Good morning and happy Friday, which is supposed to be unusually warm for this time of year. Sounds good to me. Here’s the Digest.

1. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and a group of fellow U.S. senators are proposing stronger disclosure rules for paid political ads on sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter, in an effort to prevent covert foreign influence of American elections. The legislation they unveiled Thursday follows revelations that Russian interests purchased online ads during the 2016 presidential campaign, which are not subject to the same disclosure requirements of radio and TV ads. It’s a loophole that’s grown wider as more voters primarily get information online, and the senators said they would push to enact a law before the 2018 midterm elections. (Star Tribune)

2. Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants space for hundreds of additional jail cells, and is sending a request for information that identifies the four cities it’s looking at: Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City and St. Paul. When asked, an ICE spokesman did not say why St. Paul was on the list.  ICE is using six county jails across Minnesota to hold people without legal status. The Sherburne County Sheriff’s website says most of its 697 jail cells are rented to the federal government.  Traditionally, three county jails have contracted with ICE. That has since expanded to facilities in Grand Forks, Worthington, Willmar and other places that have not traditionally held immigration detainees. (KSTP TV)

3. Minnesota Housing is investing $126 million in affordable housing to address the statewide shortage. The investment announced Thursday is part of a larger $346 million package of public and private funding. The money will go to building or preserving more than 1,800 housing units in communities throughout the state. Commissioner Mary Tingerthal said the state’s current housing crisis is one of the worst in recent years. “The cost of housing is going up faster than people’s incomes,” she said. “We’re seeing a shortage of low-cost homes for sale for first-time home buyers and we’re losing affordable rental properties at a pretty rapid pace.” (MPR News)

4. One of Minnesota’s biggest health insurers is catching flak from Gov. Mark Dayton and consumer advocates for transferring $120 million from its nonprofit Minnesota HMO to other operations, including a for-profit insurance unit. Medica Health Plans transferred the money this month to shore up the finances of its for-profit and Wisconsin insurance businesses, using reserves from its nonprofit HMO. The move is also reigniting a debate about the role of Minnesota’s nonprofit health plans. Earlier this year, the Legislature allowed for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota for the first time in 40 years and made it easier for HMOs to transfer reserves. (Star Tribune)

5. One week before public hearings begin on Minnesota’s proposed new rules for protecting wild rice from sulfate pollution, the state’s mining industry, Steelworkers and Iron Range officials and activists are restating their fervent opposition. Critics say the new rule could cause increased regulation for taconite iron ore processing operations and some municipal sewage treatment plants. If the new rules are applied and enforced, critics say it could cost millions of dollars for the mining companies to comply, spurring mine shutdowns and layoffs. (Pioneer Press)

6. If Tim Pawlenty does decide to try a comeback and run for governor he’ll be fighting a historical headwind. Democrat Rudy Perpich is the only governor in state history to return to office.  A handful of others have attempted to return to power, only to fall short: Republican J.A.A. Burnquist in 1930 (lost primary), Farmer Laborite Hjalmar Petersen in 1940 and 1942 (lost general), 1946 (lost Republican primary), and 1950 (lost DFL primary), and Republican Harold Stassen in 1980 (lost primary). But while Minnesota does not have a rich history of reelecting ex-governors, such feats have occurred dozens of times throughout U.S. history – although just three times thus far in the 21st Century. All three occurred during the 2010 cycle: Democrat Jerry Brown of California, Republican Terry Branstad of Iowa, and Democrat John Kitzhaber of Oregon. (Smart Politics)

Good morning, and happy Thursday, the first day of what used to be and still is known as MEA Weekend for some. Here’s the Digest.

1. The federal government said Wednesday that it would accept Minnesota’s current driver’s licenses at airports and other checkpoints through October 2018, according to state and federal officials. The long-awaited extension on the federal Real ID law, gives the state — and its anxious citizens — some breathing room. The 2005 Real ID law will start to be enforced early next year but Minnesota will not start issuing Real ID compliant state licenses until October 2018. What that means in practical terms is that Minnesotans will not need a second form of identification, like a passport, to go through airport security. (Pioneer Press)

2. Minnesota filed its bid for Amazon’s second headquarters on Wednesday, hoping to get a great deal on a mammoth development plum by offering a package of financial incentives likely far smaller than other states. State officials and regional economic development agencies spent more than a month assembling a proposal after the Seattle-based tech giant set off a nationwide race for its business last month with a call for bids. Minnesota’s team has given almost no specifics on how they would woo a project that could mean billions in investment and up to 50,000 jobs. Emails obtained by The Associated Press show state officials’ concern with honoring Amazon’s request for confidentiality, partisan sniping between the Democratic governor’s office and the Republican-led Legislature about how to do it and unease about upsetting some of Minnesota’s largest businesses with a bid. (AP via MPR News)

3. Luke Breen isn’t waiting to see if the name of Lake Calhoun changes to its original Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska. He rechristened his cycle shop about 18 months ago. It was Calhoun Cycle. Now it’s Perennial Cycle. “We wanted to disassociate ourselves from the John C. Calhoun legacy,” said Breen. “We feel like the lake should be given back to the original name.” Supporters of the move say it’s wrong to honor the nation’s seventh vice president, because John C. Calhoun supported slavery and drafted the Indian Removal Act.  The proposal is in the hands of the Hennepin County Board, which could make a decision later this year. Breen was concerned that the switch would cost him business as he shed a name that customers had known for years. But he says the move paid off for him. Old customers stuck with him. And he won new ones. But Breen says he’s not aware of any other area business that has rebranded itself. Many businesses and organizations have long had Calhoun in their names, some for decades. (MPR News)

4. Leaders of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Council and Building Owners and Managers Association sent a fundraising e-mail last week with the subject line “A call to action in Minneapolis,” warning donors, “don’t be filled with regret on November 8,” and asking for money for a political action committee called Minneapolis Works to pay for mailings and efforts to get out the vote. Rather than the high-profile mayoral race, the focus is on the City Council elections. “I’ve lived here and been active since 1979, so I’ve seen a few of these come and go. This by far is the most consequential,” said Steve Cramer, president of the Downtown Council. “What’s at stake here is not whether we’re a progressive city or not — we are — it’s whether we’re going to go down the rabbit hole on policies that we think would be very destructive to the community.” (Star Tribune)

5. With the population of wolves on the rise and more of them attacking livestock and pets, a federal program to trap and kill wolves in northern Minnesota has run out of money.  While Great Lakes-region wolves are currently protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, they are listed as officially “threatened” in Minnesota — a step below endangered that allows U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers to kill wolves where livestock and pets have been killed. But that Grand Rapids-based program, which has for decades killed about 180 wolves in Minnesota annually, blew through its budget this year and stopped operations last Friday. On Wednesday, Minnesota lawmakers urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to find money elsewhere in his agency budget to continue the wolf-control effort in Minnesota. (Duluth News Tribune)

Federal officials said Wednesday that they have granted Minnesota another extension for Real ID enforcement.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security notified the state that it now has until Oct. 10, 2018, to fully comply with the federal Real ID law. The previous extension recently expired, although the state remained covered under a temporary grace period.

Minnesota needs the extra time to implement stricter security standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification cards, which were authorized in legislation enacted earlier this year.

“All Minnesotans should be assured that they can continue to board commercial airplanes and access federal facilities with their existing Drivers Licenses or Birth Certificates, as we work to fully implement REAL ID and comply with federal requirements,” Gov. Mark Dayton said

The extension will prevent Minnesotans from running into problems when the next phase of Real ID enforcement begins at airports on Jan. 22.

State Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, also responded to the extension.

Smith noted that the implementation legislation he sponsored last session relies on the state’s new licensing and registration computer system, known as MNLARS. The system has experienced numerous problems in its first few months of operation.

“Focus now shifts to the troubled MNLARS system to ensure the implementation of the REAL ID law moves forward and a REAL ID is in the hand of any Minnesotan who wants one,” Smith said.