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
- 1 year 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans are fighting floodwaters along the Red River and elsewhere while their lawmakers are fighting about the cost of preventing prevent future floods. The fight spilled over into other areas, too, as House leaders Monday introduced a smaller public works bill than senators passed this month. Rep. Alice Hausman, chairwoman of the House public works funding committee, said the proposal "is a taking-care-of-basics bill." The St.
ST. PAUL -- The Homeland Security Department chief promises quick action on Minnesota's request for federal disaster aid. Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Thursday afternoon said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano assured him that his re-quest for seven no-rthwest Minnesota counties to be de-clared federal disaster areas will be put on the fast tract.
ST. PAUL -- Students across Minnesota suffer bullying in school, a leading cause of suicide, say backers of a bill requiring schools to write new anti-bullying policies. The Senate education committee Tuesday ap-proved the measure on a split voice vote telling schools to write policies prohibiting "harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence" related to a student's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age or physical characteristics.
ST. PAUL -- Local Minnesota governments may not be happy with the way things are going this year at the Capitol -- with big state aid cuts coming -- but counties are thrilled with Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal to remove one burden from them. In the revised budget plan the governor released Tuesday, he proposed that the state take back responsibility for housing short-term offenders.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators are nearly 11 weeks into their 2009 session, but only now are getting a look at outlines of their main task this year -- writing a two-year budget. Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty have eight weeks left before the mandatory May 18 adjournment deadline to turn those outlines into a fully crafted two-year budget that paves over a $4.6 billion deficit. House and Senate Democratic-Farmer-Laborite leaders, who control the Legislature, have announced separate budget plans.
ST. PAUL -- Federal officials have until year's end to decide whether gasoline may contain more than the common 10 percent ethanol. If that happens, ethanol supporters promise thousands of new jobs for the Minnesota economy and another step toward national energy independence. "We are not going to kneel at the altar of big oil in this country forever," said Doug Peterson, a former state lawmaker and current Minnesota Farmers union president. A coalition of ethanol producers, Growth Energy, earlier this month submitted to the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty's newest budget plan increases education, courts and other spending, despite a worsening economy.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators could pass some of the biggest bills yet this year on Monday, but budget work awaits more information from Washington. Senators expect to debate a $367 million public works bill Monday. The bill easily floated through two committee hearings, and is expected to find equally easy passage in the full Senate. The House, however, continues to work on its equivalent measure, so no one knows when the measure -- known as the bonding bill -- will be sent to Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Lori Johnson was a fitting final U.S. Senate trial witness because, like many other issues in the case, she left unanswered the main question attorneys asked. The Clay County auditor-treasurer could offer no reason why five ballots disappeared from Oakport Township, just north of Moorhead, after the November election.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Democrats want to chop state budgets 7 percent across the board and raise taxes $2 billion, mostly on the state's richest residents. Senate leaders an-nounced their budget-balancing plans Thursday, cutting every segment for a total of $2.4 billion. They include a $1 billion education cut, compared to Republican Gov.