The Daily Digest (Budget deal passes, Dayton has MNSure doubts)

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In Minnesota

The main reason for establishing health insurance exchanges such as MNsure is to provide coverage to people who lack insurance and need assistance paying for it. But initial numbers from the state’s new online marketplace suggest that the site is attracting attention from people outside its target audience. (MPR News)

Ongoing problems with MNsure, Minnesota’s online health insurance exchange, have Gov. Mark Dayton expressing new doubts about the system which his administration developed. (MPR News)

A Minnesota Department of Health study finds health care spending in the state continued at a slow 2 percent growth rate from 2010 to 2011. (MPR News)

Beth Fraser, Minnesota’s deputy secretary of state, is jumping into the crowded field of candidates to succeed retiring state Rep. Michael Paymar, a DFLer who represents the Highland Park and Macalester-Groveland neighborhoods of St. Paul. (Pioneer Press)

A year after a the massacre of 26 students and teachers in Connecticut, some Minnesota schools have added new alarms, classroom door locks and security cameras. And some have considered hiring new police officers and security guards. (MPR News)

State regulators approved another interim bump in Xcel Energy’s electric rates on Thursday. (MPR News)

In Washington/National Politics

After nearly three years of almost nonstop parliamentary combat that led to a downgrade of the nation’s debt rating and a government shutdown, Republicans and Democrats have agreed to end the Washington Budget Wars of 2011 to 2013. Minnesota’s U.S. House delegation voted 6-2 in favor of the agreement Thursday afternoon. (MPR News)

When Republicans took over the House in the last Congress, their early battle cry was to roll back discretionary spending to 2008 levels — the last year of George W. Bush’s administration. With the budget deal now moving through Congress, the GOP has pretty much stumbled into victory — on the domestic side at least. (Politico)

After years of placating conservative groups that repeatedly undermined his agenda, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) took direct aim at some of his tea party critics Thursday, accusing them of working against the interests of the Republican Party. (Washington Post)

A 99 year-old World War Two veteran from St. Paul who had arrived in the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant joined DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar at the World War Two memorial in Washington to call for an overhaul to the nation’s immigration laws. (MPR News)

National Republicans have brought out one of Minnesota Twins fans’ best memories to make their case against 7th District U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson. (MinnPost)