Daily Digest: Digging out edition

Good morning, and welcome to Monday. Here’s the Digest.

1. Goal is cleaner water, but how do we get there? Water has been a major focus of Gov. Mark Dayton’s tenure in office. He pushed for Minnesota’s first buffer law and held town hall meetings across the state to talk about how to improve water quality. But finding agreement on solutions hasn’t been easy. The governor set an ambitious goal of improving Minnesota’s water quality 25 percent by 2025. But consensus on how to achieve that goal has been elusive. “I think the 25 by 25 initiative is a great example of how people’s desires and their intentions are not yet matched up,” said John Linc Stine, commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Stine said during Dayton’s town hall meetings, it was clear Minnesotans agree on the importance of water, but not on policies to protect it. “What I heard from people was they want to make a difference. They intend to make a difference,” he said. “How you get the difference to occur is the trick.” Part of that trick is finding the right balance between the carrot and the stick — voluntary programs that encourage landowners to take action, and regulations that force them to. (MPR News)

2. Craig and Phillips get DFL nod in 2nd and 3rd. DFLer Angie Craig will face incumbent Jason Lewis in this year’s race for the Second Congressional District seat. Party delegates chose Craig on the first ballot at their nominating convention Saturday. The former medical device company executive narrowly lost to Lewis in 2016, and faces him again in November in the south Twin Cities metro district. In the west metro’s third district, DFLers chose business executive Dean Phillips to take on Republican Erik Paulsen, who’s also running for re-election. Lewis and Paulsen were also was endorsed by Republican delegates over the weekend. They were He was unopposed. Lewis will be endorsed this Saturday. (MPR News)

3. The 8th District DFL race is headed to a primary. After 10 ballots on Saturday the 8th District DFL convention failed to endorse a candidate. Leah Phifer led on every ballot, but never gained the supermajority necessary to win. She deadlocked with Joe Radinovich. State Rep. Jason Metsa was dropped from the running after three ballots, but on Sunday he was the first to say he would run in the Aug. 14 primary. “With no result from the DFL endorsement process, I have chosen to continue my campaign to be the DFL nominee for Congress in #MN08,” Metsa said in a statement on Twitter. North Branch Mayor Kirsten Kennedy said she too would run in the primary. Republican Pete Stauber and the Independence Party’s Ray “Skip” Sandman are their parties’ candidates for the November election. (Duluth News Tribune)

4. Housley raises more than $500,000 in first quarter. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Karin Housley said her campaign has raised $514,000 in the first three months of 2018. The two-term state senator’s fundraising announced Friday is a third of what Democratic Sen. Tina Smith raised in the same period. Smith’s campaign said this week it had raised more than $1.8 million. Housley enters the spring with $500,000 in the bank. Smith’s campaign reported she has about $1.5 million on hand. And on Friday, Jerry Trooien, of St. Paul, sent out a statement saying he would run as an independent. (Pioneer Press)

5. Communities look for an investment boost from tax law. A provision in the federal tax overhaul could unleash private money into some of the poorest corners of Minnesota, and communities across the state are vying for a piece of the action. Cities, counties and tribes have been scrambling in recent weeks to nominate “Opportunity Zones” from Mahnomen to Minneapolis, hoping a tax break on investment income there will lure a flood of cash to build housing or start businesses. But much remains unknown about the federal government’s latest attempt to revitalize the country’s poorest neighborhoods, including whether it will protect existing residents from displacement. (Star Tribune)

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