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
- 3 years 7 months
ST. PAUL -- The "cheeseburger bill" overcame opposition Monday from trial lawyers and Democrats to notch its first victory in its seventh run through the Legislature. Rep. Dean Urdahl's much-traveled bill to prohibit lawsuits against food makers and sellers by people who gain weight passed on a voice vote, with Democrats opposed, in the House Civil Law Committee. With a large McDonald's drink cup in hand, Urdahl said his "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" likely will pass this year.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans often compare their state budget and population with Wisconsin, so when 35,000 protesters packed the Wisconsin Capitol this week, it was only natural to wonder if the same could happen under the St. Paul dome. DFL'ers say a smaller version of the protest is possible.
Minnesotans' first look at a complete budget proposal shows a picture of higher taxes on the rich and health-care providers, more money for ed-ucation and some health care programs and cuts for nursing homes. About 800 state jobs would be lost and local governments would continue to receive the same state aid as they do now under Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Unusual deadlines for bills illustrate the priority legislators place on fixing a $6.2 billion budget deficit. In the past, policy bills that did not affect the state budget were the first for committees to pass, but this year legislative leaders require finance bills to pass out of all but their final committees by March 25. Policy bill deadlines are late April and early May. The Legislature must adjourn by May 23, although some in the Capitol openly wonder if the Republican-controlled lawmaker and Democrat Gov.
Update 5:20 p.m.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton soon will have a bill on his desk that could set up the first major dispute between him and the Legislature. Senators passed on a 37-28 Thursday vote a bill cutting $824 million from the nest two-year state budget and $100 million from the budget that ends June 30.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Senate committee on Wednesday refused to pursue ethics charges against a senator whose aide rejected a meeting with nurses because their association supported his election opponent. After five hours, the Senate ethics committee unanimously agreed there was not enough evidence to further investigate Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, for violating legislative rules. Newman said the charges against him hindered him in doing his job. Sen.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's first State of the State speech centered on cooperation. He asked Republicans who control the Legislature to work with him in solving the state's $6.2 billion budget deficit. Dayton said that he is concerned a Republican committee already has discussed a government shutdown, something that could happen if he and legislative leaders cannot agree on a budget solution. He said a shutdown should never happen. "Compromise doesn't mean we have to agree, thank goodness, because we won't," Dayton said in a tough speech in which he gave no ground on his priorities.