The Daily Digest (Liquor sales Sunday, Emmer running some day? Will Dems make your opinions pay?)

Guns and gun laws will continue to dominate the political conversation today in Minnesota as state lawmakers launch three days of likely contentious hearings on state gun laws and possible new regulations. They’ll start this morning and resume late this afternoon.


Obama pushes for tougher gun control laws during Minneapolis visit (MPR News)

President Obama calls for “common sense” gun control measures, including restoring the assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines to ten rounds and passing universal background checks.

Sunday liquor sales debate on tap again in Minnesota Legislature (Star Tribune)

“Thirsty for change, Minnesota legislators plan to try once more to lift the state’s long-standing ban on Sunday liquor sales.” The effort’s led by lawmakers whose districts border “the seven-days-a-week liquor stores of Wisconsin.”

Lawmakers promise to improve Minnesota’s mental health system (MPR News)

Proposals include a bill filled by state Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, that would require an annual state evaluation of children’s mental health services and create a new peer support counseling program for families.

Will GOP’s Emmer run again for governor? (MPR News)

There’s an effort to draft former state Rep. Tom Emmer to run for governor in 2014. He lost his bid for governor to DFLer Mark Dayton in 2010. Emmer tells MPR News he has no current plans to run for office in 2014.

Redevelopment ideas sought for Fort Snelling buildings (Pioneer Press)

“The state is seeking proposals to redevelop the Fort Snelling Upper Post, a historically significant property that features an old hospital, morgue and barracks that are about 100 years old” but have sat vacant for decades.


Will Democrats Sell Your Political Opinions to Credit Card Companies? (ProPublica)

McCain compares Iranian leader to monkey; draws GOP charge of racism (NBC News)

Both sides of gun control issue turn to women (Washington Post)

Memo cites legal basis for killing U.S. citizens in Al Qaeda (New York Times)

Effort building to change US marijuana laws (Associated Press)

State worker contract vote nears in Senate

DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he expects the Senate to vote on the state employee contracts on Thursday.

Several bargaining units, representing as many as 35,000 state employees, are waiting for the Legislature to approve contracts that were negotiated by the Dayton administration.

The contracts, which include an across the board two percent pay hike, are retroactive to the start of this year. — Tom Scheck

Franken: ‘I do Minnesota press only’

Onboard Air Force One with President Obama on Monday, Minnesota DFL Sen. Al Franken reiterated that he only talks to local Minnesota press.

The political reporting website Politico writes:

Sen. Franken was asked if he supports Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban. According to White House pool reporter Phil Rucker, of the Washington Post, the senator responded by saying that he did not talk to national reporters.

“You can talk to my press secretary. I do Minnesota press on virtually – only,” Franken said. “But I think if you’ll check, you can see that I’m a co-sponsor.”