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 8 months
ST. PAUL -- A couple hundred Minnesotans jammed into a House committee room Wednesday, many expecting to tell representatives their views on Gov. Mark Dayton's tax increase. Just three got the chance, with committee members taking up most of the hearing debating partisan issues. "This was a sham," said Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-St. Paul, furious after Wednesday's House Tax Committee hearing.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota policymakers are on a trip, but it appears the House and Senate have slightly different maps and both are far different than the one used by Gov. Mark Dayton. If they are to arrive at the same destination, approving a state budget by May 23, they first need to agree on a map.
ST. PAUL -- Two-hundred Minnesota National Guard soldiers will join the Moorhead-area flood fight today. Col. Dirk Kloss of the Guard said the soldiers will help patrol dikes and provide "a quick reaction force" to conduct dike repairs. Activating the soldiers came shortly after Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring flood emergencies in 46 counties and two American Indian communities.
ST. PAUL -- The Republican shepherding a $1.7 billion cut in public health programs says the spending plan does not hurt Minnesotans. Democrats differ, saying thousands of elderly and poor residents will lose health care. Still, even Gov.
ST. PAUL - Streams are rising across Minnesota, so Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Democrats tried to turn a tax bill debate into a rich-vs.-poor debate, saying a Republican-written bill was crafted to help businesses and the rich. Senate Republicans defeated all major changes to their tax bill Tuesday, passing the bill 37-26 after eight hours of debate over two days. The bill would phase out a statewide business property tax, encourage local governments to work together, maintain local aid at 2010 levels and keep state income and sales taxes static.
ST. PAUL -- Iron Range lawmakers waged an emotional fight, but failed to prevent the Minnesota House from taking $60 million out of an economic development fund for their area. The House approved a bill 70-60 Tuesday funding various job-related programs while reducing spending $27 million to help balance the state budget. Rangers lit up the House chamber with an emotional hour-and-a-half debate about the proposal taking nearly half of the Douglas Johnson economic development fund.
Senators on Monday passed a transportation funding bill that is 22.8 percent lower than projected. After a mostly party-line 38-25 vote, the Republican-written bill now advances to negotiators who will work out differences with a similar House-passed proposal. "In times of financial difficulty, it's important that we use our economic means to fund our priorities, and today we passed a bill that does that," said Senate Transportation Chairman Joe Gimse, R-Willmar. The cut is from general state tax spending; most transportation funding comes from dedicated sources only for highway, transit an
ST. PAUL -- A proposal to build a new Vikings stadium is not ready for prime time, the House speaker says. In a Friday meeting with reporters, House and Senate leaders repeatedly refused to back a proposal to build a professional football stadium funded in part by new sports-related taxes. Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said he told bill sponsor Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, that the effort needs a local government partner and a stadium location before it is ready for serious consideration. Lanning and Sen.