The Daily Digest (Wage debate, budget cut hate; on frac sand, study and wait?)

Lawmakers today will talk over a plan to hike Minnesota’s minimum wage. Work to create a Minnesota health insurance exchange grinds its way through the Legislature with a hearing in the House Ways and Means committee.

In Washington, big automatic federal budget cuts could kick in starting Friday.


Minn. lawmakers this week consider minimum wage bills (MPR News)

“A bill in the Senate would raise the minimum wage for large employers from $6.15 an hour to $7.50. A House bill would increase the minimum wage for large employers to $8.35 an hour this year, $9.45 next year and $10.55 an hour in 2015.”

Child care union bill coming (MPR News)

Union officials say legislation introduced today will let child care providers collectively bargain with the State of Minnesota. An organizing attempt last year failed when a Ramsey County judge blocked a vote in response to union opponents.

Schools, defense lose if automatic federal cuts kick in (MPR News)

White House says state schools could lose as much as $16 million in federal aid, and would be among the state’s biggest losers if the cuts take hold this week. Other cuts would affect civilian Defense Department employees and environmental grants.

Data show self-defense shootings rare for Minnesota permit holders (Star Tribune)

“Even though a record number of Minnesotans have permits to carry firearms, only a tiny number ever have pulled the trigger in self-defense.”

Red Wing mayor resigns after criticism on lobbying job (MPR News)

“The mayor of Red Wing is stepping down after being criticized for taking a job with a lobbyist group for the frac sand industry.”

Gun control advocates lacking organization (WCCO)

“As large crowds lined the State Capitol hallways for gun violence hearings, gun control advocates admit they’ve been out-organized.”

Lawmaker seeks statewide survey on frac sand mining (MPR News)

Red Wing Sen. Matt Schmit wants to study the impact of sand mining on air, water quality, roads and bridges. Schmit says his bill would allow local governments to extend their moratoriums on frac sand mining for two years.

Minnesota GOP doing some soul searching after eviction from power (Pioneer Press)

“After one of its worst election cycles in decades, the state GOP finds itself weighing whether a new course must be charted to win more voters and fend off the possibility of remaining a minority party for years.”

Dayton officials: $19 million saved in gov’t streamlining (Star Tribune)

The savings came by centralizing the government’s “piecemeal, agency-by-agency approach to technology, using its consolidated purchasing power to bargain for a better deal.”


White House: States will feel impact from budget cuts set to start Friday (CBS News)

Obama exaggerating impact of automatic cuts, GOP senator says (CBS News)

The big sequester gamble: How badly will the cuts hurt? (Washington Post)