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 2 months
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's first State of the State speech centered on cooperation. He asked Republicans who control the Legislature to work with him in solving the state's $6.2 billion budget deficit. Dayton said that he is concerned a Republican committee already has discussed a government shutdown, something that could happen if he and legislative leaders cannot agree on a budget solution. He said a shutdown should never happen. "Compromise doesn't mean we have to agree, thank goodness, because we won't," Dayton said in a tough speech in which he gave no ground on his priorities.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Senate committee on Wednesday refused to pursue ethics charges against a senator whose aide rejected a meeting with nurses because their association supported his election opponent. After five hours, the Senate ethics committee unanimously agreed there was not enough evidence to further investigate Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, for violating legislative rules. Newman said the charges against him hindered him in doing his job. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton pleaded with Republicans who control the Legislature for cooperation today as the state faces a $6.2 billion budget deficit. In his first State of the State speech, Democrat Dayton said that a government shutdown should never happen because the two sides do not work together to solve budget problems. "Compromise doesn't mean we have to agree, thank goodness, because we won't," Dayton said in a tough speech in which he gave no ground on his major priorities. "It doesn't mean we can't debate, because we will.
ST. PAUL -- The first bill of 2011 to cut the budget could be on Gov.
ST. PAUL -- No new Minnesota nuclear power plants are planned, but state senators overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to lift a 16-year-old moratorium on building one. "It is not a decision to construct a new nuclear power plant in the state of Minnesota. ..." Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said about the vote. "It is not a preference for nuclear power." Longtime nuclear opponent Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Farmers are chopping down trees and eliminating other conservation measures because property taxes on that land is too high, some Minnesota lawmakers say. Ag land is taxed at two rates today, lower for that used for crops and higher for other land. Lawmakers who support a change say that is forcing farmers to plant crops on more land to take advantage of lower taxes. Several bills have been introduced, and more are expected, to overturn 2008 changes in the so-called "green acres" law that was designed to preserve farmland. "We want to treat a farm as a farm," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton today offered a unique proposal: The Legislature should pass a $1 billion public works funding bill, but the Democratic governor only proposed half of the projects. Dayton suggested the Legislature pick the other half of the projects. However, Republican leaders say they oppose a so-called bonding bill this year, other than disaster and other urgent needs. "I will sign what they send," Dayton said. "I can't force it to go higher." Dayton's proposal departs from then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, who stayed away from city projects such as civic center.
ST. PAUL -- No one can say that Michele Bachmann is shy. The Minnesota Republican congresswoman often dives into controversy, but her State of the Union response drew the most attention yet. In the first two days, nearly 200,000 people watched her speech on one of several YouTube videos about her. Others watched on cable television news channels. While Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan delivered the official GOP rebuttal, a measured speech, Bachmann was more direct and blamed President Obama for creating economic woes.
ST. PAUL -- Flood experts are delivering a simple warning to people across Minnesota: "Look out." "If we have rapid (snow) melt, look out," said Dan Luna of the National Weather Service's Twin Cities office. The same is true, he added, if there is significant new snowfall or rainfall on frozen ground. Already, most of the Upper Midwest has more snow than usually falls in an entire winter.