Welcome to a new week. Kick it off with your Digest.
1. Klobuchar takes aim at ACA decision. Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Sunday criticized a federal judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, as well as the ongoing efforts by some Republicans to repeal the law. The Minnesota Democrat said she expects a court fight that will end with the ACA being upheld. “This (ruling) is about, first of all, throwing people off of their insurance, no protection with pre-existing conditions, kids staying on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26 years old — a very popular and important protection — Medicaid expanded for millions of Americans,” she said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” (MPR News)
2. And then there were seven? In an urgent effort to protect the state’s political leverage, Minnesotans are already racing to find and count every resident in the 2020 census. The result will determine whether the state will lose one of its eight U.S. House seats, which would dilute its clout on Capitol Hill and Minnesota’s role in presidential elections. Community groups are brainstorming ways to raise awareness. Workshops have been held across the state and more are scheduled. Address lists have been updated. The Census Bureau is hiring thousands of people here to help. And in the next few weeks, the Legislature will tackle bills that would shift the power to redraw congressional districts from lawmakers to an appointed commission. Minnesota barely retained its eight congressional districts after the 2010 census, state demographer Susan Brower said, and “we’re hovering right around that mark again. … It’s very, very close.” (Star Tribune)
3. Clashes or compromise in store for 2019 session? Minnesota legislative leaders this week huddled with lawmakers in their political parties to decide their top goals for the 2019 legislative session. As they weighed their priorities, they had to factor in the new composition of the Legislature. House Democrats, who will hold the majority in that chamber, stand poised to pass their proposals but Senate Republicans, who hold a one-vote advantage, could block their path to the governor’s desk. It’s a set-up that will force compromise or gridlock. And weeks ahead of the 2019 legislative session, two incoming legislative leaders — a Democrat and a Republican — have reached early agreements about a handful of proposals. (Duluth News Tribune)
4. Intra-party feuding over data. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez launched an attack on his own party’s state organizations Saturday with a long and angry email over the future of the party’s most valuable asset — its voter data file. Just days before an important Tuesday meeting in D.C. on the future of the data operation, Perez sharply criticized a new proposal from state party leaders and singled out prominent state officials by name. Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez launched an attack on his own party’s state organizations Saturday with a long and angry email over the future of the party’s most valuable asset — its voter data file. Just days before an important Tuesday meeting in D.C. on the future of the data operation, Perez sharply criticized a new proposal from state party leaders and singled out prominent state officials by name. (Politico)
5. Restorative justice efforts to expand in Hennepin County. A successful Hennepin County treatment court is being dissolved to make way for a similar program in the hopes that more people facing low-level crimes can be part of it. Since 2013, the county has operated the HOMES court, which worked to provide housing for homeless people charged with crimes like loitering or public urination. The idea was that by finding housing, the crimes would stop. County data showed that the average number of arrests, days in jail and days in detox for the homeless people who went through the court in one year was cut in half, saving taxpayers more than $300,000. But that court was only available to those facing a housing crisis. In February, HOMES court (which stands for Housing Outreach for Minneapolitans Establishing Stability) will end as Hennepin County launches “restorative court.” (Star Tribune)