Welcome to Tuesday’s Daily Digest. As the election season gets closer in Minnesota, there are signs that DFLers may be willing to take another look at some of the taxes they approved last session.
And the farm bill is in the U.S. House. But food stamp cuts in the bill could hinder its prospects with both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans.
DFL lawmakers hint that some sales tax increases may go away (MPR News)
The state Senate and House tax chairs say the Legislature could reconsider some of the taxes passed by the bodies last session. Repeal of a sales tax expansion alone would cost about $300 million.
Benson jumps into race with Walz (MPR News)
Rep. Mike Benson of Rochester said he’s concerned about government spending and overreach. He criticized Walz’s support for some of President Barack Obama’s policies.
Pederson files with FEC for 6th District race (St. Cloud Times)
State Sen. John Pederson has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. It’s a step that’s required when a candidate has raised more than $5,000 for the election.
Minnesota, Wisconsin vote similarly, but policies diverge (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Pioneer Press)
Both Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing one-party rule. In Minnesota, the most liberal state government in decades is in power. In Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker has successfully pushed his agenda through the Republican-dominated Legislature. While both states voted for Obama by similar margins, the difference between the states partly boils down to redistricting and a few thousand votes.
Minnesota economy among fastest growing in U.S. (Pioneer Press)
A federal study found that gross domestic product growth in Minnesota is the fifth fastest in the country. The recovery appears to have spurred some job growth and an increase in housing prices.
White House threatens veto of House farm bill (Associated Press)
The House bill would cut about $2 billion from food stamps and make it more difficult to qualify for the benefit. The Obama administration says the cuts are too steep. In all, the entire bill costs about $100 billion every year.
Farm bill could hinge on dairy vote, with opponents saying new program would boost milk prices (Associated Press via Star Tribune)
An overhaul of protections for dairy farmers that was proposed by Rep. Collin Peterson has divided some rural lawmakers, with House Speaker John Boehner describing it last year as “communism.”
Supreme Court rulings on generic drugs, Miranda rights, more (Associated Press)
The court issued a number of rulings on subjects ranging from Miranda rights to an Arizona law that required proof of citizenship to vote.
G.O.P. Pushes New Abortion Limits to Appease Vocal Base (New York Times)
Republicans in the House plan to propose a bill today that would ban abortions after 22 weeks. It’s caused a rift between some conservatives and moderate Republicans, who argue that the party should avoid the contentious debate that often accompanies abortion bills.
Obama says administration making ‘right trade-offs’ in surveillance programs (Washington Post)
The president said the loss of privacy from the surveillance programs is balanced out by the increase in security, which he says has disrupted terror plots.
Report: Slowdown in health care costs to continue (Associated Press)
Costs for health care are still rising, just not as quickly as they did in the past. A report from accounting and consulting company PwC found that some aspects of the federal health care bill may impacting the cost. Other factors include consolidation in the health care industry and employers requiring workers to pay higher deductibles.