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.
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ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, a frequently quoted national Republican spokeswoman, pledges to work for a state constitutional amendment limiting Minnesota spending. The Minnesota congresswoman capped a Republican rally in favor of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's amendment proposal this morning.
ST. PAUL -- The message a handful of Minnesota Vikings football fans sent state leaders was simple: Get-r-done. The 75 hardy fans cheering outside the state Capitol Thursday did not deliver on a plan to finance a new Vikings stadium.
ST. PAUL -- The bright spot for the state's economy next year may be when the federal government hires more than 8,000 workers to conduct an every-10-year-census. State Economist Tom Stinson did not paint a pretty picture for the economy Wednesday after a economic report was released. "The recovery will be long, slow and bumpy," Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson said. The report prepared by Stinson, Hanson and the state's financial consultant predicted that more people will lose jobs until at least early spring.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty may target local governments as he looks for ways to plug continued budget deficits. Shortly after his aides announced that the current budget contains a $1.2 billion hole and the next two-year budget is $5.4 billion short, Pawlenty on Wednesday said his first action could be chopping a state payment due to local governments later this month. Then he complained school districts appear to be giving raises after he asked them to freeze salaries.
ST. PAUL -- A key legislator wants to crack down on Minnesota charter school-related organizations that build schools with public money but without public oversight. Sen. Kathy Saltzman, DFL-Woodbury, plans a Monday subcommittee hearing on the topic that she calls "troubling transactions." Saying that charter schools are valuable, Saltzman said the controversy is about whether school-related organizations should be allowed to use a legal loophole to construct buildings for charter schools.
ST. PAUL -- The problem is to find money to create jobs while the economy remains troubled.
ST. PAUL -- A perennial Minnesota legislative debate about local government aid is expected in the 2010 session, or maybe earlier. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities is making noise about a big fight, and many city officials are concerned that they cannot wait until lawmakers return to the Capitol on Feb. 4.
ST. PAUL -- A pair of congressmen came to the Minnesota Capitol Tuesday to tell state legislators they should overturn a nuclear power plant construction ban. Minnesota U.S. Reps. Tim Walz, a Mankato Democrat, and Erik Paulsen, an Eden Prairie Republican, said nuclear power needs to be part of the electrical mix.