Good morning, and welcome to the first (unofficial) day of fall. If you’re going back to school or work, good luck. Here’s the Digest.
1. School board members of color are still not at the table in districts throughout the state. While students of color and mixed race students make up nearly one-third of Minnesota’s public school enrollment, only 3 percent of school district board members are people of color, according to an MPR News analysis. Boards set policy and budgets for schools, so observers say it’s crucial they reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of district kids and represent the voices of all the families who send their kids to school. But finding and recruiting those board candidates can be a problem even in the state’s most diverse school districts. (MPR News)
2. A plan President Trump is expected to announce today to remove a shield from deportation for young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children is being embraced by some top Republicans and denounced by others as the beginning of a “civil war” within the party. The response was an immediate illustration of the potential battles ahead if Trump follows through with a plan that would hand a political hot potato to Republicans on the Hill who have a long history of dropping it. (AP via MPR News)
3. Congress is headed back to work this week, and lawmakers have a lot to do by the end of September. On the agenda: funding the government and avoiding a shutdown, raising the debt limit, and preventing the National Flood Insurance Program from lapsing while vast stretches of Texas are still under water and steer billions in federal aid to victims of that catastrophe. All this comes amid President Trump’s feuds with fellow Republicans who control Congress, his push for a Mexican border wall and attempts to build momentum for a tax-cut package. “This is a landmark month,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said in an interview. “We really have to show our stuff — that people can work across the aisle and do what’s best for America.” (Star Tribune)
4. One of the Republican candidates for governor is a candidate no more. Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman issued a statement over the weekend saying he doesn’t have time to campaign statewide. “Over the past several months my work in the nonprofit sector, specifically Journey Home MN — the nonprofit I created and run — has grown exponentially,” he said. “Because of my work as a commissioner and at the nonprofit, I find myself struggling to find time to execute an effective and quality campaign for our state’s highest office.” (Pioneer Press)
5. Beginning today, anglers won’t be able to go after walleye on Lake Mille Lacs, although fishing for all other species remains open. There’s also a ban on using live bait, except for anglers fishing from shore or a dock. It’s acceptable to use a sucker minnow 8 inches or longer to fish for muskellunge or northern pike. Walleye fishing on Mille Lacs has been catch-and-release only all year, and was closed for more than a month earlier this summer. The closure was controversial with business owners around the lake who depend on walleye anglers. The Department of Natural Resources said it was necessary to help prevent fish from dying after they’re caught and released. The DNR is gearing up for its fall assessment of Mille Lacs, which will be used to determine the health of the lake’s fish population and to set next year’s harvest levels. (MPR News)