Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. We learned more about Gov. Mark Dayton’s health and his budget proposal Tuesday. That’s where we’ll start the Digest.
1. Gov. Dayton revealed Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The news came while he was addressing his health a day after collapsing during his State of the State address. Later in the day he went to Mayo Clinic for a checkup. The fainting spell Monday night “was situational and related to standing for a long time while giving his speech and possible dehydration. It is not related to his prostate cancer diagnosis,” said Mayo Clinic spokesperson Karl Oestreich. Dayton said the cancer would not keep him from serving the final two years of his term. (MPR News)
2. Dayton on Tuesday rolled out a $45.8 billion two-year budget proposal stressing health care, education and transportation. The general fund budget plan includes $1.2 billion in new spending and uses almost all of the projected $1.4 billion budget surplus, but his proposal to create a public health care option would spend relatively little in taxpayer money. He’s calling for a 2 percent increase in the K-12 per-pupil funding formula each of the next two years. The cost of the increase is $371 million, and he wants another $75 million for preschool. Republicans said the DFL governor’s plan spends too much and relies too heavily on tax and fee increases. (MPR News)
3. A measure that would charge protesters for the costs to police major civil disruptions got preliminary approval at the Capitol Tuesday. The Republican proposal would allow local authorities to sue some protesters if they’re convicted of protest-related crimes. DFL lawmakers and protesters pushed back. (MPR News)
4. President Trump on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for construction of two oil pipelines that the Clinton administration had blocked, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access. Trump said his administration is “going to renegotiate some of the terms” of the Keystone project, which would carry crude oil from the tar sands of western Canada and connect to an existing pipeline to the Gulf Coast. The State Department rejected a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and President Obama ordered work halted on the Dakota pipeline after Native American groups and others protested its route near culturally sensitive sites in North Dakota. (NPR)