The Daily Digest (Raise min. pay? Marriage rally on Valentine’s Day; on nurse staffing, lawmakers want a say? )

The same-sex marriage debate returns today, Valentine’s Day, as supporters plan to rally at the Capitol. Opponents have their own rally planned in three weeks.

Elsewhere in the Capitol, lawmakers push ahead on work to build a Minnesota health insurance exchange , with hearings in Senate and House committees.


Impact of Dayton’s tax plan worries local governments (MPR News)

“City and county officials cheer proposed increases but also worry about the part of Dayton’s budget that expands the sales tax to consumer and business services. Some city and county officials say Dayton’s plan would dent their budgets.”

Do tax increases kill jobs? Minn. soon to find out (Associated Press)

Many Minnesotans believe “high taxes and high services give the state its fabled quality of life. But the patience of business owners is being tested as DFLers who now control the Capitol mull tax hikes” that would largely hit business.

Senate leaders praise dismissal of parts of Brodkorb suit (MPR News)

A U.S. district judge dismissed three counts of defamation from the lawsuit filed by ex-state Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb, who was fired after his affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch surfaced. Two discrimination counts remain.

State lawmakers push bill to hire more veterans (Associated Press)

“Businesses would receive a $3,000 credit for hiring a disabled veteran, $1,500 for an unemployed veteran and $500 for hiring any veteran. Lawmakers hope hiring more veterans would increase income tax revenues enough to cover the cost of the credits.”

Minnesota Democrats, like Obama, call to raise the minimum wage (Star Tribune)

“Top DFL lawmakers are backing a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. Minnesota, with a $6.15 an hour wage floor, is among four states that lag the current $7.25 federal rate.”

Vikings stadium construction co. likely announced Friday (KSTP)

“The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is likely to announce on Friday the winning bidder to be the general contractor on the new Vikings football stadium. The decision will come down to two bidders with strong Minnesota ties.”

Hospital nursing staff battle brewing in Minnesota (Pioneer Press)

“Hospital executives and unionized nurses are squaring off again over staffing standards, but this time the setting is the state Capitol rather than a picket line as DFLers seek legislation to set nurse staffing level standards in Minnesota hospitals.”


Obama to unveil proposal to expand early childhood education (Washington Post)

Obama bid for Europe trade pact stirs hope on both sides (New York Times)

Senate sets key vote for Friday on defense secretary nominee (NBC News)

Dems’ plan to avoid automatic budget cuts: $120B in spending cuts, new tax revenue (CBS News)

Boehner: Congress has a “responsibility” to act on gun violence (CBS News)