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 9 months
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Republican senators do not want their state to become another Iowa. Two years ago, Supreme Court justices in the state to the south unanimously overturned a law defining marriage as between one man and one woman, much like a law on Minnesota books. Minnesota Republicans took a step to avoiding an Iowa situation today by approving 38-27 a proposed state constitutional amendment to not allow gays to marry. A similar bill awaits a House vote. "I have a growing discomfort with a small number of politicians in St. Paul deciding this," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- President Barack Obama has declared 20 Minnesota counties major disaster areas, making federal aid available to help areas affected by spring flooding. The counties have sustained at least $10.8 million in damage. Some federal aid comes in the form of money paid to state and local governments, and some nonprofit groups, for work done to prevent 2011 flooding or to repair or replace disaster-damaged facilities.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Vikings football stadium bill is not ready for kickoff. "We have some issues that need to be resolved," Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said Wednesday after meeting with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. "These are not simple matters that are going to be solved overnight." Lanning, the lead House author of a bill authorizing funding for a stadium, said he did not know if the issue can be settled before the Legislature adjourns for the year on May 23. He said he has not talked to Gov.
Update 5:30 p.m. ARDEN HILLS, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings picked a northwest Ramsey County location for a new football stadium costing just north of $1 billion. The team and Ramsey County would pay $739 million for the Arden Hills stadium, leaving the state to fund less than $300 million, which is the limit many legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton put on state contributions. The stadium itself, which would include a retractable roof, would cost $884 million.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House Republicans propose three mostly rural congressional districts that stretch east to west across the state. The northern and southern districts each would contain 23 counties, with one across central Minnesota, except for the Twin Cities area, including 22 counties. The northern two districts are dramatic changes from current U.S. House lines, and Democrats said Republicans lump together too many dissimilar Minnesotans in the mega districts. "It's just a totally different economy," Democratic U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said.
ST. PAUL -- It appears none of Minnesota's U.S. House members would compete against each other in a Republican-controlled state House's attempt to redraw congressional lines, which creates a massive district across northern Minnesota. The new 8th Congressional District would stretch from Moorhead to Cloquet, with the line dipping south to cut Mille Lacs Lake in half. It would encompass 23 counties, including Becker, where U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans who took control of the Minnesota Legislature in last year's election constantly have said they are moving more quickly than previous lawmakers. And while they did pass initial budget bills earlier than normal, the question now is when there will be a deal with Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota veterans know about fighting, but on Friday witnessed something new to many of them: a fierce political battle over funding programs that serve them. Dozens of veterans, many wearing American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars hats, packed a legislative committee room after Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito sent Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A Senate committee took no stand Thursday to restrict wind power farms. A bill by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Some present the controversial plan to add casinos to the state's two horse-racing tracks as a rural vs. urban issue. Others say they like the idea of giving the state more money, but do not want to expand gambling. It is an issue that has been around the Minnesota Legislature about 15 years and at this point appears to again lack enough votes to pass. However, that could change in coming weeks as the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov.