Good morning and welcome to another Monday. It’s the start of a new work week, so let’s check the Digest.
1. Minnesota’s 3rd District is critical in the national picture as Democrats attempt to reclaim U.S. House control. It’s also the type of place where fissures in the party’s base could be on display. The key question is who will take Republican Erik Paulsen on and from where on the ideological spectrum. Four candidates are hoping for the chance: entrepreneur Dean Phillips, investment manager Adam Jennings, consultant Jim Haugen, and comedy writer and actor Brian Santa Maria. In the early going, Phillips and Jennings have separated from the pack in building credible campaign accounts for what promises to be an expensive race. They also illustrate the subtle yet important differences in approach. (MPR News)
2. Minnesota’s biggest corporations will save billions of dollars a year in federal tax payments if a tax reform plan by the White House and Republicans in Congress becomes law. A Star Tribune analysis of Securities and Exchange Commission filings shows that several of Minnesota’s top 50 revenue-producing, publicly traded companies would see their effective tax rates cut from a quarter to nearly half of what they now are under a plan to lower the country’s statutory corporate tax rate. Twenty-three of the Minnesota 50 also have foreign profits that could be returned to the U.S. with a proposed one-time lump sum tax payment. The payment would let companies bring those earnings home for a fraction of what they would have paid under current law. The country would then go to a system where U.S. corporations would not pay U.S. taxes on foreign earnings they bring back to this country. (Star Tribune)
3. About 60 people kneeled and held signs outside U.S. Bank Stadium before the Vikings game Sunday. Organizer Mel Reeves said they hoped to bring attention to the issue of police brutality. “This isn’t about the Vikings,” said Reeves. “It’s not about the flag, it’s not about the anthem, it’s simply about trying to bring attention to this national problem.” The protest was inspired by some NFL players, including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who have knelt in protest during the national anthem. Most Vikings fans streaming into the stadium for the game walked by the kneeling protesters without comment. Although some fans joined the protest or expressed support, many shouted profanities or gave a thumbs down sign. (MPR News)
4. All the 2018 candidates for governor with one exception say they will follow Gov. Mark Dayton’s example and release their tax returns. That exception is state Sen. Dave Osmek, R-Mound. “What I earn for a living, or give to my church or charities, has nothing to do with the office of Minnesota governor. Nor should it,” Osmek said. There’s no requirement to release the information, but Dayton has done it voluntarily. Dayton made $365,000 in income last year and paid more than $100,000 in taxes, according to his 2016 tax returns. (Pioneer Press)
5. Two of Minnesota’s Republican legislative leaders have asked the federal Department of Education to reject the state’s recently-submitted plan for school accountability. Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, and Rep. Jenifer Loon, R-Eden Prairie, wrote in a letter that parts of the plan “threaten the delivery of innovative instruction in Minnesota.” The letter reveals disagreement about how to measure school performance and how much to crack down on low performers. It’s a question that has been debated by education officials in Minnesota and across the country since the early 2000s. The 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law aimed to ramp up consequences for schools labeled failing. But critics argued it was strict in the wrong ways and didn’t really really promote quality education. Now, Erickson and Loon say Minnesota has erred yet again with a plan crafted in response to the 2015 federal replacement for No Child Left Behind. (MPR News)