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The Capitol Note: Dayton attends rally for state iron industry

1) Gov. Mark Dayton joined iron workers in northeast Minnesota on Monday rallying against the alleged over-saturation of the US steel market by foreign countries, the Star Tribune reports.

Roughly 1,500 iron miners rallied to urge the federal government to impose a tariff on imported steel from Asian countries that are said to be flooding the US with cheap steal, which is undercutting American businesses.

“The story of the Iron Range is one of standing strong against exploitation and oppression, and too often of a government that will not stand with them,” Dayton told the crowd. “Today’s enemies are not the companies, but the countries that dump their steel in the U.S. market, depress the prices and take away your jobs.”

At least one GOP gubernatorial camp also attended the rally: state Sen. Karin Housley, who is Scott Honour’s running mate, was on hand.

2) The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) on Monday approved a $41 million budget for the 2015 fiscal year, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

Included the budget is $6.2 million for a Giant’s Ridge event center, as well as several economic development grants. One of those is a $130,000 package to the city of Cook for efforts to redevelop the Vermilion Motel. IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich said much of the budget is focused on education and business development projects.

3) The amount local governments spent lobbying other bodies of government bumped up to $8 million in 2013, according to a report the state auditor’s office released on Monday.

That’s a 3.3 percent increase since 2012, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Local governments include cities, counties and school districts, for example. About $3.8 million was spent on lobbying staff, and local governments spent about $11 million on dues to associations like the League of Minnesota Cities.


  • DFL State Auditor candidate Matt Entenza announced on Monday that he has been endorsed by Minnesota Pipe Trades Association, a coalition labor union that represents a variety of trades, including plumbers, and counts some 9,000 members. Entenza is challenging endorsed DFL incumbent Rebecca Otto.
  • Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing) confirmed on Facebook and Twitter that she has given birth to a son; according to Melin, she and her husband Zeb have not chosen a name for the baby.
  • The St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a public affairs series event to discuss the 2014 legislative session at the Symantec office in Roseville on Wednesday June 25. DFL Reps. Tim Mahoney and Erin Murphy and GOP Rep. Matt Dean will debate the session in a panel moderated by TPT host Mary Lahammer. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and comes at a cost of $30 for non-members and $20 for members. Register here.
  • The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) is hiring for a statewide organizer. Job duties include network management and building, issue campaigns, communications and event planning; bachelor’s degree plus 1-3 years of experience necessary. Apply here.

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