Daily Digest: A new chapter nears for Dayton

Happy Tuesday. Here’s your Digest to get the day started.

1. Dayton weeks away from “big shift.” Mark Dayton is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. In January, Dayton and his two German shepherds will move out of their historic home on Summit Avenue in St. Paul and into an apartment in Minneapolis when fellow DFLer Tim Walz takes the oath of office as Minnesota governor. Dayton, 71, isn’t the type to disappear to a warmer climate for months at a time and he laments that he’ll probably have to get on social media, like the kids do. “It’s going to be a big shift,” he said. “I might have to start tweeting.” Dayton’s two terms in office have sometimes been rocky and have taken a toll on his health. But he racked up significant accomplishments during his eight years as governor. (MPR News)

2. Wisconsin lame-duck laws headed to court. The fight over restricting early voting in Wisconsin returned to federal court Monday, three days after Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a new limit passed during a lame-duck legislative session. A coalition of liberal groups, with the support of former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, asked a federal judge to block implementation of the early voting restrictions. The same judge in 2016 struck down a similar two-week early voting limitation as unconstitutional. Attorneys for the groups argued that Republicans called the lame-duck session “as part of a partisan attempt to retain and regain power” and the early voting limitation was “in direct violation” of the court’s 2016 order. Holder, in a statement, said Walker and Republicans showed a “blatant disregard for a previous court ruling and refusal to listen to the will of the people.” He called it “another shameful mark on the legacy of Scott Walker and his allies in the Legislature.” (Associated Press)

3. Paying the price for licensing system problems. More than 18 months after the state rolled out its glitch-ridden driver’s licensing and registration system, local branches and offices that have navigated customers through the delays are wondering if they will ever get reimbursed for their extra hours and overtime costs. The problematic Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) has cost Roseville more than $100,000 since it debuted in July 2017, driving up overtime and personnel costs by an additional $7,000 to $8,000 a month, city officials said. At Bloomington’s licensing center, employee pay is about 21 percent over budget this year because of the extra work, said City Clerk Janet Lewis. (Star Tribune)

4. Indiana shoreline case could impact Land of 10,000 Lakes. If you like to recreate on the water or have property on a navigable lake or river in Minnesota, you might want to keep an eye on the U.S. Supreme Court next year.  The nation’s highest court is considering whether to take up a case between a property owner and the state of Indiana over a shoreline dispute along Lake Michigan. If the court does take the case, the justices will decide the line between public and private land on lakeshore properties. Is it the low-water mark — the waterline — or the high-water mark, typically defined by where the beach ends and vegetation begins? (St. Cloud Times)

5. Waiting for answers on child care fraud allegations. On Monday, Minnesota lawmakers got an update on an explosive allegation in May that a state child care program might have been defrauded to the tune of $100 million to fund Islamic terrorists. Did that really happen? We still don’t know yet. That was the bottom line Monday morning as the Legislature’s lead investigator briefed state House members. (Pioneer Press)

 

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