The Daily Digest (Lawmaker pay hikes, nurse bill on ice; Plan B for Vikes?)

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Legislative committees start a busy week today at the Capitol as bill deadlines draw near.

State budget and tax plans are in a bit of a holding pattern as lawmakers await Gov. Dayton's revised proposals.


Nurse staffing bill faces roadblock in the House (MPR News)

"A key committee chair says she doesn't intend to hold a hearing on the bill unless the Minnesota Nurses Association and hospitals get closer to a compromise."

Ex-Minn. justice: Sex offender program needs urgent reform (MPR News)

"The head of a task force to recommend changes to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program says if the Legislature doesn't reform the program soon, a federal judge may force the state to act."

Pay hikes suggested for Minn. government leaders (Associated Press)

"Recommendations slated for action today call for the first salary hikes for Minnesota's governor and legislators since the late 1990s, as well as a substantial restructuring of how top state agency managers are paid."

Troubles continue for electronic pull-tabs in Vikes stadium finance plan (MPR News)

"The latest figures show the games continue to roll out, but the roll out slowed in February, slipping by almost a third from the site-per-day January rate. It's looking more likely the stadium finance plan is going to need a backup revenue plan."

In gun debate, lots of emotion but little solid research (Pioneer Press)

The lack of objective gun violence research has become evident as Minnesota and the U.S. grapple with proposed law changes Some say it's time to reinvest in research, which virtually ended more than 15 years ago amid pro-gun lobbyist opposition.

Norm Coleman: Minnesota efforts will not end (Star Tribune)

"Ex-U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman is swearing off a 2014 run for office but that does not mean Minnesotans will not see him around. Coleman plans to stay involved in the state's politics through the conservative outreach group Minnesota Action Network."


Cuts give Obama path to create leaner military (New York Times)

Can Obama build on his outreach to GOP? (CBS News)

Yellowstone weathers painful budget cuts (Washington Post)

States wrestle with health exchanges (Politico)

After Klobuchar at Gridiron, Obama declares Franken '2nd-funniest' Minn. senator (Star Tribune)

Bill toughening economic disclosure rules on ice for the year

Supporters of a bill that would require public officials in Minnesota to disclose more about their sources of income will have to wait another year.

House Elections Committee Chair Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, initially said he wanted to pass something this year, but now he says he's not holding a hearing on the bill because he thinks it needs more work.

"I am committed to doing something and doing something significant," Simon said. "I would have liked to have done it this year but it became clear that a lot of stakeholders and a lot of public groups want to weigh in on this."

An MPR News investigation found that in many cases the disclosure forms filed by elected officials provided little if any meaningful information about the sources of their outside income and potential conflicts of interest. -- Tom Scheck