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TEACHERS: via Christopher Magan of the Pioneer Press, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota House is expected this week to debate a Republican bill requiring school administrators to consider a teacher's effectiveness over seniority when deciding layoffs…The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Jenifer Loon of Eden Prairie, also would overhaul how Minnesota licenses teachers…The bill cleared the House Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote Monday…A top priority for Republicans, the legislation was sent to the committee after lawmakers received a fiscal report hours before the bill was to be debated on the floor last week…Administrators and union leaders are allowed -- but not required -- to negotiate contracts that use teacher effectiveness as a criteria when deciding staffing and layoffs….The bill also would streamline the process for licensing teachers trained outside Minnesota, those in alternative programs and those considered "community experts," who otherwise would not be eligible for a license.” READ: http://bit.ly/1FRcKvU
GOP: via Pat Condon of the Star Tribune, VERBATIM: “Two Republican-owned national political consulting firms are demanding the Minnesota Republican Party settle hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills from the 2014 campaign, a sign the party’s long-running financial struggles may not be totally resolved…In e-mails to state GOP Chairman Keith Downey, top executives at Salt Lake City-based Arena Communications and the Kansas-based Singularis Group blasted the Minnesota Republican Party in unusually frank language. They said the party has failed to pay its bills for direct mail and other political communications on behalf of federal and state GOP candidates running for office in Minnesota last fall…Downey said Monday that the party has paid all but 20 percent of its campaign-related debt to vendors. “We feel confident about the financial footing of the party,” he said. Asked how much the party still owed vendors, Downey put the figure at about $300,000. That’s included in the total that the party owes to creditors, which at the end of January was $1.47 million. Peter Valcarce, founder and manager of Arena Communications, wrote in a Feb. 23 e-mail to Downey that his firm is still owed $211,473 for work it did for the party to aid the U.S. Senate campaign of Mike McFadden and the congressional campaign of Stewart Mills in northeastern Minnesota.” READ: http://strib.mn/1FRbGbe
BUDGET: via MPR’s Tim Pugmire, VERBATIM: “Legislation introduced today in the Minnesota House and Senate would create a new nonpartisan state government office to analyze financial matters…The proposed Legislative Budget Office would work with state departments to provide lawmakers with information on the fiscal impact of proposed bills. That role is currently performed by Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB), which used to be known as the state Finance Department…House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, are sponsoring the measure. Daudt said the Legislature should take care of its own fiscal notes and not depend on the executive branch. DAUDT: “We shouldn’t have to rely on them for numbers on our bills,” Daudt said. “I’m not even suggesting there has been adjustment of those numbers on bills they don’t like, but the potential exists.” READ: http://bit.ly/18IP6Ym
SAVINGS: “On Feb. 23, Minnesota Credit Union Network-sponsored legislation that would allow credit unions in the state to offer Prize-Linked Savings accounts was introduced in both the Minnesota House of Representatives (H.F. 1127) and Minnesota Senate (S.F. 1043)…Prize-Linked Savings (PLS), which are special savings accounts that essentially treat every deposit as a ticket in a drawing, are designed to help encourage more Minnesotans to save money in a fun and proven way….According to findings from a 2013 bankrate.com survey, more than 25 percent of respondents had no savings at all and nearly 76 percent did not have enough savings to cover six months’ worth of living expenses in the event of a job loss. PLS accounts offer savers the potential of winning a larger prize without the risk of losing their savings, and they encourage consumers to save by changing the savings experience and allowing them to experience the immediate reward of prizes and incentives.” READ: http://bit.ly/1aonybg (SPONSORED: Minnesota Credit Union News)
ROADS: via AP, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota Department of Transportation's list of projects that would sprout from Gov. Mark Dayton's $6 billion road-funding request uses wide-ranging estimates to arrive at the need…The transportation agency released details Monday about potential projects Dayton has said won't get done without a lot of new money, possibly from a higher gas tax. The list covers hundreds of highway and bridge projects…There are multi-million-dollar spreads between the low- and high-cost estimates for some projects…Transportation officials say that's because more precise estimates won't be done until money is assured. Some could be done cheaper, but the officials warn those repairs would have a shorter lifespan.” READ/WATCH: http://bit.ly/18i1U6X
SESSION: HOUSE: Civil Law tries to bring more transparency to MnSCU at 8:15 and Education review homeless / highly mobile student data. Ag Finance considers Cuba marketing money while public safety takes a look at protecting people who work with mentally ill and dangerous patients. Taxes moves the social security tax exemption through committee. At 2:45 Massage therapists license bill is heard. SENATE: At 8:30 Education looks at charter schools and ECFE. The Tax committee reviews gold bullion tax implications. Higher Ed reviews the financial requests of the U of MN Medical School. Rules establishes a commission for redistricting/ FULLSCHEDULE: http://bit.ly/1BQUo0T
COLTON: via news advisory, VERBATIM: “Rep. Jerry Hertaus, R-Greenfield, has authored a bill in response to a well-publicized story and act of violence by a felon against an innocent person in St. Cloud during 2012. The bill will receive a hearing during the House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee meeting10:15 a.m. Tuesday.”
TODAY: The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce hosts Business Day at the Capitol.
TODAY: Governor Mark Dayton will meet with Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, legislators, commissioners and staff throughout the day. Governor Dayton will also meet with members of the Minnesota Forest Industries Board. At 7:15pm, Governor Dayton will provide remarks at an event honoring new Metropolitan Airports Commission member Ibrahim Mohamed.
TODAY: On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Lt. Governor Tina Smith will meet with Governor Mark Dayton, legislators, commissioners, and staff throughout the day. At 11:00am, Lt. Governor Smith will provide remarks at the 100th Anniversary of the Navy Reserve event (Fifth Floor Conference Room, Veterans Service Building). In the afternoon, the Lt. Governor will speak at the Cooperative Network Day at the Capitol event. In the evening, Lt. Governor Smith will address the Rural Counties Caucus.
TODAY: Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck will tour Carver and Scott County today beginning at 9AM.
WED: A bill authored by State Rep. John Lesch (DFL-St. Paul) and Senator Sandra Pappas (DFL – St. Paul) that would reform the legal process for married couples with minor children seeking a divorce will be unveiled Wednesday. The bill would change current statute on education for divorcing parents to implement parent education courses that are proven to reduce conflict, improve child adjustment, and reduce the need for re-litigation. Advocates will gather at the state capitol on Wednesday, March 4, to discuss the proposal in detail.
THURS: Five chief authors of equal rights amendment legislation (ERA) - Senators Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul), Richard Cohen (DFL-St Paul), and Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis); along with Representatives Phyllis Kahn (DFL-Minneapolis), and Rena Moran (DFL-St Paul) - will hold a press conference championing ERA legislation with ERA Minnesota (ERAMN) activists this Thursday, March 5th on ERA Day at the Capitol in honor of International Women’s Day.
CD2: DFL candidate for Congress Angie Craig was in Washington DC last night for an EMILY’s List event.
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FORUM: On March 4, a panel of local mid-size company leaders will address these challenges and more, and provide insights and solutions, at the Twin Cities Business Magazine 2015 Middle Market Forum. The panel includes Archie Black, President and CEO, SPS Commerce,Paul Lidsky, President and CEO, Datalink, Gary Maharaj, CEO, SurModics and Maureen Steinwall, President and CEO, Steinwall, Inc.
PREVIEW: The Bailey Group’s Michael Kithcart sat down with event moderator, Twin Cities Business Magazine Editor in Chief Dale Kurschner, to discuss his thoughts on key issues and what attendees can expect at this year’s event…They face unique challenges and are working harder to remain relevant in a world of ever-evolving technology and increasing global competition.” PODCAST: http://bit.ly/1MRiH1m (SPONSORED: The Bailey Group – CEO Advisors)
ECONOMY: via WOWT, VERBATIM: “The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index for January, a leading economic indicator for a nine-state region stretching from North Dakota to Arkansas, increased from January's reading. Indices over the past several months are pointing to positive economic gains over the next three to six months for the region… The Business Conditions Index, which ranges between 0 and 100, rose to 57.0 from January's 54.8. The regional index, much like the national reading, is pointing to improving growth for the first half of 2015.” GOSS: "However, areas of the region linked closely to the energy sector, including ethanol, are experiencing pullbacks in economic activity," said Ernie Goss, Ph.D., director of Creighton University's Economic Forecasting Group. MINNESOTA: February survey results mark the 27th straight month Minnesota's Business Conditions Index has remained above growth neutral. The overall index dipped to a still healthy 64.7 from January's 60.1. Components of the index from the February survey of supply managers were new orders at 72.4, production or sales at 78.1, delivery lead time at 57.9, inventories at 57.7, and employment at 57.6. "Durable goods manufacturers in the state are growing at a solid pace. However, even with this recent healthy growth, compared to pre-recession levels, this heavy manufacturing sector has lost almost 13,000 jobs. Average weekly wages for all Minnesota workers, according to the BLS have grown by an anemic 0.5 percent over the past year," Goss. READ:http://bit.ly/1wE1Wln WATCH: http://bit.ly/1GbxZMC
TOMORROW: Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) will webcast its meeting with the financial community on March 3 from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time. Investors and others are invited to access the presentations and Q&A session online on the Events & Presentations section of Target.com/Investors. The webcast will be archived for at least 90 days following the meeting. At the meeting, Target will discuss its strategic and financial plans and provide guidance for the company’s expected fiscal 2015 financial performance. DETAILS:http://bit.ly/1zztmUd
TOMORROW: Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer, will speak at the J.P. Morgan Aviation, Transportation and Industrials Conference 2015 in New York at 9:30 a.m. EST. Scott Wine, Chairman and CEO of Polaris, will provide a brief review of the Company’s past performance as well as an update on current business conditions at TheRaymond James 36th Annual Institutional Investors Conference in Orlando.
BBY: via Joseph Hargett at InvestorPlace, VERBATIM: “Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) will step into the earnings spotlight ahead of the open on Tuesday … and expectations are mixed ahead of the event. For the record, Wall Street is anticipating a profit of $1.36 cents per share from Best Buy, with upward revisions to this target rolling in over the past several weeks. That said, with the recent bankruptcy of competitor RadioShack Corporation(OTCMKTS:RSHCQ), guidance may be the key for Best Buy investors. Historically, Best Buy has a habit of topping earnings expectations. In fact, the company has topped Wall Street’s targets in each of the past four reporting periods by an average of 42%. This may explain why the company’s whisper number arrives 9 cents higher than the consensus at $1.45 per share, according to EarningsWhisper.com.” READ: http://bit.ly/18gIMpP
MOBILE: via news release, VERBATIM: “U.S. Bank has announced that it’s working withSamsung Electronics Co. to enable U.S. Bank cardmembers to use the new Samsung Galaxy S6 phone for credit-card transactions as the bank continues to develop secure, convenient and innovative payment options. Samsung Pay, developed in partnership with Visa and MasterCard, uses both Near Field Communication (NFC) and a new proprietary technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to make mobile payments more accessible to merchants and consumers than ever before.” READ: http://bit.ly/1CiZ4Mt
MOBILE2: via RTTNews, VERBATIM: “Best Buy (BBY) and Sprint (S) Friday introduced a simple way to get a wireless phone, simplifying the wireless selection process for customers. Sprint has pushed out its the Best Buy One Plan, an industry-first, all inclusive plan, gives customers unlimited talk, text and data, and the lease of a device. This plan is available exclusively at Best Buy locations nationwide beginning March 1. The customers can lease the 16GB model of the iPhone 6 where they will get unlimited, text, talk time and data on Sprint. This will cost consumers $65 per month (excluding taxes and fees) for a period of two years… In addition, customers have the option to choose the 12-month plan where they pay an extra $10 on top of the $65 or $75 base charge which depends on the smartphone chosen. The company said that the customers activating a new line of service before March 28 will also receive a $200Best Buy gift card.” RELEASE: http://bit.ly/1Dvvles
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STRATASYS: via Paul Ausick at 24/7 Wall St., VERBATIM: “Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 results before markets opened Monday. For the quarter, the 3D printer maker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.48 and $217.0 million in revenues. In the same period a year ago, Stratasys reported EPS of $0.50 on revenue of $155.1 million. Fourth-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.48 and $215.83 million in revenue. For the full year, Stratasys posted EPS of $2.00 on adjusted revenues of $750.4 million, compared with EPS of $1.84 on revenues of $486.7 in 2013. Analysts were expecting full-year EPS of $2.00 and revenues of $748.99 million. Stratasys warned on earnings exactly one month ago and cut its outlook for 2015, costing investors more than 25% of value of their holdings. The company said it planned to invest $160 million to $200 million in a drive to reach a revenue goal of $3 billion by 2020. On a GAAP basis the company posted a loss of $1.81 per share for the quarter, compared with a loss of $0.04 per share in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, the GAAP loss totaled $2.39, compared with a loss of $0.64 per share in 2013. Stratasys guided full-year revenue to a range of $940 million to $960 million, and adjusted net income to a range of $109 million to $118 million. Full-year adjusted EPS is forecast in a range of $2.07 to $2.24. On a GAAP basis the company expects a net loss of $0.20 to $0.45 per share. Operating expenses are expected to be about 46% to 47%, as the company said last month. The $160 million to $200 million capital spending plan remains as well. The company also said that the majority of adjusted net income would not come until the second half of 2015. The consensus estimates for the first quarter call for EPS of $0.35 on revenues of $202.6 million. For the full year, analysts expect of $2.12 on revenues of $950.03 million.” RESULTS: http://bit.ly/1aIBflN
LAWTAKE: the Fluence Media tip sheet covering Minnesota’s legal community and legal news, LawTake, relaunches this week. SIGNUP: http://bit.ly/lawtake
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SATURDAY: via Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association would like to invite cattle producers to their first quarterly business meeting of 2015. The meeting will be held on Saturday, March 7th, 2015 at the Perham Stockyards in Perham, MN. The business meeting starts at 10:00 am with lunch to follow. Agenda Items will include, but are not limited to: Wolf legislation update, wolf & elk depredation funding update, 2015 summer tour, 2015 annual convention and MSCA policy priorities for 2015. Membership of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association is not required to attend this informative meeting.”
NXTWK: via MinnPost, VERBATIM: “On Monday, March 9, MinnPost’s Earth Journal Circle will present its third annual event focusing on substantive discussion of critical issues in the environment. This year’s topic is "Pollinators in Peril: Helping Our Bees Back Onto Their Own Six Feet." The speaker is Marla Spivak, director of the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab and an internationally recognized authority on the problems afflicting both commercial managed honeybees and their wild cousins… Spivak will discuss new research into strategies for saving these critical pollinators. Some of the leading solutions center on improving or rebuilding habitat with flowering plants to provide natural forage, on scales ranging from do-it-yourself backyard plantings to wholesale conversion of highway and railroad corridors… The program will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis… Registration deadline is March 2.” READ: http://bit.ly/1wEa7OG
NEONICOTINOIDS: via Red River Farm Network, VERBATIM: “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is evaluating the science and best management practices of neonicotinoid use. Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Matt Wohlman says the special registration review started last year. “We’re taking a look at all of the scientific evidence that’s out there. We’ll be conducting that literature review for the next six months to a year. At that point, we will come out with our conclusion from the special registration review.” Wohlman is hopeful the review will provide answers about the safety and environmental concerns about neonicotinoid use.” READ:http://bit.ly/1K8D6Qs
EDUCATION: via Center for Rural Policy and Development, VERBATIM: “Dr. Richard Davenport, president of Minnesota State University–Mankato, talks with us this week about new ways of thinking about higher education. How do we design education for rural students that meets their needs and helps them stay in rural communities?” LISTEN: http://bit.ly/1EGquvu
BIOMASS: via Liz Morrison at Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, VERBATIM: “AURI is testing a way to make corn stover and other biomass more nutritious for livestock. Lignocellulosic biomass contains plenty of nourishing carbohydrates, but they are locked up in complex chains of molecules, making them hard to get at. Although the technology isn’t new, researchers at AURI’s coproducts lab in Waseca are using an alkaline solution to break down the bonds and release the nutrients so they are easier to digest. The process “takes low-quality roughages and improves the available energy for dairy cows, beef cattle, and sheep,” says Al Doering, AURI coproducts scientist, who is leading the trials. The research could add value to crop residues and perennial grasses, while cutting livestock feed costs and expanding biomass uses. Calcium hydroxide, or slaked lime, is mixed with water and applied to chopped biomass. The treated material, which is about 50 percent moisture, is then packed into a bunker or bag and ensiled for 30 days. The cured feedstuff can be substituted for a portion of corn and hay in ruminant livestock rations… AURI will test the calcium hydroxide process on a wide range of Minnesota-grown biomass to identify which plant fibers produce the greatest nutritional returns.” READ: http://bit.ly/1M3KKsS
BIOFUEL: via David Schaffer at Star Tribune, VERBATIM: “On a cold winter day, white mist swirls above the smallest ethanol plant in Minnesota — a sign that it’s back in business. Built two decades ago at the dawn of Minnesota’s ethanol industry, the plant in the past four years has been idled, mothballed and restarted — only to be shut down again as it stumbled through U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Now, a new owner has it running once more, and is confronting a core problem facing small plants in an era of larger, efficient ethanol producers. “The economics don’t work,” said Joe Winckler, an ethanol industry veteran who manages Buffalo Lake Advanced Biofuels. It’s a persistent challenge in the industry. Most vintage ethanol plants, including Buffalo Lake, expanded over the years, but that isn’t always enough to stay competitive. Now, some of the smallest are looking to new technologies — and new products — to stay alive… Winckler said it’s hard to make a profit on older ethanol plants with a capacity less than 40 million gallons per year. The Buffalo Lake plant, which restarted last October, can produce 18 million gallons annually, he said… Most Minnesota plants have a capacity of 50 million gallons per year or less. Two of the small plants — in Luverne and Little Falls — have looked beyond ethanol to stay competitive.” QUOTE: “It’s innovate or die,” said Randall Doyal, chairman of theRenewable Fuels Association and chief executive of Claremont, Minn.-based Al-Corn Clean Fuel, one of the state’s first ethanol plants. “There is a lot of competition out there. If you stop trying to grow or innovate, you are really dying.” READ: http://strib.mn/1GbMLTp
CROPS: via John Perkins at Brownfield Ag News, VERBATIM: “USDA reports corn and soybean export inspections for the week ending February 26 remain ahead of what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2014/15 marketing year.” WHEAT: Wheat came out at 450,093 tons, down 78,945 from the week ending February 19 and 159,774 lower than the week ending February 27, 2014. For the 2014/15 marketing year, wheat inspections are 16,966,135 tons, compared to 23,933,880 in 2013/14. CORN: Corn was reported at 1,279,816 tons, up 371,079 from the previous week and 222,703 higher than this time last year. So far this marketing year, corn inspections are 18,584,834 tons, compared to 18,013,027 a year ago. SOYBEANS: Soybeans were pegged at 635,164 tons, 342,933 less than the week before and 351,587 below last year. At this point in the marketing year, soybean inspections are 41,905,232 tons, compared to 36,885,126 a year ago. SORGHUM: Sorghum inspections totaled 204,819 tons. That’s a decrease of 63,988 tons on the week, but an increase of 125,287 on the year. 2014/15 sorghum inspections are 4,763,533 tons, compared to 1,647,395 in 2013/14.” READ:http://bit.ly/1F1TzPV
BIRTHDAYS: BELATED: Rep. Mary Franson TODAY: Rep. Yvonne Selcer, Congressman Tom Emmer, communications guy Randy Schubring, lobbyist Todd Johnson, marketer Natasha Freimark
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