Good morning and welcome to Wednesday. Here’s the Digest.
1. While environmental groups admonished the Trump administration for rolling back President Obama’s signature climate policy, some Minnesota conservatives welcomed the news. The Clean Power Plan aimed to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and set emissions reduction targets for each state. But President Trump has said the policy amounts to a “war on coal,” and on Tuesday EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt began the process of eliminating it. Minnesota U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, said the Clean Power Plan was “federal overreach.” Emmer added that Minnesota is on track to meet its carbon reduction target without the Clean Power Plan. On that point, renewable energy advocates agree: Minnesota is on track to meet carbon reductions from power plants. That’s largely because coal-fired power is more expensive than wind and natural gas. (MPR News)
2. Minnesota’s tax collections are running behind projections, and the state’s economic consultant has slightly downgraded growth estimates, according to a report Tuesday from the state finance agency. The Minnesota Management and Budget quarterly economic update shows state government’s fiscal year is off to a lackluster start. From July through September, Minnesota took in $66 million less than anticipated. That’s about 1.4 percent below revenue projections. Income and sales taxes were both down while corporate taxes ran about even. The report is confined to the revenue side of the ledger. A comprehensive review that also considers spending patterns is due out after Thanksgiving. (MPR News)
3. The upcoming 2018 Super Bowl in Minneapolis will be the most complicated event in NFL history, the league’s senior vice president for events Peter O’Reilly said Tuesday. O’Reilly was among a contingent from the NFL and its partners in downtown Minneapolis for a week of meetings about the 10 days of events that begin in late January and culminate in the game on the night of Sunday, Feb. 4. The Minnesota Super Bowl will be the NFL’s 52nd, but only the sixth to be played in a cold weather city. “This is as complex a Super Bowl as we’ve ever had to plan and lay out,” he said. “We’ve got lots of opportunities to do things differently.” (Wait, didn’t they play one at the Metrodome in 1992?) (Star Tribune)
4. Minnesota’s extension for Real ID enforcement expired Tuesday, but state officials say there’s no reason for concern. They say the state will be covered under a federal grace period until Jan. 22, 2018. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had given Minnesota until Oct. 10 to comply with the federal law, which requires state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification card to meet stricter security standards. They have not yet granted Gov. Mark Dayton’s request for another extension, which he wants to run through Oct. 2018. Legislation enacted earlier this year set that deadline for getting the state fully up to speed on Real ID. (MPR News)
5. A nonprofit legal foundation is threatening to sue the Minnesota State High School League on behalf of a 15-year-old boy who was barred from participating in a girls’ high school dance championship last December. The Pacific Legal Foundation sent a letter Tuesday to the high school league, setting a Nov. 3 deadline for Kaiden Johnson to be allowed to dance. Johnson, a sophomore, attends northwestern Wisconsin’s Superior High School, which allows him to participate in the dance team. But the team from a remote area of Wisconsin competes against teams from Minnesota, where only girls are allowed to dance competitively. Attorney Joshua Thompson of the Pacific Legal Foundation says the treatment amounts to discrimination. (AP via Pioneer Press)