Good morning and happy Tuesday. Time to look at the Digest.
1. Some of the suspense was gone because the latest version of the bill to repeal parts of Obamacare was collapsing in the Senate, but it was still a good debate on CNN last night between the Republican sponsors of the bill and two opponents, including Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar. While Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana spent most of their time criticizing the Affordable Care Act, and Sen. Bernie Sanders promoted his plan for a single-payer system, Klobuchar staked out the middle ground. “When you hear that there’s only two choices here — that’s not true! There is another choice,” said Klobuchar, who argued for a bipartisan approach to repair Obamacare and lower prescription drug prices. (Washington Post)
2. Gov. Mark Dayton says he personally disagrees with professional athletes who protest during the national anthem by sitting or kneeling, but he does not question the players’ constitutional right to do it. The number of NFL players kneeling grew significantly Sunday, following President Donald Trump’s criticism of the protests. He suggested team owners should fire players who don’t stand during the anthem. Dayton said he thinks the president made it a bigger conflict than it should be. Players have said they’re protesting racial injustice. But Dayton, like the president, sees it as disrespect for the flag. (MPR News)
3. Target says it will raise its minimum wage from $10 to $11 an hour by October and boost it again to $15 hourly by 2020. Thousands of employees will be affected, Target CEO Brian Cornell told reporters. “We think it’s going to be a very important step forward, one that’s going to show even greater support to our team and really emphasize the important role that they play in executing the Target strategy.” The new wage is higher than the minimum wage in Minnesota, which is $9.50 for large employers, and 47 other states. The move comes after intense pressure over the past few years from labor groups and from some competitors who raised their minimum wage first. (MPR News)
4. A new set of immigration restrictions by the Trump White House set off confusion and anxiety in Minnesota Monday among people whose lives it would most directly effect. The new executive order issued Sunday night bans most travel from Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, as well as for some high-ranking officials from Venezuela. It also calls for additional scrutiny of Iraqi citizens attempting to enter the U.S., but does not bar them entirely. The new measures do not expire, and take full effect Oct. 18. The order’s inclusion of Somalia targets one of Minnesota’s fastest growing immigrant populations. (Star Tribune)
5. Ever since Enbridge first proposed its $7 billion Line 3 project three years ago — its largest pipeline project ever — the company has touted it as a replacement project. The Canadian company has operated its existing, 1,000-mile Line 3 for nearly 50 years. But the pipeline is corroding, which necessitates extensive and expensive maintenance, spokeswoman Jennifer Smith said. “The best way to keep the communities and the environment safe really is to replace it,” she said. “This is a 1960s-era pipeline. We can replace it. We’ve got newer technology on our coating, it’s stronger steel, it would be thicker steel.” However, the state Commerce Department argues the pipeline isn’t needed. A new round of public hearings for Line 3 begins Tuesday as state regulators face the question of whether the project is necessary. (MPR News)