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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The Minnesota Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources wants to hear ideas about how lottery money should be spent. Seven percent of money spent on the Minnesota State Lottery goes into the Environment and Natural Resources Fund, which is used on projects across the state. Proposals are due by April 6, with more information at www.lccmr.leg.mn . About $31 million is expected to be available in the next year for projects such as those that protect the state's natural resources enhance public education about the outdoors and preserve fish and wildlife.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota says law enforcement departments need to adopt uniform policies for when Tasers may be used. After a statewide study, the ACLU claims that policies about Taser use vary widely across the state. While a state policy is needed about when the electronic weapons may be used, each department also should have its own policy that accounts for dangers such as the risk of falling after being shot, the group says. The ACLU wants each Taser use to be reported to the state. "The recommendations we make pose a minimal cost to law enforcement agencies, wou
ST. PAUL -- It is back to the future for Minnesota Senate Republicans with Dave Senjem back in charge. "The direction is nothing but forward," Senjem said, adding that despite his history as GOP leader "it is a new day." A 69-year-old senator from Rochester, Senjem moves into the majority leader's position a year after he ended four years of service as minority leader. In his last year in that job, he and Sen.
ROSEVILLE -- Minnesota Senate Republicans promised a fresh start Tuesday night, putting a scandal behind them and spending 11 hours picking Sen. Dave Senjem as their new leader. The senators also elected a new slate of assistant leaders during their closed-door meeting. "No more looking backward," the Rochester Republican said when he was introduced as the majority leader. Senjem returns to the chief Republican post after a year as an assistant leader. Before that, as minority leader he helped orchestrate the first GOP Senate majority in 38 years. Tuesday's election was forced when Sen.
ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Minnesota state Sen. Dave Senjem of Rochester makes a return as Senate Republican leader after an 11-hour meeting today. Senjem served as minority leader until last year, when Republicans won the Senate majority for the first time in 38 years. The Senate Republican caucus also elected Sens. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes, Paul Gazelka of Brainerd, Ted Lillie of Lake Elmo and Claire Robling of Jordan as assistant Senate majority leaders. Senators were quiet about what went on behind closed doors. They started deliberating at 9 a.m.
Update 5 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Amy Koch's resignation as Minnesota Senate majority leader came like a lightning bolt out of the blue. Reporters could almost hear jaws drop as they informed senators of the news when calling to get reaction. Many senators had not checked their email and reporters knew about Koch's move, and wrote stories, before the word spread. "You have the scoop on me," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings need a new stadium and Minnesota needs the Vikings, the chief House promoter of a new stadium says. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The most visible legislator in stadium discussions is one who lives nowhere near where a facility would be built. Still, Rep. Morrie Lanning of Moorhead said the project is so important to the state that he is glad to be part of the process. The lawmaker, in office nine years after a 22-year run as may-or of Moorhead, is in many news stories about the move to build a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and a variety of other uses.
ST. PAUL -- Former Senate Majority Leader Any Koch says she is sorry for being in a relationship with a Senate employee. "I regret more than words can express the hurt that I have caused to the people that I love, and to those who have worked and served with me over the past years," Koch said in a statement released late this afternoon. The Buffalo Republican said her Thursday resignation and Friday's revelation that it followed Senate employees complaining about an inappropriate relationship "have been very difficult for me and those close to me.