Good morning, and happy Thursday. It’s hard to imagine Minneapolis without Mary Tyler Moore, but we have no choice now. Here’s the Digest.
1. House and Senate negotiators reached a deal with Gov. Dayton’s administration Wednesday on a plan for rebates for people seeing big increases in health insurance premiums without access to federal subsidies. The bill uses $327 million from the budget reserve to give a 25 percent rebate to anyone who purchases coverage on the individual market for 2017. Insurance companies will handle the rebates as part of premium invoices. The bill sets an April deadline for the discounts. The Legislature is expected to pass the plan today. (MPR News)
2. Gov. Dayton’s budget plan covers $45.8 billion and spans hundreds of pages. The big-ticket items will no doubt spark the fights between the DFL governor and Republican-controlled Legislature from now until May. But there are many proposals in those pages that would hit home when Minnesotans renew a driver’s license, go to a state park or just turn on the faucet. (MPR News)
3. President Trump kept up his executive actions Wednesday, this time signing measures to commit to building a wall on the Mexican border and to block federal grants from cities that protect immigrants that have come to be known as “sanctuary cities.” The actions follow through on pledges Trump made during the campaign. While U.S. taxpayers would pay upfront for the wall, Trump said in an interview with ABC News that he still expects Mexico will pay back the cost of the wall. “There will be a payment; it will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form,” he said. (NPR)
4. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have taken formal positions that block police from checking the immigration status of people they encounter. Both have been called sanctuary cities as a result and could be subject to a financial penalty under President Trump’s new order. Minneapolis won’t drop its policy that blocks police from reporting immigration violations, Mayor Betsy Hodges said Wednesday, because she believes the rule makes the city and its people safer. She says victims and witnesses of crime will feel like they’re able to call the police without putting themselves in legal jeopardy. In St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he doesn’t think Trump’s order will apply to his city because he says St. Paul’s immigration policy does not willfully violate federal law. (MPR News)
5. In that ABC News interview the president said he “absolutely” thinks waterboarding works and would consider reinstating it as an interrogation technique, depending on the advice of Defense Secretary James Mattis and CIA Director Mike Pompeo. “I will rely on Pompeo and Mattis and my group. And if they don’t want to do, that’s fine. If they do want to do, then I will work toward that end. I want to do everything within the bounds of what you’re allowed to do legally,” Trump said. (ABC News)