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 -- Veterans are homeless in larger numbers than other Minnesotans, and Durbin Keeney does not like that. "These are the ones who raise their right hands..." Durbin said Monday, when the state honored the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's legislative leaders have agreed to a public works funding bill nearing $1 billion. However, Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to limit it to something closer to $725 million, a difference that could prove to be an interesting topic at budget meetings of the governor and legislative leaders. The House and Senate plan January meetings to begin laying out how that money would be spent. Final bills in both chambers could come together later this month, but more likely will be written soon after the 2010 legislative session begins on Feb.
ST. PAUL -- It is a conservative candidate's dream: the chance to accuse a judge of taking over powers that should be left to legislators and governors. Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The multi-billion-dollar question for Minnesota organizations that receive state money is whether challenging Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget-cutting efforts in court would be worthwhile. On first blush, it would appear a Wednesday court ruling saying Pawlenty's summer budget cuts are unconstitutional would encourage more groups to sue over his actions.
ST. PAUL -- All-terrain-vehicle riders from other states must buy passes to use Minnesota's 2,000 miles of trails. The new law begins on Friday for out-of-state ATV users as a way to help fund trail maintenance. An annual pass costs $21 and may be bought via telephone, on line or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. The new law only affects out-of-state ATV drivers. Minnesotans already must register their ATVs and pay a fee. Snowmobiles also must be registered, whether they are from Minnesota or other states. The passes last a year and may be used on any state-run trail.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty violated the state constitution when he cut a relatively small program as he tried to fix a $2.7 billion budget deficit this summer, a judge said in a ruling that could open the door to more legal challenges. Judge Kathleen Gearin's Wednesday ruling that the governor was wrong came in the first major court challenge to Republican Pawlenty's summer decision to unilaterally cut the budget, a procedure known as unallotment. Others affected by the cuts have said they were watching the case before deciding if they, too, would take Pawlenty to court.
ST. PAUL -- New Hampshire's newspapers were kind to Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on his inaugural visit as a potential presidential candidate. The Concord Monitor's headline read, "Pawlenty: U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Federal law requires every American to fulfill only one civic duty, and it comes around just once a decade -- fill out the federal census form. Minnesota officials say the state's citizens should fulfill that duty, and for the sake of the state they should only complete a census document delivered to their Minnesota address. In essence, the 2010 census is a battle among a dozen states to maintain, or expand, their congressional representation. Minnesota is in the middle of that battle and could lose one of its eight U.S.