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
- 5 years 2 weeks
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's battle plan to fight an Asian carp invasion includes multiple barriers to keep them from advancing upstream along the Mississippi River and into most of the state's waters. Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said that between state dollars he will expects state legislators to approve early next year and some federal funds already available, there should be enough money to meet the immediate needs of the fight. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Upheaval within Senate Republican ranks could delay work on a Minnesota Vikings football stadium. "Obviously, it's a bump in the road," said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, who is chief House point man for a stadium bill. Sen. Amy Koch, who resigned last week as majority leader, had become involved in stadium talks during the past month, Lanning said Tuesday, so without knowing who will replace her, questions arise. "Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Greg Roberts admitted "I was having some serious issues" upon returning from the Iraq war, but told legislators Monday the National Guard did little to help him to be part of civilian society again. "We basically got put on the bus, we went home and did a ceremony and that was it," the Bemidji man told House and Senate veterans' committees. Speaking via Skype, Roberts said the Guard should have called and said: "Hey, man, are you doing OK?
ST. PAUL -- One candidate for Minnesota Republican Party dropped out Friday after being arrested a day earlier while a colorful former legislator got into the race to lead a party facing financial woes. Hearing aid company executive Brandon Sawalich, who had gained support from many GOP leaders, left the race a day after he was arrested by Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police when his pickup truck was spotted with expired license tabs. Also on Friday, information surfaced that he had settled a sexual harassment dispute out of court. Meanwhile, former state Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's first female Senate majority leader resigned after fellow senators confronted her with allegations she had an inappropriate relationship with a male Senate employee. Four senators on the Republican leadership team told reporters Friday that Senate staffers told more than one of them that they felt the relationship between Sen. Amy Koch and the worker was hurting the work environment. "This is a painful experience for all of us involved," said Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The first woman to lead the Minnesota Senate is leaving, saying she wants to spend time with family and work in the private sector. Amy Koch, 40, shocked her colleagues Thursday when she wrote to them saying she would quit immediately as majority leader, in the job just a year, and not seek re-election to the Senate. She was not specific about why she is quitting in the letter or an interview with Forum Communications. "I just want to have an opportunity to move on to some other things," Koch said in the interview. "I want to spend some time with my daughter.
Update 5:35: Majority Leader Koch resigns position, announces she will not seek re-election as senator
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators plan a short session next year, with a couple of extended breaks. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, today released the legislative calendar Republicans who control the Legislature have drafted. It features a nearly week-long break in early February for precinct caucuses, after convening for the year on Jan. 24.
ST. PAUL -- There appears to be a feeling that gambling is at least part of the answer to funding a new Vikings football stadium, but the questions come down to what kind of gambling and who benefits? Those who push modernizing existing games say the Vikings, the state, local charities and small businesses all would come out winners. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Trying to agree on how to fund a new Vikings football stadium is hard enough, but legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton also must deal with trying to find the facts. It's not that anyone is lying, but everyone is trying to spin their side of the story. Vikings officials keep hammering home the point that the $425 million they pledge for a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills would be the third largest team contribution ever to a National Football League stadium. On the other hand, the stadium team owner Zygi Wilf wants would be the third most expensive, too.