Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 4 years 7 months
ST. PAUL — Minnesota government will not have much left over when the just-started two-year budget cycle ends, Dayton administration officials say. A new report shows there will be $163 million left from the new $45 billion budget in two years (although money the state already has in the bank still could be there). And that is if things go well financially. Officials like Commissioner Myron Frans of Minnesota Management and Budget, the state finance agency, always want to pump up reserves in case the economy goes south, taking state revenues with it.
ST. PAUL—Frustrated families of people who have gone missing have a chance to help law enforcement officials find their loves ones: provide DNA. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension plans four opportunities around the state, starting Saturday, July 15, in St. Paul, for people to provide DNA that authorities will put into a nationwide database to see if it matches unidentified remains that could be anywhere in the country. In Minnesota alone, more than 100 unidentified bodies are buried, BCA Superintendent Drew Evans said Tuesday.
ST. PAUL — Minnesotans in Congress generally applauded the Trump administration's announcement about the amount of biofuels that must be produced, although it cut requirements for advanced fuels and kept them constant for corn-based ethanol.
ST. PAUL—A controversial northern Minnesota oil pipeline is not about to become the site of a protest like that seen for months in North Dakota. At least not yet. "We are still quite a ways away from that," Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday, July 6. Others agree, but there are no guarantees that if Enbridge receives permission to replace its Line 3 pipeline that everything will remain calm up north.
ST. PAUL—Average Minnesotans should be involved in training police officers to deal with tense racial situations, Gov. Mark Dayton says as $12 million heads to police departments across the state. "It is only by them coming together and working together and recognizing the common cause we all have" that the new training program will be successful, Dayton said Thursday, July 6, the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Philando Castile by a St. Anthony police officer. "We all need to learn to live together."
MINNEAPOLIS — James Robinson has no doubt federally funded programs saved him. "If it wasn't for the funding of these programs ... there wouldn't be programs that say, 'You deserve to live,'" the Minneapolis resident Wednesday, July 5, told reporters and a crowd supporting Medicaid and other federal programs they fear could be cut or eliminated by Republican-written federal health care legislation. "You haven't walked a mile in my shoes," he said to those who would cut health funding. "You don't know what it is like."
ST. PAUL — It was not his best-known tweet, but a short Thursday, June 29, message from President Donald Trump was sweet to American sugar producers. "New Sugar deal negotiated with Mexico is a very good one for both Mexico and the U.S. Had no deal for many years which hurt U.S. badly," the president tweeted that morning. The tweet came the same day that Trump shot out an incendiary one about a couple who hosts an MSNBC show.
ST. PAUL — Emmy Treichal says $201 more a year would mean a lot to her. "I would save it," the 89-year-old St. Paul resident said. "I always have a project I am saving for." That $201 will be the average amount of income taxes Social Security recipients in Minnesota will save under a new law that reduces taxes on the federal retirement program's benefits.
ST. PAUL—Dalton Fitch likes videos, no surprise for a 10-year-old boy. But for him, watching videos and using other technology is more than pleasure. As a youth who suffers from autism, technology is a way that Dalton can connect to the rest of the world. "He is extremely interested in anything visual," his mother, Kirsten Klang, said. "That is how he learns." However, Dalton usually cannot connect to the internet for videos and other online aids because the family lives in a northern Minnesota area without wired internet service.
ST. PAUL—Mark Sellner sat in Sarasota Springs, Fla., where it was 91 degrees and partly cloudy, with 56 percent humidity. There was a zero percent chance of state estate taxes. In Plymouth, Minn., which he left less than a year ago, the temperature at the same time was 74, with sunny skies and 30 percent humidity. There was a 100 percent chance hundreds of Minnesotans' estates will pay taxes.