Good morning, and happy Wednesday. We’re just one day out from the start of the State Fair. Here’s the Digest.
1. Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer says he wants to simplify the tax code to the point where Americans fill out their returns on post cards. Emmer shared his vision for tax changes Tuesday night in Ramsey. After hitting a roadblock in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, President Trump and Congressional Republicans are preparing to take on a long-promised overhaul of the federal tax code. Trump has said he’ll release a proposal soon that provides a massive tax cut to businesses and individuals. Emmer said it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. (MPR News)
2. The race for governor is already well underway, even if the final field isn’t set yet and the general election is more than a year away. Candidates are traveling the state this summer to make their pitches to voters, trying to reach places where they are less well-known. They’re also starting to raise money, which they will need to combat the millions spent by outside spending groups not officially affiliated with any candidates. Others are fine-tuning their campaign pitch, using this time to perfect their message and separate themselves from a growing field of candidates. (MinnPost)
3. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges must either produce a full 2018 budget by Friday or go to court to explain why it isn’t ready, a Hennepin County judge has ruled. A member of the Board of Estimate and Taxation filed a complaint in Hennepin County Court late last week asking a judge to force Hodges to file the full budget “immediately,” arguing the mayor’s delayed release of her spending plan is a violation of the city charter. The city attorney’s office, which said last week “the mayor is in full compliance with the City Charter and will vigorously defend this lawsuit,” will give the judge a written response on Thursday. (Star Tribune)
4. Secretary of State Steve Simon has formally rejected a request by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity to turn over personal data on nearly four million registered voters in Minnesota. Simon, a Democrat, says he has serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and trustworthiness. In a letter to the commission, Simon said President Trump’s claim of massive voter fraud is baseless and irresponsible. He added that that commission is not truly bipartisan and that it seems headed toward pre-determined outcomes. (KSTP TV)
5. A woman who declared herself a candidate for the Minneapolis City Council earlier this year was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol for the second time this summer. Tiffini Flynn Forslund, 51, was pulled over early Sunday morning in Mounds View for driving on the shoulder of the roadway with the right turn signal on, according to a complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court. (Pioneer Press)