Good morning and welcome to Thursday. The Minnesota Lynx managed to do again what so many Minnesota teams have been unable to. They won the championship last night. Here’s the Digest.
1. Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken were among those to sign on Wednesday as cosponsors of a bill to prohibit bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to be modified to fire at the rate of highly regulated fully automatic guns. Several top Republicans in Congress have signaled they would be open to considering some version of a bump-stock ban. Several of Minnesota’s Democratic House members also said they’d support such a ban. Minnesota’s Republican members of Congress did not want to talk about the issue. Reps. Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis declined to comment to the Star Tribune; Rep. Tom Emmer did not respond. (Star Tribune)
2. New legislation regulating gun ownership would struggle to win the 60 votes necessary in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Wednesday, making such efforts unlikely even in the aftermath of the Las Vegas massacre that killed dozens and injured hundreds. (Des Moines Register) At the same time there appears to be bipartisan consensus growing around banning bump stocks. “I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said, adding, “It seems like it’s an obvious area we ought to explore and see if it’s something Congress needs to act on.” (New York Times)
3. Some people in the Osseo school district want to change the way the district elects school board members in an effort to improve racial diversity among teachers, address academic achievement gaps and promote equity across the board. In a district where the kids come from a wide swath of incomes and diverse backgrounds, the dominance of board members from mostly white, mostly well-off Maple Grove is an ongoing source of frustration for some families of color. Some are pushing now for Osseo to end district-wide school board elections and instead divide up the board by geography. They plan to bring it up at the Oct. 24 Osseo school board meeting. If the board decides to act or enough residents sign a petition, the idea would be put to a district-wide vote. (MPR News)
4. The governors of Minnesota and North Dakota say they’ll form a special commission to work through a dispute over a flood-control project affecting the two states. The task force will have eight members from each state in addition to Govs. Mark Dayton and Doug Burgum as co-chairmen. Dayton said Wednesday after meting with Burgum that it’s important the two states get to an out-of-court solution for the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion project. “Failure is not an option,” Dayton said. “You know there has got to be flood protection for this growing area and for the people around it.” (MPR News)
5. A report examining the financial condition of the Metropolitan Council’s transportation operations found the regional planning body uses different budget assumptions when preparing reports for federal and state officials.Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor issued the report Wednesday after studying the Met Council’s books for the period Jan. 1, 2016 to June 30 of this year. In its report to the Legislature, the Council, which owns and operates the region’s transit systems, is projecting financial difficulties in 2020 and 2021. Auditors found “inconsistencies” between the dire budgetary projections provided to state lawmakers “and those the council has provided to the federal government in plans related to future light-rail projects.” (Star Tribune)
The Digest will take a break tomorrow and return on Monday.