1) Gov. Mark Dayton’s “unsession” initiative has helped slash how long it takes to get an environmental permit in Minnesota and has made it easier to file taxes, the Pioneer Press reports.
Those are perhaps the most serious proposals among the 1,175 outdated and “silly” laws that Dayton’s initiative helped push off the books this session. In the first $450 million tax relief bill lawmakers passed this year is federal conformity, which will make it easier to square up with the government. And roughly 11,000 of 15,000 environmental permits will have a 90 day time frame, with the rest sitting at 150 days.
The governor said his push to remove unnecessary statutes helped get an inevitable process started quicker. “Things don’t get undone in government very readily,” Dayton said.
2) The GOP candidates for U.S. Senate are in full stride campaigning for the looming Republican convention in Rochester this weekend, the Star Tribune reports.
Businessman Mike McFadden told reporters while he was filing his campaign paperwork on Tuesday that: “Being able to be down in Rochester in front of 2,200 Republican delegates is a great opportunity to just once again talk about our message and how we are going to beat Al Franken.”
State Sen. Julianne Ortman began a $20,000 ad buy this week ahead of the convention, where she declares: “I’m a runner. I’m not fast. I’m not an athlete. But when I start, I finish.”
Ortman will abide by the endorsement, while McFadden is willing to primary a fellow Republican. State Rep. Jim Abeler, who is a longer-shot candidate, released a wide ranging list of state legislative supporters over the weekend.
3) Former GOP state Rep. Jim Knoblach failed to post a required $11 million bond by the Tuesday deadline necessary to continue his legal fight against the $90 million Senate office building project, the Associated Press reports.
The Court of Appeals would throw out the case without the bond, which is intended to shield taxpayers if delays on the project hiked its cost. Knoblach will file an appeal with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.
COMINGS & GOINGS
- DFL candidate Jon Applebaum has been endorsed by MAPE, the public employee union, in his bid to replace retiring Rep. John Benson, DFL-Minnetonka. Applebaum is one of three Democrats running for that seat, which is considered a strong district for Democrats.
- 6th Congressional District candidate Joe Perske made his run for that open seat official yesterday, filing paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office. Perske, currently mayor of Sartell, is the first Democrat on record with the Secretary of State’s office, while former legislator and gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer remains the only Republican who has filed his candidacy.
- Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, announced Wednesday morning that his gubernatorial campaign has been endorsed by his caucus leader, Senate Minority Leader David Hann.
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College President Phillip Davis is leaving that post to take the position of associate vice chancellor with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system, the Star Tribune reports. Davis has been president of the city school since 1998, but his tenure was recently marred by disputes with faculty, including a “no confidence” vote in 2012.
- Michigan GOP congressman Justin Amash is coming to Minnesota for a June 21 speaking engagement organized by the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance, Liberty Minnesota and the Canary Party. The event will be held at the Mermaid Event Center in St. Paul, and begins at 9:00 a.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students; more information here.