The Daily Digest (Minn. to be testing ground for health care law, GOP seeks ACA delays, Dayton pushes Congress on farm bill)

Welcome to Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Digest.

At the state level, Minnesota is at the front of the pack in implementing the main tenets of the Affordable Care Act. But Republicans nationally are hoping to delay the law’s individual mandate even as Obama’s PR campaign for the law picks up steam.

And Gov. Mark Dayton is among those asking Congress to set aside differences to pass a farm bill that includes both food stamps and agricultural policy.


Affordable Care Act has unique proving ground in Minnesota (MPR News)
Minnesota is the only state embracing all three of the federal health care law’s main initiatives. That means the state will be watched closely as an example of either what’s right or what’s wrong with the Affordable Care Act.

Minnesota’s chief backer of same-sex marriage takes a national job (MPR News)
The man who led the successful effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota will head up attempts at legalization in other states for Freedom to Marry.

Minnesota lawmakers search for ways to curb soaring use of synthetic drugs (Star Tribune)
A legislative committee responsible for addressing the use and sale of synthetic drugs heard testimony yesterday that the synthetics pose a public health threat rivaling the meth epidemic of the last decade.

One week after appointment, Overton resigns from Racing Commission (MPR News)
Former Racing Commission head Jesse Overton alleged that he was under attack as a board member at the agency. Overton was recently cleared of allegations that he harassed a worker due to her gender.

Candidates Andrew, Winton divided on allowing non-union trash collection (MPR News)
An independent running for Minneapolis mayor, Cam Winton, argued that the city could save residents money by allowing non-unionized workers to collect trash. DFLer Mark Andrew, who has the endorsement of one of the unions that collects Minneapolis trash, argued that it wouldn’t be a moneymaker in the long run.

Former state lawmaker running for secretary of state (MPR News)
Former DFL state Rep. Jeremy Kalin said his legislative experience, including a military voting bill he authored, make him a good candidate for the post. Kalin said he’ll pursue the DFL endorsement.

In tiny tourist town of Dorset, Minn., ‘mayor’ is 4-year-old boy who likes ice cream and fishing (Associated Press via Star Tribune)
One of the mayor’s main actions so far has been to put ice cream the top of the food pyramid. His attire includes a black fedora festooned with fishing lures and his campaign button.


Seeing Opening, House G.O.P. Pushes Delay on Individual Mandate in Health Law (New York Times)
Following the Obama administration’s delay of a requirement that larger businesses provide health coverage to employees, Republicans are scrambling to chip away at the main tenets of the health care law.

White House ramps up effort to sell Obamacare (Washington Post)
Only about 75 days from the start of open enrollment in the program, the Obama administration is hiring more staff, reaching out through media campaigns and planning public relations strategies in attempts to promote the law.

Dayton, Dalrymple and Daugaard press Congress on Farm Bill (MPR New)
After news broke that the Republican leadership in Congress planned to separate the food stamp and agricultural policy portions of the farm bill, the three Midwestern governors joined a growing chorus of voices asking Republican leaders not to split the bill.

Former Rep. Stangeland Mourned in Minnesota (Roll Call)
At a funeral in Barnesville, Minn., more than 250 people mourned last week’s death of ex-Rep. Arlan Stangeland, who represented Minnesota’s 7th District from 1977 to 1991.

Franken: Student loan squabble “incredibly frustrating” (Star Tribune)
Although the U.S. Senate will again vote today on a proposal to extend a lower interest rate on federally subsidized student loans, the proposal doesn’t appear to have Republican support. Republicans want a plan that ties student loan rates to the market, which critics say could lead to even higher interest rates.

Nation Will Gain by Discussing Surveillance, Expert Tells Privacy Board (New York Times)
A new independent agency called the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board met Tuesday to discuss the implications of government surveillance. The board will eventually come out with recommendations about ways for the government to balance security and privacy.


Emmer raises $220,000 in race to replace Bachmann (MPR)
The former gubernatorial candidate said he’s humbled by the donations. Most other candidates for the 8th Congressional District haven’t released their fundraising totals.