Monday, July 11, 2005

Daily Deals

  • Huzzah! Minnesota Meltdown 2005 has officially melted. Roughly 9,000 temporarily laid-off workers are back on the job today; more than 1,000 were forced to take their unwanted leave of absence without pay. So what are the details? No racino. No cuts to MinnesotaCare (at least as far as the number of enrollees). No income tax hike on the state's highest earners. Education funding should be increased by about 4 percent (a welcome change from the stagnation of the past two years). A 75-cent increase in the tobacco tax (or fee, or whatever) will be felt at the distributor level (not necessarily the retail level, yet). Property taxes will indeed go up even higher. And the GOP claims it will close some tax shelters (although the PeP will not hold its breath). Plans for new Twins and Gophers stadiums will be put on the back-burner for now. All in all, its a pretty good deal for both sides (it appears the DFL was able to hold on to most of its core demands, while the GOP lost big time in not securing additional gambling revenue). I'm not exactly sure why this deal couldn't have been hammered out before a shutdown since everyone basically knew a final agreement would turn out this way. At least now we can all look forward to heckling our lawmakers at the State Fair!
  • Of course, it needs to be said that this state government agreement is all well and good...in theory. The nuts and bolts of it are being put together as we speak (or, shall I say, blog). Right now, the government is running through a temporary lights-on measure (the same one the DFL proposed, oh, about ten days ago), and if the specifics of the agreement are not voted on and signed by Wednesday night, we're back to square one. So there's still hope for those Meltdown fans out there...and the state workers who were enjoying their unpaid forced vacation.
  • While the PeP rarely includes sports coverage (ok, never includes sports coverage) I thought it imperative to report that the Twins will announce the acquisition of Seattle Mariner second-baseman Bret Boone this afternoon. For those who don't know, our infield is leaking like a sieve and personally I'm hoping he can provide some much needed reliability on defense and offense. The guy's certainly past his prime, but hey, even Dave Winfield gave us some hits.
  • It's starting...you know a Minnesota campaign is officially underway when the lawn signs start popping up like dandelions. The City Hall Scoop covers it, as well as announces an upcoming Al Gore speaking engagement at the Science Museum.
  • The Girl Scouts meet Islam...and MPR is there.
  • I'm really disappointed the PeP got scooped on this story.

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