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Daily Brief: Friday, May 3rd, 2013

 Minnesota Legislature Schedule
The Senate will be in Session today at 11 a.m.
Also at 11 a.m. the Conference Committee on the Omnibus jobs and economic development, commerce, consumer protection and housing appropriations bill will meet.

State Government:

Minnesota Senate passes bill requiring public report on nurse staffing levels, Pioneer Press
Hundreds rally to support Dream Act, which moves ahead in Senate, Coon Rapids Herald
Senate passes DREAM Act, Minnesota Daily
Prospects of state aid for undocumented immigrant students ‘looking really …, Minnpost
Solar firm’s break passes House; bike safety provision stays, Star Tribune
Legislature: Caregivers, seniors rally for ‘five and five’ increase, Bemidiji Pioneer
Gun Control Activists to Air Grievances at Capitol, AP (WCCO)
Minnesota’s gun control bill doomed by caucus split, pragmatic politics, Minnpost
Minnesota House speaker: No gun bills this year, AP (Austin Daily Herald)
MN Gun Control Bills Placed on Back Burner, Northlands NewsCenter
Residents appeal decision on frac sand mine, MPR
House To Vote On Steep Jump In Minn. Minimum Wage, AP (WCCO)
Sen.: Marijuana bill has ‘long road’ ahead, Marshall Independent
Medical marijuana bill outlined, debate on hold until 2014, KMSP
Boise mill layoff of 265 workers ‘devastating’, MPR
St. Croix bridge: Zebra mussels found on construction barges, Pioneer Press
Minnesota medical marijuana supporters to push for legalization next year, Star Tribune
Knowledge of Mayo Clinic’s Destination Medical Center kept to small group throughout planning, MPR
St. Paul’s homeless: Civic leaders to study future of Dorothy Day shelter, Pioneer Press


LGA deal good for rural Minnesota, Worthington Daily Globe
Rachel Callanan, Katie Gulley, Kit Richardson and Gary Sjoquist: Minnesota should act now on transportation, Minnpost
Times Writers Group: Minnesota taxes promote exodus, St. Cloud Times
Wendell Berry: Right and wrong, Winona Daily News


In the Know

Minnesota DFL
May 3, 2013
Events today
  • 9:45 a.m. – Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) will hold a media availability to discuss the minimum wage bill that will be debated in the House today.
  • 10 a.m. – House is in session.
  • 10 a.m. – Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson visits Moorhead in support of Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposals for children, Clay County Family Service Center, meeting room 4, 715 11th St. N.
  • 10:30 a.m. – Sen. Al Franken will hold a media availability to discuss his efforts to enact immigration reform.  The availability will come following a private meeting with key Minnesota business, labor, and faith leaders, as well as DREAM Act students and Immigration Reform Advocates groups who will give Sen. Franken input about the effect that comprehensive immigration reform will have on the state.
  • 11 a.m. – Senate is in session.
  • 11 a.m. – The Minnesota Gun Violence Prevention Coalition plans a Friday demonstration outside Minnesota’s House chamber to express disappointment that bills to expand background checks for gun purchases are shelved for the year at the Capitol.
  • 7 p.m. – Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin appears on Almanac with GOP Chairman Keith Downey. This is their first joint appearance together.
Events Saturday
  • 9:30 a.m. – The Metropolitan Council holds a public meeting to solicit ideas for its Thrive MSP 2040 planning guide for the metro area, at Washington Technology Magnet School.
  • 10 a.m. – Libertarian Party of Minnesota holds its state convention at the Cambria Suites Hotel in Maple Grove.
  • Noon – St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joins DFL Latino Caucus in the 2013 Cinco de Mayo/Westside St. Paul festivities.
  • 6:30 p.m. – “Nullification” author Thomas Woods speaks at a GOP Senate District 65 event launching two new political action committees — MN Tea Party PAC and Liberty Minnesota PAC — at O’Gara’s Bar & Grill in St. Paul.
Event Sunday
  • 1 p.m. – Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson will make a special announcement about his future political plans in Medina. Announcement sent out from @johnsonforgovernor.org email.
2014 election
The Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM) will release a video highlighting the similarities between just announced Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Honour and presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Honour and Romney both earned their fortunes as vulture capitalists and as “corporate turnaround specialists” — no matter the human cost, including firing people. The video can be viewed here.  WATCHhttp://bit.ly/ZEgvD2
Likely gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson schedules Sunday ‘special announcement’, MinnPost
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson has long declared an interest in running for governor. This week, he let everyone know that he would make a“special announcement on his future political plans” on Sunday. The little mystery that was left was quashed on Thursday when his campaign sent out a news release about the event from an @johnsonforgovernor.org email address. As reporters and others noticed the return address, they sent out tweets about it. Whether or not spoiling the mystery was on purpose, the return address netted Johnson more attention for his coming announcement, which might be a good thing for his – or any — campaign. Star Tribune
2016 election
Biden ponders a 2016 bid, but a promotion to the top job seems to be a long shot, The Washington Post
Child Victims Act
House passes Rep. Steve Simon’s child victims act, Patch
Congressional delegation
Michele Bachmann faces ‘big problem’ in ethics investigation, Huffington Post
Michele Bachmann action figure, The Spur
This could be a career ender for Bachmann, Salon
Eleven former presidential candidates carry more debt than Bachmann, MinnPost
A Gollum-like approach to public policy, The Maddow Blog
Special investigator will review Sorenson ethics case, Des Moines Register
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann was in Brentwood, Tenn., on Thursday, attending the Christian Alliance for Orphans’ annual convention. The two-day event was expected to draw 2,000 people to discuss and hear testimony on the “burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.” Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, like Bachmann a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, was among the scheduled speakers. The church hosting the event, Brentwood Baptist, is in the congressional district of U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, an occasional Bachmann ally. The two Republicans were part of the House GOP delegation that attended former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s funeral in London last month. Star Tribune
Rep. Keith Ellison on Nomination of Mel Watt to Oversee Federal Housing Finance Agency, Real Estate Rama
COLLEGE DEBT: Students should ‘be loud, be vocal’, Fox 9
Franken draws celeb donors, including Garrison Keillor, MinnPost
Al Franken forced to use kid’s analogy to help other senators understand that science is real, The Upworthy
Hardworking Minnesotans need options, Star Tribune
Kline touts overtime-comp time trade-off bill, MPR
Through thick and thin, Blue Dog money follows Blue Dog members, Open Secrets
It’s not Minnesota Nice to disrespect leaders, Star Tribune
City Pages: Mark Dayton, heckled about raises for legislators, disses Shakopee audience, Minnesota Jobs Coalition
US employers added 165K jobs in April, lowering unemployment rate to 4-year low of 7.5 pct., Star Tribune
Jobless rate hits 4-year low, MPR
Education (higher)
Prospects of state aid for undocumented immigrant students ‘looking really, really good’, MinnPost
Deposition list in Brodkorb case, Star Tribune
House DFLer blasts speaker for dropping gun billRochester Post Bulletin
Paymar: Thissen broke his promise on guns, MPR
DFL Sen. Latz to address failed gun proposal, MPR
Gun control activists to air grievances at Minn. Capitol, KSTP
Gun control activists to air grievances at Capitol, Star Tribune
Minnesota’s gun control bill doomed by caucus split, pragmatic politics, MinnPost
Health care
Pentagon blames UnitedHealth for delays in military health care, Star Tribune
Minnesota homelessness, unaffordable housing rising together, TC Daily Planet
In Mexico, Obama says that now is the right time for immigration reform, The Hill
Obama reaching out to Mexican young people, plans blunter message for rest of Central America, Star Tribune
Obama says immigration bill also important because of business conducted between US, Mexico, Star Tribune
Immigration deal-maker also in charge of defeating GOP, Pioneer Press
Plumbers’ annual ‘Water’s Off’ community service day helps 115 homeowners with plumbing repairs, Minneapolis Labor Review
Farm laborers deserve the same rights as other workers in our state’s economy, Bluestream Prairie
Minnesota Senate passes bill requiring public report on nurse staffing levels, Pioneer Press
Letter from Osmo Vanska to Minnesota Orchestral Association Board of Directors chairman and CEO, Osmo Vanska
Vänskä threatens to resign if Minnesota Orchestra lockout isn’t settled, Star Tribune
Unionization bill heads to MN House floor, MPR
Some Minn. daycare providers wary of union proposal, MPR
Boise to eliminate 300 jobs, close two of four paper machines at the International Falls mill, Duluth News Tribune
National Day of Prayer and Day of Reason at the Capitol, Star Tribune
“A pay raise plan for Minnesota elected officials is a key point of difference as a House-Senate panel begins negotiations on a state agency budget bill…The state Senate approved its bill containing pay raises for legislators, the governor and agency commissioners. The House didn’t broach the lawmaker pay topic when passing its bill…Lawmakers haven’t seen their base pay rise in more than a decade. If enacted, the raises wouldn’t kick in until 2015. For legislators, the initial bump would be about $10,000 as part of a proposal to tie their wages to the governor’s pay.” Morning Take
Sunday liquor sales plan fails again in Minnesota, Grand Forks Herald
Local Government Aid
Mayors show support for Governor’s budget proposal, Fox 47
Medical marijuana bill introduced for debate next year, MPR
Medical marijuana bill outlined, but debate waits, KSTP
Minnesota medical marijuana supporters to push for legalization next year, Star Tribune
Sen.: Marijuana bill has ‘long road’ ahead, Marshall Independent
Marriage equality
In Minnesota and elsewhere, Republicans push for same-sex marriage, LGTB Weekly
Coming soon: Love is (truly) the law, MinnPost
Brett Stevens: Lavender magazine columnist riles gay activists by pushing for civil unions, MinnPost
RI becomes 10th state to allow gay marriage; hundreds cheer as gov signs bill into law, Star Tribune
Knowledge of Mayo Clinic’s Destination Medical Center kept to small group throughout planning, MPR
Minimum wage
House to vote on steep jump in Minn. minimum wage, WCCO
Today, the Minnesota House is slated to take up a measure to increase the minimum wage, as well as standardize the 40 hour work week for more Minnesotans. Right now, between 80,000 and 115,000 Minnesota employees get overtime only after working 48 hours, because their employers are exempt from the federal law that mandates overtime after 40 hours. Agricultural workers are among those now exempt, and changing that, as the measure would do, has raised some hackles. But that may all be worked out today. DFL Rep. Jeanne Poppe has filed an amendment to continue the exemption for agricultural workers and Rep. Ryan Winkler, the sponsor of the minimum wage/40 hour week, said he personally opposes it but will not ask DFL members to oppose it. Star Tribune
Nursing homes
Nursing homes rally for more funding, Worthington Daily Globe
Politics and vetting leave key U.S. posts long unfilled, New York Times
Maureen Dowd: Bottoms up, lame duck, Pioneer Press
Poll: 59% of Americans unhappy about Senate gun vote, CBS News
Sequester takes its toll on Mall, park police and Smithsonian museums, The Washington Post
Some fear unemployment benefit cuts may stall recovery, Pioneer Press
House efforts to move tax provisions stopped by Senate, Session Daily
Senators pass tax bill following uncertainty, Red Wing Republican Eagle
Senate omnibus tax bill shares goals with Governor and House, but differs in the details, Minnesota Budget Project
Former politician’s view: DFL doing all it can to drive job creators from Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune
Minnesota income tax increases virtually certain — but not tax reform, MinnPost
Responding to Minnesota’s revenue problem, Minnesota 2020
From D.C. to MN, online sales tax plans gain momentum, KARE
Solar firm’s break passes House; bike safety provision stays, Star Tribune
Minnesota House gives no break to I-35E speeders, Star Tribune
Minnesota should act now on transportation, MinnPost
Beussman, Walz discuss Hwy 14 with MnDOT head, New Ulm
Vikings stadium
Vikings stadium: Public will get 300 tickets for design unveiling, Pioneer Press

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