Sam's Top 5 Things to Know for Monday

1. Senator John McCain is calling for Trump to reveal evidence that then-President Obama bugged phones at Trump Tower — or retract his accusation.

McCain said, "I think the president has one of two choices: either retract or to provide the information that the American people deserve, because, if his predecessor violated the law, President Obama violated the law, we have got a serious issue here, to say the least.”

2. Trump will be sending a budget plan to Congress this week

The spending plan, set for release Thursday, would make the Pentagon the big winner with a $54 billion boost to defense spending. Trump has promised to "do a lot more with less," but his blueprint faces a reality test with Republicans, many of whom are already protesting.

Some of the preliminary planes include the elimination of the $3 billion community development block grant program that's popular among local GOP officials, a 25 percent cut to the EPA and elimination of 3,000 jobs, and essentially scuttling a $300 million per-year program to clean up the Great Lakes.

White House economic adviser Gary Cohn said, "These are tough decisions, but the president has shown he is ready, willing and able to make these tough decisions. Unfortunately, we have no alternative but to reinvest in our military and make ourselves a military power once again”

3. An NBA player was ejected and fined for making a finger-gun gesture during game

In addition to being ejected from the game, Washing Wizards guard Brandon Jennings was fined $35,000 after officials say he made a gun with his finger and gestured at a rival player with the Phoenix Suns.

The confrontation, between Wizards center Jason Smith and Suns guard Tyler Ulis, escalated to involve most of the players on the court. During the chaos, Jennings is seen pointing at Suns forward Jared Dudley.

Jennings said, "They said I pointed my finger like a gun at Dudley. I was telling Dudley to relax, like, calm down, because you're not that type of guy.” Dudley was fined for “escalating an altercation” by confronting and giving a head-butt to Smith after Smith knocked down Ulis with a hard screen.

Jennings was fined for “making menacing gestures” during the incident. Video replays showed Jennings imitating that his fingers were a gun.

4. Minnesota legislators’ salaries slated for a 45 percent bump

An independent council, created by a voter-approved constitutional amendment, will raise state lawmakers’ salary from $31,100 to $45,000.

Diana Burlison, one of the members of the council, said “since it is a citizen-Legislature, I think we have to be conscientious and not give them such a raise that the normal average citizen would say, ‘Wow’.”

Lawmakers’ pay has not risen for nearly two decades. That’s in large part because lawmakers feared voter backlash if they gave themselves a bump. But a constitutional amendment approved last year took the power to set legislator salaries away from the lawmakers and gave it to the new citizen-driven council. The constitutional amendment passed with 76 percent of the vote in November.

Members of the council — some appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton and some by Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea — are a mix of Republicans and Democrats and come from across the state. They spent weeks delving into legislative salaries in Minnesota and other states and considered other benefits lawmakers receive. Generally, they concluded, lawmakers, who are theoretically part-time, work about 70-percent-time.


5. A defiant Jim Surdyk opened for Sunday liquor sales four months early

Surdyk’s, the family-owned liquor store in northeast Minneapolis, issued a social-media blast Sunday morning saying “Open Today,” followed by a short message that the store would be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Jim Surdyk, owner and president of the business, said “we just decided to open up. We’re here, we’re busy, it’s great. People are happy to be here.”

Among those less pleased was Minneapolis licensing manager Grant Wilson, who phoned Surdyk before noon Sunday to advise him to lock up the store or be in violation of state law.

“Not just the state law,” Wilson said by phone on Sunday, “but the city ordinance also needs to be revised,” which has not yet happened. Wilson said he figured Surdyk would say he had made a mistake, but that didn’t prove to be the case.

Even though Surdyk said he was “in the middle on the new law,” he decided that since it was approved, why wait? Surdyk said, “The governor signed the bill, everyone wants the bill, they voted for it, why not be in business?”

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