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
- 5 years 2 months
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he was blindsided with news that the chief Minnesota House negotiator had a new Vikings stadium plan. Besides not telling Dayton, the governor said this morning that Rep. Morrie Lanning's proposal may violate federal law. "The good news is House leadership has come forward with a proposal," Dayton said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's Republican-controlled Senate approved business tax cuts Friday that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton all but promises to veto. The highlight of the GOP tax proposal senators passed 34-26 along party lines Friday night after two and a half hours of debate is a reduction in a statewide business property tax and its eventual elimination. The bill by Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, would reduce the taxes $102 million next year. To fund the tax cut, the bill reduces state budget reserves. "We should not have a honey pot," Ortman said.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans expect temperatures in the 70s, maybe reaching the 80s in places, when April debuts Sunday, but the continued warm weather worries anglers. The record-breaking 2012 warmth is hurting their sport and businesses that support it after a series of warmer-than-normal winters.
ST. PAUL -- A Senate committee vote this morning sets up complex three-way negotiations about funding public works projects. The Senate Capital Investment Committee overwhelmingly approved selling $496 million in bonds to fund public works projects such as fixing state facilities and helping communities pay for sewer systems. It is the third proposal and falls in the middle of the other two. A House bill would spend $280 million, and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Conservative and liberal Minnesota legislators are combining efforts to stop a business practice they say invades job applicants' privacy. National reports in recent days have told of employers, both private and public, demanding passwords for social Internet sites potential employees use. The employers then have access to personal information of the job applicant. "We want to protect the privacy of those job seekers," Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, said about her bill. "It's a huge invasion of privacy," added Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minneapolis officials say they have enough votes on their City Council to approve a new Vikings stadium, but the clock may run out before legislators can approve a new facility. It appears an increasing number of legislators want to go home for the year next week. If that happens, time could run out before a stadium bill has a chance to get through the process. "I don't know how we possibly can do it," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minneapolis officials say they have enough votes on their City Council to approve a new Vikings stadium, but financing and other issues keep the proposal in doubt. Mayor R.T. Rybak this morning gave Gov. Mark Dayton letters of support from seven council members, giving the stadium a majority backing.
ST. PAUL -- Showing photo identification before voting may be inconvenient, but the senator sponsoring a proposal to require voter photo ID says it is worth it. "I will willingly admit that there is some burden placed on some of our citizens in exercising their right to vote," Sen. Scott Newman said Friday before Minnesota senators voted 36-30 mostly along party lines to require photo IDs. "On balance, I believe this (constitutional) amendment is the right thing to do." The bill will go to Minnesota voters in the Nov.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate Ethics Committee stalled along party lines Friday when trying to decide if a senator breached legislative ethics in dealing with an affair between the then-Senate majority leader and an employee. The panel twice split 2-2 about whether Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, acted quickly enough and was discreet in handling an affair between Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, and Senate GOP Communications Director Michael Brodkorb. Committee work was interrupted when the full Senate went into session, delaying any final action. Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- The question of whether to require voters to produce photo identifications is in the hands of Minnesota senators. The Senate rules committee Wednesday advanced to the full Senate a bill similar to one the House passed earlier in the day. The Senate is to begin debate on the measure Friday afternoon. If the Republican-controlled Senate agrees with the House, which approved the measure 72-62, Minnesota voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to amend the state Constitution to include the photo ID requirement.