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 11 months
ST. PAUL -- No one can say that Michele Bachmann is shy. The Minnesota Republican congresswoman often dives into controversy, but her State of the Union response drew the most attention yet. In the first two days, nearly 200,000 people watched her speech on one of several YouTube videos about her. Others watched on cable television news channels. While Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan delivered the official GOP rebuttal, a measured speech, Bachmann was more direct and blamed President Obama for creating economic woes.
ST. PAUL -- Flood experts are delivering a simple warning to people across Minnesota: "Look out." "If we have rapid (snow) melt, look out," said Dan Luna of the National Weather Service's Twin Cities office. The same is true, he added, if there is significant new snowfall or rainfall on frozen ground. Already, most of the Upper Midwest has more snow than usually falls in an entire winter.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House Republicans found no Democrats willing to join their first 2011 attempt at trimming the state budget. The bill that passed Thursday night would order Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton to cut nearly $200 million from the state's $30 billion-plus budget by June 30.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative Republicans who campaigned last fall saying they want Minnesotans to produce photo identification cards before being allowed to vote have followed through with bills likely to be debated soon. Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, who for eight years was secretary of state, Minnesota's chief elections official, said her bill combined the photo ID requirement with providing state-funded computers to most voting precincts. "It moves us into the 21st century," she said. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said an e-mail his office sent rejecting a meeting with nurses was a mistake. Newman's assistant, Kim Kelley, last week sent an e-mail to the Minnesota Nurses Association saying that the senator would not meet with the group because it supported his election opponent, Democrat Hal Kimball. When the e-mail came to light Tuesday, it created a buzz around the Capitol.
State of the Union address Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans: Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague - and our friend - Gabby Giffords. It's no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton claims that presidential politics is behind U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann's request that he void an executive order issued during his first week in office. She said that a federal health care program Dayton signed onto will cost the state. "All across the country we're seeing that ObamaCare is driving up health care costs," the Minnesota Re-publican said.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton today ordered two state agencies to issue permits quicker. Under his order, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources must try to issue permits with 150 days, down from the current informal 180-day guideline. The order is designed to speed up permits businesses need before expanding or building new facilities.