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The Capitol Note: At least $32 million in Minnesota flooding damage, likely more

Mike Mullen//July 2, 2014

The Capitol Note: At least $32 million in Minnesota flooding damage, likely more

Mike Mullen//July 2, 2014

1) Early estimates put public property damage in Minnesota from flooding at $32 million, and that’s without all of the damaged counties reporting, according to the Star Tribune.

Hennepin County has about $14 million in damage. That’s compared to $9.2 million in Carver County. The total cost estimate so far comes from 21 counties, though more roughly 40 will have some sort of damage by the end of the flooding. Minnesota has already far surpassed the $7.3 million threshold necessary to get federal aid, but a presidential disaster declaration is still forthcoming.

In some cases, private insurance won’t cover damages to homes from flooding. That’s similar to mudslides — like the one at the University of Minnesota — Gov. Mark Dayton said.

2) Minnesota’s budget reserve is now $811 million, helped by a $150 million payment into the account on Tuesday, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The additional cushion came out of last session, when Democrats dedicated the safety net funding to the reserve. There’s also $350 million in a state cash flow account.

“Minnesota has finally turned the corner on a decade of deficits that shortchanged our students and stymied needed progress for our state,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement. “We turned a $6.2 billion deficit into a surplus, repaid all the $2.8 billion previously borrowed from our schools, made important new investments in education and job creation, and increased the reserve to its highest level in history.”

3) GOP gubernatorial endorsee Jeff Johnson nabbed US Rep. Erik Paulsen’s support in his August primary race against the rest of the Republican field.

Johnson and Paulsen worked together during their time in the state House of Representatives, an email announcing the endorsement notes. It also calls on supporters to cast a no-excuse absentee ballot in favor of Johnson. This is the first year that voters and campaigns can take advantage of the loosened restrictions on absentee voting, and it has become a new tool for campaigns to get voters in the bank before election day.

“Jeff Johnson is a tireless leader for spending restraint and has the experience necessary to help Minnesota become a state where businesses expand and create jobs again,” Paulsen wrote in a statement. “Jeff’s character and integrity will make him a great Governor for Minnesota.”

Johnson faces businessman Scott Honour, former Rep. Marty Seifert and former House Speaker Kurt Zellers in the primary. The victorious nominee will take on Gov. Mark Dayton in November.


  • Republican operative Jeff Larson has been tapped as new executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to CQ Roll Call. Larson, once a campaign manager for former GOP U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, is also notable in local political circles for having helped found FLS Connect, a major fundraising firm based in St. Paul.
  • Faegre Baker Daniels announced on Tuesday that Dave Johnson is joining its government relations team. Johnson, a former DFL state senator representing Bloomington, had most recently been with the Best & Flanagan firm, where he led that organization’s lobbying efforts. Aside from lobbying, Johnson advises clients on a number of topics, including contracting law and campaign finance regulations.
  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is hiring for a vice president of communications and development. Qualified applicants should have a minimum of 10 years experience in either public relations or fundraising activities; Master’s degree in business, finance, marketing or PR preferred. Apply by sending cover letter and resume to Anne Rizzo at [email protected].
  •  Richard Mesenburg, a longtime staffer with the Minnesota Department of Education, died earlier this week after a car accident in St. Louis Park, the Star Tribune reports. After leaving his career as a teacher, Messenburg worked for 26 years in an administrative role with the state agency, and also consulted with other states and foreign governments on education issues.

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