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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ST. PAUL -- A state board approved a 30-day emergency flood declaration Friday, a day before the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator begins several days looking into area flooding. Gov. Tim Pawlenty already had designated 28 Minnesota counties as flood emergency areas, but that only lasts for five days. Under state law, the Executive Council must approve longer disaster requests, which Pawlenty, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Attorney General Lori Swanson and Auditor Rebecca Otto did without debate Friday morning. The designation allows the state to help flooded communities.
ST. PAUL -- Fifty-two public works projects across Minnesota such as college building renovations and state trails fell victim to Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto pen Monday, and legislative leaders say there is little chance lawmakers will send any more projects to him before he leaves office early next year. "He basically massacred the bill," Sen.
ST. PAUL - Whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty acted legally when he cut $2.7 million from the state budget last summer may rest on whether Minnesota Supreme Court justices think the Legislature has given the governor a right to trim budgets. The state's attorneys told seven high court judges today that Pawlenty had to make the cuts to balance the state budget, as the constitution requires.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty this morning trimmed a nearly $1 billion public works funding bill down to $680 million, saying the one passed by legislators was too big. While the Republican governor's spokesman said the administration is willing to take a look at a second public works bill, also known as a bonding bill, Democrats in charge of the legislative bonding process said they could not get the votes to pass another one and do not trust Pawlenty. Pawlenty's line-item vetoes will be the last chance he has to deal with a public works bill, Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon said.
Political Notebook ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota governor's race looks to be close, with a new poll giving Republicans reason to smile. The poll shows that Republican state Reps. Marty Seifert of Marshall and Tom Emmer of Delano hold their own against better-known Democrats, a sign of what some are saying will be a good GOP election year. For Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidates, the Rasmussen poll seems to indicate that three would play strong against Seifert and Emmer: former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor R.T.
ST. PAUL -- Members of the Minnesota House agriculture finance committee looked through their budget for any place to cut. For instance, they decided to reduce what the state pays to the Minnesota Livestock Breeder Association by $1,000, practically nothing compared to the state's $31 billion, two-year budget. But as state lawmakers struggle to plug a nearly $1 billion gap, they are looking everywhere. The committee, which also deals with veterans' issues, has one of the smallest budgets of any area, $208 million. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans blasted a public works funding bill as being too expensive, but as the Minnesota House and Senate passed a revised measure Thursday, a Democrat delivered the most stinging speech against the plan written by his own party members. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Farmers in 16 Minnesota counties will be eligible for emergency loans and other help after dealing with multiple weather problems. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday announced the farmers, mostly in northern Minnesota, are due federal aid because their farms have sustained excessive rain, flooding, frost and cold. "Many farm operations are already struggling with low farm prices, and these weather disasters have made it even harder for them to operate," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans blasted a public works funding bill as being too expensive, but as the Minnesota House and Senate passed a revised measure Thursday a Democrat was the most critical of a bill written by his party members. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty is looking at ways to chop a public works funding bill down to size and how to expand a sex offender facility on the cheap. Pawlenty on Wednesday said he plans to sign a public works bill, which the House and Senate likely will pass today. However, he added, he will trim down the nearly $1 billion spending bill by eliminating recreation, arts and local projects that he does not feel should be funded by state government.