The Daily Digest (State revenues up $463 million, GOP drops food stamps from farm bill, Craft to challenge Kline)

Welcome to the Thursday edition of The Daily Digest.

There’s positive news statewide as revenues exceed projections once again.

In Washington, House Republicans move forward with their promise to split the food stamp and agricultural policy portions of the farm bill.

And the 2014 congressional races continue to pick up steam as another Democrat enlists to run against Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline.

Minnesota

State tax revenues up $463 million (MPR News)
Most of the extra revenue came from individual and corporate income taxes. Any revenue beyond the forecast in the closing balance at the end of September will automatically be directed to pay down the $874 million borrowed from schools in past years.

First GOP gubernatorial forum scheduled for August (MPR News)
The first forum featuring Republican candidates for governor will take place on Aug. 1. It’s sponsored by the Minnesota GOP Senate Districts 31, 35, 36 and 37.

Marriage licenses for same-sex couples available in Stearns County (St. Cloud Times)
The licenses aren’t valid until Aug. 1, when a law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect. Wright County won’t start accepting applications until July 26. Most Metro area counties have already started accepting same-sex marriage license applications.

National

House GOP drops food stamps from massive farm bill (Associated Press)
In a move designed to garner the support of House conservatives, Republican leaders introduced a farm bill that severs the decades-long connection between agricultural policy and food stamps. The White House has already threatened to veto it, and it’s unlikely that the Democratically-controlled Senate would support a split bill.

Republicans in House Resist Overhaul for Immigration (New York Times)
Republican leaders in the U.S. House don’t plan to take on a comprehensive immigration overhaul like the one passed by the U.S. Senate. Instead, the House will introduce immigration proposals singly, with a likely concentration on border security rather than providing unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship.

Senate Panel Approves Protections for Gays (New York Times)
Three Republicans on the U.S. Senate committee supported the measure, giving hope to supporters that it would pass the full Senate with bipartisan support. But the anti-discrimination bill’s fate is uncertain in the Republican-dominated House, where leaders don’t plan to give it a hearing.

House GOP plan would slash IRS budget by 24 percent (Washington Post)
The proposed cuts come in the wake of revelations that the agency targeted some political groups for added scrutiny. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said the cuts would right-size agencies that haven’t been working effectively.

Texas House Passes Measure Restricting Abortion (New York Times)
The Texas House approved a bill yesterday that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and tighten other restrictions on abortion. The state Senate is expected to vote on the bill by the end of the week. A similar proposal was sidetracked after an 11-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis.

2014

Top 5 Races to Watch in the Midwest (Roll Call)
Races in both Minnesota’s 2nd and 8th Congressional Districts are listed among the five most competitive in the Midwest by Roll Call. The publication rates U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s district as leans Democrat, while U.S. Rep. John Kline’s district still favors the Republican.

Kline gets another DFL opponent (MPR News)
Political newcomer Tom Craft of Eagan will challenge U.S. Rep. John Kline. Craft joins fellow DFLer and former state Rep. Mike Obermueller in the bid for the DFL endorsement.

Kline could face backlash over immigration (Star Tribune)
A survey from Public Policy Polling found that 44 percent of Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline’s constituents polled said they would be less likely to vote for him if he opposes comprehensive immigration reform.

Hegseth to sit out 2014 election (Forest Lake Times)
Pete Hegseth,who competed for the Republican endorsement to take on Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012, has announced that he won’t run for the open seat in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District.