The Daily Digest (Taxes, pledges, priorities and pushback)

The 2013 Legislature started Tuesday with lots of fellowship and only a little acrimony. MPR photographers took some terrific first day photos capturing life at the Capitol.


Some business lobbyists concede taxes will rise (MPR News)
Minnesota Business Partnership leaders acknowledge some taxes will likely rise and are focused now on making sure the tax hikes don’t make Minnesota less competitive.

Campaign Finance Board looks to tighten disclosure law (MPR News)
The move comes after MPR News reports one in four lawmakers filed economic disclosure forms with little or no information about what they earn outside the Legislature.

Minn. Legislature opens with pledges and a little pushback (Star Tribune)
New House Speaker Paul Thissen says first priorities will be “to repay public schools, provide direct property-tax relief and boost money to state job-creation efforts.”

U of Minn. tops Legislature’s goals, will get withheld aid (Pioneer Press)
The U met goals the Legislature set in 2011 — including raising financial aid, graduation rates and private research — earning more than $4.8 million in withheld state aid.


All-male look so far for Obama’s remade inner circle (New York Times)

Lessons learned, Obama takes fights to Congress (Politico)

Wounded ex-Rep. Giffords launches anti-gun-violence group (Washington Post)

‘Mother Earth’ in charge of ag budget?

A threat to Minnesota agriculture? That’s how the Minnesota Republican Party sees the decision to put the agriculture finance budget under the jurisdiction of Minneapolis DFL Rep. Jean Wagenius.

The GOP called Wagenius a “Mother Earth feminist” and House GOP leaders unsuccessfully tried to change the committee jurisdiction.Wagenius downplayed the complaints, saying her job will be to finance the Department of Agriculture and that they’ll get a solid budget. –Tom Scheck and Tim Pugmire

Special elections ordered

Gov. Dayton ordered two special elections for open Minnesota House seats. He ordered the special elections in the St. Cloud area and the N. Mankato / St. Peter to be held on Feb. 12. Primaries, if necessary, will be held on Jan. 29.

There have been 17 special elections in the Minnesota Legislature since 2004. DFLers won 13 of those races. GOP won four races. –Tom Scheck

NRA president to talk criminal justice

The Center of the American Experiment and others organizations are hosting a forum on crime issues next week in St. Paul. The event is titled “The Conservative case for Criminal Justice Reform.” The list of scheduled speakers includes David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association. — Tim Pugmire