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
- 3 years 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Mark Dayton will take the oath of office at noon Jan. 3 in St. Paul's Landmark Center. He will be joined by other statewide elected officials in the same place that Tim Pawlenty became governor in 2003. Dayton picked the theme "Going to Work for Minnesota," which sounds a lot like what he and other Minnesota political candidates said during the recently completed campaign. The Democrat plans to cap next week with an inaugural dance Jan. 8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Jesse Ventura's finance commissioner once famously announced that the state had "a boatload of money." The big debate then was who got the most new money. Since then, state finance officials have looked under every financial cushion for all the spare change they could find, changing the debate to who would lose money. In city leaders' opinions, those funds -- and they say it has not been pocket change -- too often came from their coffers. During Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.-elect Mark Dayton wants the state to borrow $1 billion for public works construction projects around the state. He should not get his heart set on it. "We are so diametrically opposed," said Rep. Larry Howes, House chairman of the committee that would send projects to Democrat Dayton. "Someone has to give." And the Walker Republican, not always in lockstep with his party leaders, indicated that he is not ready to give. "We will say, obviously, we are not going to have a bonding bill," Howes said of a public works bill financed by the state selling bonds.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota grew by 384,446 people in the past decade, but 15,000 is a more important number. Minnesota beat North Carolina by 15,000 people to keep its eight U.S. House seats. Had 15,000 fewer Minnesotans filled out their census forms last spring, the state would be faced with figuring out how to draw congressional district lines for just seven Ho-use seats. District li-nes still will be redrawn in the next year to fulfill the one person, one vote federal requirement.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A U.S. Senate staff member and former National Farmers' Union president will be the next Minnesota agriculture commissioner. Dave Frederickson was Gov.-elect Mark Dayton's pick Tuesday, ending Gene Hugoson's tenure of serving three governors. Dayton has "a deep understanding and commitment to agricultural issues," Frederickson said. "He has outstanding qualifications: a farmer, former state legislator, president of both the Minnesota and the National Farmers' Unions," Dayton said about his commissioner selection.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants federal aid for farmers in four Minnesota counties after a rough weather year. In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Pawlenty on Monday sought a disaster declaration for Chippewa, Renville, Wright and Freeborn counties. "A secretarial declaration will allow affected farmers access to the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants federal aid for farmers in four Minnesota counties after a rough weather year. In a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Pawlenty Monday sought a disaster declaration for Chippewa, Renville, Wright and Freeborn counties. "A secretarial declaration will allow affected farmers access to the U.S.