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
- 4 years 9 months
ST. PAUL -- The new year could be one of government reform. Minnesota legislative Republicans and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton agree reforming is a top priority, but they may differ on just what that means and how to get there. A year ago, the two sides said the same thing, but a big money debate got in the way. By necessity, legislators and Dayton had to concentrate on plugging a $5 billion hole in the state budget. With a slight budget surplus heading into the 2012 legislative session, which begins Jan.
ST. PAUL -- It is back to the future for Minnesota Senate Republicans with Dave Senjem back in charge. "The direction is nothing but forward," Senjem said, adding that despite his history as GOP leader "it is a new day." A 69-year-old senator from Rochester, Senjem moves into the majority leader's position a year after he ended four years of service as minority leader. In his last year in that job, he and Sen.
ROSEVILLE -- Minnesota Senate Republicans promised a fresh start Tuesday night, putting a scandal behind them and spending 11 hours picking Sen. Dave Senjem as their new leader. The senators also elected a new slate of assistant leaders during their closed-door meeting. "No more looking backward," the Rochester Republican said when he was introduced as the majority leader. Senjem returns to the chief Republican post after a year as an assistant leader. Before that, as minority leader he helped orchestrate the first GOP Senate majority in 38 years. Tuesday's election was forced when Sen.
ROSEVILLE, Minn. -- Minnesota state Sen. Dave Senjem of Rochester makes a return as Senate Republican leader after an 11-hour meeting today. Senjem served as minority leader until last year, when Republicans won the Senate majority for the first time in 38 years. The Senate Republican caucus also elected Sens. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes, Paul Gazelka of Brainerd, Ted Lillie of Lake Elmo and Claire Robling of Jordan as assistant Senate majority leaders. Senators were quiet about what went on behind closed doors. They started deliberating at 9 a.m.
Update 5 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- The most visible legislator in stadium discussions is one who lives nowhere near where a facility would be built. Still, Rep. Morrie Lanning of Moorhead said the project is so important to the state that he is glad to be part of the process. The lawmaker, in office nine years after a 22-year run as may-or of Moorhead, is in many news stories about the move to build a stadium for the Minnesota Vikings and a variety of other uses.
ST. PAUL -- Amy Koch's resignation as Minnesota Senate majority leader came like a lightning bolt out of the blue. Reporters could almost hear jaws drop as they informed senators of the news when calling to get reaction. Many senators had not checked their email and reporters knew about Koch's move, and wrote stories, before the word spread. "You have the scoop on me," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings need a new stadium and Minnesota needs the Vikings, the chief House promoter of a new stadium says. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Former Senate Majority Leader Any Koch says she is sorry for being in a relationship with a Senate employee. "I regret more than words can express the hurt that I have caused to the people that I love, and to those who have worked and served with me over the past years," Koch said in a statement released late this afternoon. The Buffalo Republican said her Thursday resignation and Friday's revelation that it followed Senate employees complaining about an inappropriate relationship "have been very difficult for me and those close to me.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's battle plan to fight an Asian carp invasion includes multiple barriers to keep them from advancing upstream along the Mississippi River and into most of the state's waters. Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said that between state dollars he will expects state legislators to approve early next year and some federal funds already available, there should be enough money to meet the immediate needs of the fight. Gov.