The suspense builds today in anticipation of Governor Mark Dayton releasing his state budget tomorrow morning. Where will he cut, and how deep? Rest assured, The UpTake will be there to bring you live coverage. You can also follow our live feeds of the State House and Senate today. And tonight, if you’re not out on the town with your sweeties, tune in to our live broadcast at 7:30 p.m. of the inaugural Hot Dish, a local, organic storytelling festival at the Trylon Microcinema in South Minneapolis. The literary theme this evening, in honor of Valentine’s Day, will be Heartache, Heartbreak, and Happy Endings.
On Friday, following the jubilant news that Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak had left Cairo, Minnesotans honored their revolutionary brethren in the Middle East by building pyramids in front of the State Capitol. President Obama also congratulated the crowds in Tahrir Square for inspiring the entire world with their struggles for democracy. The following day, Obama returned to more mundane national politics, with a promise to earmark vetoes during his online weekly address.
Speaking of vetoes, Governor Dayton pulled off his first veto on Thursday afternoon, striking down the GOP budget bill. Republican and Democratic leadership both responded to the veto during press conferences on Friday morning. The tone was congenial, as House Speaker Kurt Zellers distributed cookies that his mother had baked, but that didn’t overshadow the obvious political chasm between the GOP and DFL in the State Capitol.
During that same press conference, Democratic Sen. Terri Bonoff criticized her Republican colleague Scott Newman for not hiring, training or knowing his legislative assistant, which may landed him in hot water, and last week’s ethics hearing against him. Oh, and about those ethics hearings: we can’t provide you with audio footage of the closed-door portion of those hearings — even though we were promised transparency — because someone neglected to turn on the audio once the press were forced to leave the room.