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 11 months
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota officials say the race is on to beat the federal government in setting up a marketplace to buy health insurance. Health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses are required to be running in each state by 2014. If state governments do not establish them, federal officials will step in. Getting the job done, as Democrats want, will be tough. When Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Republican senators fired a Gov. Mark Dayton appointee Monday, and the governor fired right back by saying they "are unfit to govern." Republicans said former Sen. Ellen Anderson opposes energy sources such as coal and nuclear power. Dayton had appointed her Public Utilities Commission chairwoman. Anderson, a St.
ST. PAUL -- The five men gathered like at a family reunion, showing broad smiles and greeting each other with firm handshakes. Those smiles among top Minnesota policymakers, however, faded and at times disappeared into frowns, foretelling what appears likely to be a sometimes-cooperative, sometimes-contentious legislative session that begins at noon Tuesday. The five are the four legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he does not have enough information to get behind a Vikings stadium plan, but appears to be leaning toward a western downtown Minneapolis site. The governor released pages of information about the three major potential stadium locations today, but said enough questions remain that he cannot recommend one.
ST. PAUL -- Attacks on Gov. Mark Dayton's public works spending proposal came from both sides, starting Tuesday even before he finished announcing his $775 million plan. Republicans said he wants to spend too much. DFL'ers praised the amount, but the Legislature's most experienced bonding exp-ert said his fellow DFL'er did not divide the money wisely.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Businesses outside of the Twin Cities need a boost, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities says, and asks legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton to provide help. The most dramatic example of greater Minnesota businesses needing assistance comes from a tax credit approved in 2010, designed to influence people with money to invest in businesses.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's best-known citizen-lobbyist on open government issues says the Legislature needs to be, as they say around the Capitol, more transparent. Rich Neumeister has prowled the Capitol's halls for years fighting for public access and recently took on controversial departures of two state officials. He concluded that in both cases, "with these decisions happening within the Legislature, the public may never know why." The Legislature lives under different rules than other public bodies and can do more in secret.
Property taxes outside of the Twin Cities are rising faster than for those in the state's largest metropolitan area. Taxes to be paid this year are up an average 3.1 percent in the Twin Cities, a Minnesota House report shows, but for others the increase is 8.7 percent. Increases will reach the double digits for rural townships, cities in taconite mining areas and Duluth. DFL'ers say the increases prove Republicans failed when writing the state budget last year.