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
- 2 years 4 weeks
ST. PAUL -- Size matters when it comes to a public works funding bill, but the debate is whether big or not-so-big is better in the current economy. Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Friday that he wants to spend $315 million less to build and repair facilities around Minnesota than legislative leaders want.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants to spend $315 million less to build and repair facilities around Minnesota than legislative leaders want. Republican Pawlenty this morning said he hopes lawmakers approve $685 million in public works spending, to be repaid by general tax dollars, while Democratic-Farmer-Labor party legislative leaders prefer spending about $1 billion. "You have got to be willing to say, 'No,'" Pawlenty said. Public colleges and universities would get the biggest chunk of money, 30 percent, mostly for fixing existing facilities.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota schools may once again be asked to help pay bills when the state checking account is empty this spring. Schools and their supporters are not happy. "It is not just robbing the school districts, it is slapping them in the face for being fiscally responsible," complained Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota governor candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher was fined $9,000 and the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party $15,000 for what the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said was an illegal collaboration. The scheme board members said was improper involved the Kelliher campaign soliciting donations and then giving the money to the party to pay for the campaign's use of voter lists. That allowed Kelliher to circumvent campaign donation limits, the board ruled today. Kelliher, who lives in Minneapolis, is a DFL governor candidate and state House speaker.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota schools may be asked, again, to help balance the state budget. Pawlenty administration officials this morning said they may need to delay more school payments this spring when the state will not have enough money to pay its bills. And while they do not expect to borrow money from outside state government before the end of June, Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson said his department wants a plan to borrow $550 million just in case.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty tells the Minnesota Supreme Court that he followed state law and the constitution when he unilaterally cut state programs last summer, and he asks justices for a quick decision in the case. In late December, a judge ruled Pawlenty made some of his $2.7 billion in cuts unconstitutionally, and threw into question his entire budget-balancing action.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
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.