Happy Tuesday. Here’s your Digest to get the day started right.
1. Walz checks in on “One Minnesota.” A month after he was elected and a month before he takes his oath, Gov.-elect Tim Walz and Lt. Gov-elect Peggy Flanagan have completed a listening tour with 24 stops, in every corner of the state. They invited people to do more than just vent, but also step up to apply for key administration positions or hundreds of openings on state commissions and boards.They called it their “One Minnesota” tour. “That’s not just a campaign theme,” Walz said in one of the early stops. “That’s a way to see world and it’s a way we want to govern together.” The message was a central part of the Walz campaign, which resulted in an 11-point win over Republican Jeff Johnson. But some still aren’t sure what it means. (MPR News)
2. Peterson wonders whether farm bill has enough to help farmers. The full text of the 2018 farm bill hasn’t been released yet, but U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said Monday that the new bill will look a lot like the one that expired in September. The final farm bill awaits a budget analysis, and Congress is expected to vote on it as its lame-duck session comes to a close in the coming weeks. “We’ve had problems trying to button this thing up,” Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee, told reporters at a news conference in Moorhead. “Frankly, it’s a damn miracle we got it done.” (MPR News)
3. Trade war truce may not help farmers much. The temporary truce in the trade war between the United States and China may come too late to reverse damage to Minnesota’s critically important agricultural sector from existing tariffs that remain in place. The Trump administration was set to raise levies from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports on Jan. 1. That increase is now off the table until March 1 under an agreement the two countries reached over the weekend. However protective tariffs remain in force on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports to the U.S., as well as retaliatory tariffs on $110 billion worth of U.S. products sold to China, including soybeans. “There is no question that getting rid of Chinese barriers to U.S. businesses does help,” said Robert Kudrle, an international trade specialist at the University of Minnesota. “But businesses demand certainty. The Chinese announcement doesn’t mention intellectual property, and they don’t talk about deadlines.” (Star Tribune)
4. Learning to fly: 41’s training in Minnesota. Former President George H.W. Bush was one of more than 4,000 air cadets to pass through the Naval Air Station at Minnesota’s Wold Chamberlain Field during the WWII, and if, 66 years later, Minnesotans can claim any important connection to the late president, it can be only that three-week kinship in 1942, back when America was in the midst of a hell of a tussle. Bush and the other would-be fliers were housed in barracks near 34th Avenue South and Highway 62, commonly known as the Crosstown. They did jumping jacks and pushups after reveille, ate plenty of eggs, milk and toast at the mess hall, cleaned latrines and barracks as part of their daily duties and attended ground school for the basics of aerodynamics. (Pioneer Press)
5. Totals change, but result stays the same. John Persell won a recount Monday in Minnesota House District 5A. The original count in the north-central district had Persell leading Republican incumbent Matt Bliss by just 8 votes. The new margin: 11 votes. (MPR News)