Good morning and welcome to Friday. Seems like it’s been a long week, doesn’t it? And it’s not over yet. Let’s go to the Digest.
1. The Legislature finished a key part of its health care work Thursday. The House and Senate passed a compromise bill Thursday that will give 25 percent rebates to about 125,000 people facing big spikes in individual market health care premiums. The total cost of the bill is about $325 million. Gov. Mark Dayton signed it last night even though some Democrats objected to a provision of the bill that will allow for profit insurance companies to sell health coverage on the individual market. (Star Tribune)
2. Presidential politics were back on the agenda at the state Capitol Thursday. A committee in the House debated proposals to change how Electoral College votes are awarded, and a group of Democratic lawmakers in the Senate put forward a bill to bar future candidates from the ballot if they don’t make their tax returns public. That last proposal was dubbed the TRUMP Act — short for Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act. The House measure would split up the state’s 10 electoral votes based on how candidates perform in each congressional district. (MPR News)
3. The portraits of all 38 former Minnesota governors are headed back to the state Capitol for display. Minnesota Historical Society Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elliott told lawmakers Thursday that a plan to rotate groups of portraits had been revisited. His announcement came as the Legislature was considering a bill to require all the portraits to be displayed. (MPR News)
4. The president of Mexico cancelled a trip to the U.S. that had been scheduled for next week. Enrique Peña Nieto had condemned President Trump’s plan to build a wall on the Mexican border and his insistence that Mexico would pay for it. He didn’t give a reason for cancelling the trip and said on Twitter, “Mexico reiterates its willingness to work to reach agreements on behalf of both nations.” Later Trump said calling off the visit was a mutual decision by the two leaders and told congressional Republicans, “Unless Mexico is going to treat the United States fairly with respect, such a meeting would be fruitless and I want to go a different route. We have no choice.” Trump’s spokesman later said the plan to pay for the wall was to put a 20 percent tax on Mexican imports, then walked that back and said it was only one possible way to pay for it. (NPR)
5. In an interview this week the president’s chief strategist Steven Bannon said, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.” He said the elite media got the election 100 percent wrong. “I want you to quote this,” Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.” (New York Times)