Good morning, and welcome to Tuesday. Here’s the Digest.
1. The first test of whether Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders can work together comes Tuesday when the sides must settle on a mediator or tell the Minnesota Supreme Court they can’t. The Supreme Court issued an order Friday that stopped short of resolving the case the Legislature filed against Dayton for using his line-item veto power to eliminate their two-year funding, and instead sent the two sides to mediation to try to agree on a way out. And it’s important to note the court said mediation, not arbitration. A successful mediation depends on sides in a dispute using a facilitator and coming to an agreement. Arbitration ends in a binding decision by a neutral party. And one outcome of mediation can be that no agreement is reached. (MPR News)
2. The state Commerce Department dealt a setback Monday to a proposed oil pipeline across northern Minnesota, declaring the environmental and socioeconomic risks of letting Enbridge Energy replace its aging Line 3 pipeline across Minnesota outweigh its “limited benefits.” In documents submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission, the Commerce Department argued Enbridge has not established a need for its proposed Line 3.Enbridge wants to decommission the existing Line 3, which runs from Alberta, Canada, to an Enbridge hub in Superior, Wis. The company would leave it in the ground and build a new line along a different route, south of the existing pipeline corridor. Opponents, however, have been pressing Minnesota officials to deny the permit and kill the project. (MPR News)
3. Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman apologized Monday for mistakes her agency made in the summer roll-out of the new computer system for vehicle licensing and registration. Dohman appeared before a legislative panel that wanted answers about the department’s efforts to fix the problem-plagued system. Legislators also pressed for assurances that the processing of drivers’ licenses will go smoother when that phase begins later this year. Complaints about the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System, or MNLARS, have been piling up since it went online in late July. Many people have experienced frustrating delays in the processing of license plates, tabs and titles. (MPR News)
4. Metropolitan Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff is sending would-be builders of the Southwest Corridor light rail project back to the drawing board after rejecting all four bids to build the 14.5-mile project between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie. Met Council officials said the four bids were too high, although, by law, the transit agency can’t disclose its own construction cost estimate. Tchourumoff said the bids submitted were not only over budget, but were “nonresponsive,” meaning they “haven’t met the requirements.” She declined to elaborate on how they were lacking but said restructuring the bid package won’t eliminate stations or involve rerouting the project. (Star Tribune)
5. Minnesota and other states filed suit against the federal government on Monday, claiming the Trump administration’s proposed end of the DACA program that offered protection for childhood immigrants violated the constitution and federal law. “The lawsuit alleges that the federal government’s rescission of DACA violates the promises made to these young people — 97 percent of whom are in school or in the workforce — who have relied on the law to make important decisions about their lives,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a statement. The suit is being brought by officials in Minnesota, California, Maine and Maryland. (Pioneer Press)