The Daily Digest (Ingebrigtsen weighs gubernatorial bid, Unions won big at Legislature, Key ACA mandate delayed)

Big news out of Washington on this holiday week as President Barack Obama’s administration delays an important provision of the federal health care law until 2015.

In Minnesota, yet another Republican is considering a run against Gov. Mark Dayton. And DFL leadership at the Capitol last session was a good thing for unions.

The Daily Digest will be off on Thursday and Friday. Have a good holiday!

Minnesota

DFL control drove big union wins in Legislature (MPR News)
DFL lawmakers passed legislation last session that allowed daycare employees and personal care assistants to join a union, increased pay for long-term care workers and state workers and gave employees permission to use sick days to care for ill relatives. Republicans said the new laws were payback to unions, which heavily funded DFL candidates. Union officials argue that the time was right to focus on protecting working families rather than the wealthy.

Minnesota’s rural highways ranked 49th in nation (Rochester Post-Bulletin)
A study funded by the libertarian Reason Foundation ranked Minnesota 49 out of 50 on the condition of rural highways and congestion of urban interstates. Another recent report found that the state would have to spend almost $40 billion on its transportation system over the next two decades to maintain the status quo. DFLers said they’ll again push a 5 cent per gallon increase in the gas tax.

MNsure won’t be affected by Obamacare delay (Associated Press)
The administration announced Tuesday that it’s pushing back a mandate that businesses with more than 50 workers must provide health insurance by 2014. Officials said Minnesota’s health insurance exchange, MNsure, won’t be impacted by the changes.

Washington

Crucial Rule Is Delayed a Year for Obama’s Health Law (New York Times)
By delaying the mandate requiring employers of a certain size to provide insurance, the administration is seen as bowing to pressure from businesses, which argued that the laws were too complex to implement quickly. The mandate requiring individuals to obtain health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 is still on track.

Republicans dig in against ATF nominee B.Todd Jones (Star Tribune)
The Senate Judiciary Committee will likely approve Jones’ nomination, but he could face a Republican filibuster amidst mounting criticisms of his management style.

Farm Bill Defeat Shows Agriculture’s Waning Power (New York Times)
As the proportion of Americans working in agriculture has decreased, their political power has also declined. It’s likely that less than 40 lawmakers now represent primarily agricultural districts.

2014 Elections

Ingebrigtsen considering run for governor (MPR News)
Former Douglas County Sheriff and state Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria said he’ll decide whether he’ll run for governor sometime in the next six weeks. Four other Republicans have already formally entered the race, and others are toying with the idea of running.

McFadden’s senate campaign raises $700K in first month (MPR News)
Republican Mike McFadden’s Senate campaign raised more than $700,000 in its first month. McFadden is hoping to unseat Democratic Sen. Al Franken, who’s been a top fundraiser in the Senate. Already, McFadden’s totals rival the amount raised in an entire year by state Rep. Kurt Bills, who lost last year’s election to Sen. Amy Klobuchar by 35 points.