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
- 2 years 8 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers begin a week-long Passover-Easter break Monday with nearly 7,000 bills left to debate. If legislators were to consider every bill that has been introduced in the current two-year session, they would take 233 votes every weekday until they adjourn in May. But legislators will not return April 6 and begin debating all of those measures. Some of those bills were folded into larger measures known as omnibus bills. Others simply never had the votes to pass out of a committee.
ST. PAUL -- Attempts to lure investments in small business and encourage people to rehabilitate historic buildings could produce jobs, Minnesota legislative Democrats say, and they are willing to bet state money on the idea. "I don't know how much stimulus this will provide, but we should give it a try," Sen. Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Thursday. Bakk's bill and a similar House measure are among the Minnesota Legislature's priorities this year because they are designed to produce jobs at a time when the rough economy has killed many jobs.
ST. PAUL -- The fight for increasingly scarce state money is getting heated. As lawmakers approved trimming Minnesota spending by $313 million Monday, rural and urban representatives fought over some of the remaining money. "Greater Minnesota gets the short end of everything we do around there," Rep. Rod Hamilton of Mountain Lake said in joining Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers on Monday will debate budget bills no one likes. Not legislators. Not the governor. Not people who receive state money. The bills cutting state spending are necessary because the state faces a $944 million deficit.
ST. PAUL -- A state board approved a 30-day emergency flood declaration Friday, a day before the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator begins several days looking into area flooding. Gov. Tim Pawlenty already had designated 28 Minnesota counties as flood emergency areas, but that only lasts for five days. Under state law, the Executive Council must approve longer disaster requests, which Pawlenty, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Auditor Rebecca Otto did without debate Friday morning. The designation allows the state to help flooded communities.
ST. PAUL -- Fifty-two public works projects across Minnesota such as college building renovations and state trails fell victim to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen Monday, and legislative leaders say there is little chance lawmakers will send any more projects to him before he leaves office early next year. "He basically massacred the bill," Sen.
ST. PAUL - Whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty acted legally when he cut $2.7 million from the state budget last summer may rest on whether Minnesota Supreme Court justices think the Legislature has given the governor a right to trim budgets. The state's attorneys told seven high court judges today that Pawlenty had to make the cuts to balance the state budget, as the constitution requires.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty this morning trimmed a nearly $1 billion public works funding bill down to $680 million, saying the one passed by legislators was too big. While the Republican governor's spokesman said the administration is willing to take a look at a second public works bill, also known as a bonding bill, Democrats in charge of the legislative bonding process said they could not get the votes to pass another one and do not trust Pawlenty. Pawlenty's line-item vetoes will be the last chance he has to deal with a public works bill, Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon said.