The Minnesota GOP and DFL leadership agreed to a one day Special Session for disaster relief. The Legislature will take up only one bill dealing with the damage from June storms. It will appropriate approximately $5.7 million to cover the State’s portion of disaster aid to 20 central and southern Minnesota counties affected by the June storms. President Obama signed a disaster declaration which commits the federal government to pay for 75 percent of the cost to cities, counties and townships for repairs to infrastructure. The State must pay the remaining 25 percent.
The GOP wanted to include a repeal of four business to business tax issues, and the Governor was interested in repealing a farm equipment repair tax, but no agreement could be reached on these items.
Campaign Announcements this Week
Chris Dahlberg, Chair of the St. Louis County Board, announced he is running for the U.S. Senate. He is retiring from the U.S. Army Reserves on October 1 and is an Iraq war vet. As a County Board candidate, he earned endorsement from the Duluth Building Trades and Teamsters Unions and won re-election last year with 60 percent of the vote. He is running as a Republican. He has early support from Stan Hubbard of Hubbard Broadcasting. He joins a crowded field of GOP candidates: Mike McFadden, Jim Abeler, and Julianne Ortman have already announced their candidacies.
Robert Farnsworth, a Hibbing teacher and 15-year union member, announced his candidacy for Minnesota Governor. He is vying for the Republican endorsement. He has been active in GOP politics and ran for the party endorsement for the Eighth Congressional District in 2010. He lost the endorsement to Chip Cravaack. Farnsworth wants to overhaul Minnesota’s education system. Already in the gubernatorial race are: GOP candidates Scott Honour, David Thompson, Jeff Johnson and Kurt Zellers. Incumbent DFL Governor Mark Dayton has announced he will run for re-election.
Dayton Announces the 2014 “Unsession”
This week Governor Mark Dayton sent out a letter to all Minnesota public employees announcing the 2014 Legislative Session as the “Unsession.” Dayton touted recent improvements in government services referring to new efficiencies and reduced paperwork which has saved taxpayers time and money. The Governor asked public employees to send him “Unsession” suggestions focusing on eliminating excessive or redundant laws, rules, and regulations.