. Of course, the law is going nowhere because neither the Senate nor President Obama will go along .
Republicans on Capitol Hill claimed they found proof that the White House had edited emails about the Benghazi terror attacks for political ends and leaked the contents of those emails to reporters last week. After the White House released the complete trove of emails, CBS reports that some of the quotes GOP aides gave out were wrong.
Even though it seems like it’s political theater time on Capitol Hill, some work on the spending bills is underway. Politico says House Republicans are circulating spending targets for the Labor, Education and Health and Human Services departments that include a nearly 20 percent reduction on top of the cuts already made by sequestration.
House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that the White House should be prepared to negotiate with House Republicans on the debt limit – despite President Barack Obama’s insistence that he wants to extend it later this summer without strings attached. Boehner had previously said he was done negotiating with the White House.