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
- 2 years 10 months
ST. PAUL -- No state health care program escaped Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget axe this week. "It affects almost literally every program that we touch," Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman Wednesday told the House health-care finance committee. That is not acceptable to most DFL legislators. "What we are doing here is simply allowing a lot of need to go unmet," Rep. Erin Murphy, DFL-St. Paul, said. Forty-eight human services-related items, mostly health programs, would be affected by the cuts, if lawmakers approve them.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota is fighting a losing battle against invaders on many fronts. Experts say most of the battles are not winnable. Species invading Minnesota range from zebra mussels to Eurasian watermilfoil. Others, such as Asian carp, those flying fish popular on videos, are on the way. Minnesotans need to wage their own fight against the invaders, if only to slow down their spread, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials told a House committee Tuesday night in St.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House voted to protect Red River Valley residents downstream from a proposed Fargo-Moorhead flood-prevention project, saying they should not face worse flooding just to protect the river's largest metropolitan area. The Red River amendment to the public works bill would forbid the state from spending money on a Fargo-Moorhead diversion unless the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's cities, counties and poor residents needing health care would be most affected by Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House kicked its public works funding proposal to more than $1 billion Monday, adding a facility for 400 sex offenders. Representatives voted 92-37, with some Republicans joining Democrats, to fund college, trails, transportation and other construction projects.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's cities, counties and poor people in need of health care would be most affected by Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty delivered equal amounts of patriotism and conservatism Thursday in his final State of the State speech. The Republican governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate began his 33-minute speech praising the Minnesota National Guard, and spent much of his time in the packed House chamber promoting tax cuts and other proposals that he said would help business hire more workers. Reception to his speech was divided along partisan lines more than his previous seven.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty used his last State of the State address to push many of the same ideas Minnesotans have heard from him since he took office 2003, with the same results: Republicans generally praising them and Democrats criticizing. The GOP governor talked about the state's poor tax climate for business and said government should shrink, all in the name of helping create jobs. "So the most important question before us is this: How do we best grow good, private-sector jobs in Minnesota?" Pawlenty asked in his 33-minute speech.
ST. PAUL -- Bills to restrict a governor's ability to unilaterally cut budgets are being introduced in the Legislature, and the state Supreme Court says it will accept cities' input when it considers the issue this spring. The bill sponsored by House and Senate fin-ance committee chairmen would limit how much a governor could cut, but it would not affect Gov. Tim Pawlenty's 2009 actions, which have come under heavy criticism. "It is an effort by the Legislature to take some of its power back," Rep. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, said Wednesday. The proposal by two Democrats, Sen.
ST. PAUL -- House Democrats say they want to hear from the public about how to reform state government, but Republicans say they already are presenting reforms. "We have been trying to reform government for a decade and been met with a deaf ear from Democrats," Minority Leader Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said. "We don't need another discussion group, we need action. Our proposals are still on the table and we are still willing to offer them for the good of Minnesota if Democrats are sincerely willing to listen." Rep.