The Daily Digest (Spending on special ed, gun control backers see red, MN-WI tax deal ahead?)

A full day of hearings ahead for lawmakers. The biggest debate may come in the Senate, which takes up legislation to create a Minnesota health insurance exchange.

Opponents of same-sex marriage will rally today at the Capitol.


Dayton OK with $3 state minimum wage increase (MPR News)

“Gov. Dayton said he would be comfortable with increasing Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.00 or $9.50 an hour. That’s lower than a House proposal to raise the wage from $6.15 an hour to $10.55 by 2015.”

IBM decision causes uneasiness about company’s future in Rochester (MPR News)

IBM’s decision this week to move some of its Minnesota operations to New York and Mexico has some wondering how much longer the company will stay in Rochester.” IBM has downsized its workforce there in recent years.”

Minn. lawmakers unveil more modest gun plan (Associated Press)

“A House majority backs a new plan that would tighten the state’s background check system, add to who cannot legally own a gun and help crack down on illegal gun owners. The bill would not impose universal background checks for gun purchases.”

Latz: Minnesota Senate isn’t run by NRA (MPR News)

Sen. Ron Latz, said he believes the Senate Judiciary Committee has the votes to pass universal background checks. He had harsh words for a gun bill backed by the NRA that has lawmaker and law enforcement support but no universal checks.

Bills seek to monitor, study underground water supply (Pioneer Press)

“Lawmakers have begun hearing proposals to shore up the state’s groundwater, a fundamental resource that advocates say has been too-long ignored and risks serious depletion statewide.”

Bill demands American-made steel in state projects; Iron Range could benefit (Duluth News-Tribune)

“Legislation that would require contractors to use American-made steel for all government construction projects in Minnesota passed its first committee Wednesday at the Capitol.”

Head of college Republicans endorses same-sex marriage (Star Tribune)

“The effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota has picked up support from the top state college Republican. Minnesota College Republicans Chairman Ryan Lyk said he supports efforts to overturn state law that bans same-sex marriage.”

Tax deal close for Minnesota, Wisconsin (Pioneer Press)

“Minnesota and Wisconsin tax officials are within $6 million of a new tax agreement that would allow 80,000 residents who live in one state but work in the other to resume filing a single state income tax return.”

Revised Minnesota budget by early next week, Dayton says (Associated Press)

“Gov. Mark Dayton hasn’t decided whether to keep a proposed sales tax expansion intact but says he expects to announce a revised budget early next week.”

Report: Spend more on special ed, but curb costs (MPR News)

“In a response to the concerns of school officials about spiraling special education costs, Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor is recommending more state funding and steps to curb the increasing costs of those programs.”

Push to use legacy dollars to make movies in MN (KSTP)

“Part of the Legacy Amendment’s goal is to preserve arts and cultural heritage. State Reps. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis and Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township want to invest some of that money in movies.”


House votes to avert shutdown as Obama looks for big deal (Washington Post)

Congress won’t face pay cut in automatic cuts (Washington Post)

Assault weapons ban being readied for Senate action (CBS News)

Attorney General defends targeted killings policy, hints at memo release (NBC News)

‘Nintendo medal’? New military award for drone pilots draws Hill protest (ABC News)

Dayton, archbishop talk today as anti-gay marriage groups rally

Gov. Dayton is scheduled to meet privately today with Archbishop John Nienstedt and other Catholic Bishops in Minnesota. The meeting is the same day that groups working to defeat a bill that legalizes same-sex marriage hold a rally at the Capitol.

A spokeswoman for Dayton says Dayton and Nienstedt meet once a year to discuss a variety of topics like fair taxes, sex trafficking and minimum wage. She says she wouldn’t be surprised if same-sex marriage was discussed since they talked about the topic last year.

Dayton has signaled support for the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Catholic Church opposes it and spent $650,000 in investment income to help pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the Minnesota. Voters rejected the amendment in November. — Tom Scheck