Daily Digest: Klobuchar and the shutdown

Good morning, and welcome to Wednesday. Here's the Digest.

1. How much heat will Amy Klobuchar take from Democrats for her role in ending the government shutdown? From the New York Times:  Progressives, however, are already eyeing one of the Democrats who pushed for a compromise: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. On a conference call convened Sunday night by liberal groups, there was notable anger toward Ms. Klobuchar, according to two participants. Ms. Klobuchar, however, illustrates why the Democratic base may find it difficult to inflict payback: She is broadly popular with liberals in Minnesota, and the shutdown fight has come late enough in the congressional calendar to leave any would-be challenger with little time to prepare. “I have been working hard for the people of Minnesota, and I think the people of Minnesota understand that, including in my party,” Ms. Klobuchar said. (New York Times)

2. The Democratic leader in the Minnesota House wants a Republican colleague to rescind a speaking invitation because she says the speaker is an extremist associated with anti-Muslim groups. State Rep. Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, sent a letter Tuesday to Rep. Roz Peterson, R-Lakeville, asking her not to have Raheel Raza speak at the state Capitol Wednesday. Raza is a filmmaker, public speaker and consultant for interfaith and intercultural diversity, according to her website. She is Canadian, a Muslim and the author of “Their Jihad…Not My Jihad.” Raza says she is not an extremist. Peterson had not seen Hortman’s letter Tuesday afternoon and said she was “shocked” by its tone. She had no plans to disinvite Raza. “I’m an inclusive person and I’m open to talking with anybody,” Peterson said. “It’s the people’s House. We try to hear all perspectives and listen to people. I wish Minority Leader Hortman would have reached out to me.” (Pioneer Press)

3. Minnesota will regain a critical federal allowance for children’s health programs under a short-term budget agreement signed into law Monday, mostly patching what had become a hole in the state budget. Federal money had run out for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP. Minnesota was forced to divert some state tax dollars to the program to keep 125,000 children and others in low income families connected with care. Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans said Tuesday he’s still awaiting some details on changes lawmakers made to CHIP. But he said the federal budget agreement offers needed certainty. “The reauthorzation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program will provide the assurance for the next six years that program will be funded.” (MPR News)

4. Three convicted rapists are suing the city of Dayton over an ordinance that virtually bans them from the city, arguing that the measure violates their Constitutional rights and is trumped by state law. The men are challenging a 2016 ordinance that bars convicted sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school, day care facility, park, playground — or even pumpkin patch and apple orchard — within the city of Dayton, a rural community of about 5,000 residents northwest of the Twin Cities. Their suit argues that, because of the ordinance, the three offenders remain unjustly confined at the Minnesota Sex Offender Program  acility in St. Peter more than a year after they were cleared for conditional release to a group home in Dayton. The lawsuit was filed this month in Hennepin County District Court. (Star Tribune)

5. There's a team of people trying to identify human remains held by the state. Last May, state legislators passed a funding bill that included more than $100,000 but little description — other than to identify and bury human remains currently in the state’s possession. The remains in question are those that have been found over the years in unmarked graves as land was developed around the state for businesses, apartment complexes or homes. By law, any remains identified as belonging to American Indians are sent to the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council, while all non-Indian remains more than 50 years old are transferred to the state archaeologist. For years, that’s where they stayed, until now. As part of the bill approved by lawmakers, Susan Myster of Hamline University is teaming up with the state archaeologist and a self-trained historian to examine as many as 100 different sets of remains in the state’s possession — all in the hopes of giving those people back their names. (MinnPost)

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