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 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.
ST. PAUL -- The state Senate wants to divert some education funding to help children read by third grade, but critics do not like how the plan takes money from other needs. Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan, said that the education budget bill's aim is to "put a laser focus on reading." Overall, the bill would spend about $14 billion in the next two years, the largest chunk of the $34 billion state budget. The state's general education payments would rise $50 per student each of the next two years under the Republican bill, adding $133 million to school districts.
ST. PAUL -- Tens of thousands of poor, disabled and elderly Minnesotans could lose state-funded health care under a Republican bill senators approved as part of their efforts to balance the state budget. The bill, which passed 37-26 Wednesday, cuts $1.8 billion from what had been expected to be spent on health and welfare programs. The House has yet to vote on a similar bill, but Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators will introduce a bill to build a new Vikings football stadium soon. Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, said on Tuesday the bill will surface this week, perhaps as early as today. Lanning has worked on the bill with Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont. It was expected to be introduced early in the year, but the lawmakers needed more time to work out something that could pass. The Moorhead lawmaker would not hint about how the bill would finance a stadium. While Lanning and Rosen were finishing their bill, Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Senators approved a spending bill Tuesday that keeps money flowing to the courts while making cuts that could slow some crime investigations. The Republican-written measure would spend $1.8 billion in the next two years, $60 million less than the current budget and $29 million below a plan from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. The bill passed 36-28 with Democrats lining up against it. The courts maintain most funding under the bill offered by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who leads the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. But Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers voted to cut $300 million from college and university spending as they craft a state budget while plugging a $5 billion deficit. Opponents of the Republican-written bill said that some campuses are threatened and up to 1,500 higher education workers could lose their jobs if the bill becomes law. Bills passing the House and Senate on Tuesday set a $2.5 billion two-year budget for state-run colleges and universities. That is down from $2.8 billion in the current budget. Senators passed their bill 37-27; representatives passed it 69-60.
ST. PAUL -- Senators approved a spending bill Tuesday that keeps money flowing to the courts while making cuts that could slow some crime investigations. The Republican-written measure would spend $1.8 billion in the next two years, $60 million less than current budget and $29 million below a plan from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. The bill passed 36-28 with Democrats lining up against it. The courts maintain most funding under the bill offered by Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who leads the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. But Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Republican senators beat back Democrats' efforts 36-27 to keep an Iron Range economic development fund whole Monday as the Senate approved a jobs bill. The bill removes $45 million from the Douglas J. Johnson fund, used by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board, and uses it to help plug a $5 billion state budget deficit. The overall bill senators passed 36-28 would spend $103 million, down from Gov. Mark Dayton's proposed $166 million.
ST. PAUL -- Democratic lawmakers fear a bill the House passed Monday night is the beginning of the end of state aid sent to local governments. With Republicans providing most of the votes, representatives approved the bill 73-59 lowering state aid and also cutting income taxes. Republicans rejected attempts to restore local government aid payments. "I believe this bill will end local government aid as we know it," said Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.