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 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Republicans who took control of the Minnesota Legislature in last year's election constantly have said they are moving more quickly than previous lawmakers. And while they did pass initial budget bills earlier than normal, the question now is when there will be a deal with Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota veterans know about fighting, but on Friday witnessed something new to many of them: a fierce political battle over funding programs that serve them. Dozens of veterans, many wearing American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars hats, packed a legislative committee room after Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito sent Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Some present the controversial plan to add casinos to the state's two horse-racing tracks as a rural vs. urban issue. Others say they like the idea of giving the state more money, but do not want to expand gambling. It is an issue that has been around the Minnesota Legislature about 15 years and at this point appears to again lack enough votes to pass. However, that could change in coming weeks as the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A Senate committee took no stand Thursday to restrict wind power farms. A bill by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- A new legislative plan to fund anti-flood efforts would spend less than one discussed earlier this year and gives no guarantees about what projects would be funded. A bill debated in a Wednesday House Capital Investment Committee hearing would send $28 million to flood-fighting projects statewide.
ST. PAUL -- A southwestern Minnesota farmer and an eastern Twin Cities Army veteran, two unlikely supporters, are leading a legislative effort to allow a downtown Minneapolis casino. Sen. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, and Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said the entire state would benefit from a Minneapolis casino near where the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Timberwolves play. The Magnus-Kriesel plan, which needs legislative approval, adds to an already crowded gambling plate.
ST. PAUL -- A House committee Monday approved 10-7 a proposed constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage. While state law already defines a marriage as being between one man and one woman, proponents want the provision in the Constitution because it is more difficult to change than a law. Law professor Dale Carpenter of the University of Minnesota, calling himself a conservative Republican, argued in the Civil Law Committee against the amendment, saying it could "ignite a new round in the culture war. ...
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is under no specific terrorism threat, but much like immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, law enforcement officials say they are on heightened alert after the American military's killing of Osama bid Laden. "I have instructed Minnesota's Commissioner of Public Safety Ramona Dohman to redouble our vigilance in the next weeks to assure Minnesotans are fully protected from any repercussions from this incident," Gov. Mark Dayton said. Minnesota leaders mixed praise and relief with concern about the possibility of revenge terrorism from bin Laden supporters.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota leaders, from right to left, praised the killing of Osama bin Laden, recalling the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks he organized. The small group of Navy Seals who conducted the operation in Pakistan drew much praise, and President Barack Obama received thanks from both major political parties. "I won't listen to people criticizing President Obama today," Rep. John Kriesel said in a Tweet. The Cottage Grove Republican who lost both legs in the Iraqi war added: "He showed solid leadership in authorizing this mission. Well done Mr. President." U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- State Sens. David Tomassoni and Keith Langseth worry that elderly Minnesotans like their mothers may not be allowed to vote if the state requires photo identification before casting ballots. But photo ID sponsor Sen.