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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Gov. Mark Dayton says the state can help create jobs by issuing $775 milion in bonds for construction projects around the state. Dayton released his bonding wish-list Tuesday. It includes $78 million for University of Minnesota building projects, and another $63.5 million for MNSCU campuses. It also features money to build a Saint Paul Saints ballpark in downtown Minneapolis, civic center projects in Rochester, Mankato and St. Cloud, for construction and repair of bridges, and a down payment on design and construction of a light rail line to connect downtown Minneapolis with its southwestern suburbs. The Democratic governor's administration estimates the bill would create up to 21,700 new jobs. House and Senate Republican leaders say bonds should be used for core infrastructure needs only, such as road construction.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) Supporters of an unprecedented effort to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from office said they will turn in more than enough signatures Tuesday to force the Republican into a recall election barely a year into his first term. Walker, however, has no plans to be anywhere near the Capitol when recall organizers submit their petitions. The governor is scheduled to be fundraising in New York at the time organizers say they will unload 3,000 pounds of paperwork from a truck and haul it into the state election board's offices. The signature drive started two months ago, largely in reaction to a law pushed by the governor last year that ended nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public workers. Organizers say they have gathered far more than the 540,208 signatures required to force the election against both Walker and GOP Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Democratic Party and union leaders say they're not concerned about not having someone actively running against Walker and trying to match his fundraising. In fact, they say it was part of their strategy. Other potential candidates include Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, whom Walker beat by 5 percentage points in 2010, retired Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, former U.S. Rep. Dave Obey, current U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, state Sen. Jon Erpenbach and state Rep. Peter Barca.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) A state Veterans Affairs Board member has resigned. Marv Freedman wrote in a letter Tuesday to Republican Gov. Scott Walker that he was upset with a bill Walker signed in July that stripped the board of its power to appoint the state Department of Veterans Affairs secretary. Freedman also criticized Walker's decision to re-hire former Secretary John Scocos to the post in August. The board fired Scocos in 2009, blaming him for financial problems and miscommunications at the agency. Former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle appointed Freedman to the board in 2004. Walker's spokesman called Freedman's letter a political ploy and says the governor looks forward to appointing a new board member.
Another board member Doyle appointed, Peter Moran, quit this past summer.