The Daily Digest (budget forecast, heating assistance, tax relief)

Welcome to the Daily Digest.

It’s still absurdly cold out. St. Paul residents take heed.

Minnesota:

The latest state revenue forecast will be released today. The governor and Legislature will use the numbers as they adjust tax and spending plans during the session. The last forecast in December showed an $825 million surplus.

The state Legislature made quick work of a heating assistance bill its first week back in session. That legislation is headed to Dayton’s desk. (AP via MPR News)

The House is also moving quickly on a tax cut bill. It’s the same bill that includes the repeal of three new business sales taxes passed during the last session. (MPR News)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has postponed recommending whether changes are needed to the state’s sulfate standard for wild rice. Those changes would have an affect on the mining industry, for instance. (MPR News)

The cell phone industry is pouring cold water on a legislative proposal to require kill switches on smart phones to deter theft. (Star Tribune)

House Rep. Kurt Daudt has been named to the executive committee of a national GOP organization that has been a major donor Minnesota-based political groups. (MPR News)

The state’s Department of Natural Resources got nearly 20,000 comments on its proposal for the PolyMet mine environmental review. (AP via Star Tribune)

That didn’t take long. Just hours after Marty Seifert announced GOP Rep. Pam Myhra of House District 56A as his running mate, Drew Christensen announced he would be running for the open seat.

Washington:

President Barack Obama announced an initiative to empower young African American men. (New York Times)

Politico Magazine has a fine profile of Vice President Joe Biden, as he weighs a potential 2016 White House bid. (Politico)

Hillary Clinton, who is also eyeing a bid, defended the Affordable Care Act during two speeches in Florida. (Politico)

Rep. Michele Bachmann celebrated the Tea Party’s 5th anniversary in Washington, D.C. (MPR News)

Sen. Al Franken stepped up his criticism of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger. (MPR News)