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 7 months
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's speeches these days contain one sure-fire applause line: "We're not Wisconsin." That is true, and Minnesotans appreciate the fact that thousands of protesters have not descended on their Capitol. But by at least one measure, Minnesota is worse than its eastern neighbor.
ST. PAUL -- Whether Minnesota retailers should sell alcohol on Sundays will be debated by a Senate committee Wednesday, perhaps the first time that has happened. Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, promotes the idea after seeing Minnesotans drive over bridges to buy booze in Superior, Wis.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Republicans say they want to spend $34.3 billion in the next two years, about the same as in the current budget. While big cuts will be needed in some spending areas, it appears local government aids would not sustain cuts as deep as many expected. House Republicans will release their overall budget outline later today, and it is expected to be very similar to the Senate plan. Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton proposes a $37.4 billion budget.
No one argued over the need to continue state city aid during a Wednesday meeting of Minnesota mayors and Gov. Mark Dayton, but it will be a different story when Republicans who control the Legislature write their budget. Republicans are expected to release an outline of their budget plan today and it could look like an earlier budget bill they offered that held Local Government Aid at the 2010 level, which is lower than what cities earlier were told to expect. LGA is the largest local aid from the state. Democrat Dayton vetoed that earlier bill.
ST. PAUL -- Professionals have a new pathway to become Minnesota teachers, but no one knows how many will take the new route. A bill designed to lure math and science professionals, in particular, into the state schools became law Monday as Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Mid-career professionals who want to become teachers now have a way to do that. Gov. Mark Dayton this morning signed a bill into law establishing guidelines for how professional from other fields, especially math and science, can earn their teacher licenses without going through traditional colleges. However, they still would be required to attend classes about how to teach. The bill signing brought together Democrat Dayton and legislative leaders from both parties.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's environmental permitting process soon will speed up, with a goal of producing more jobs. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a permit speed-up bill Thursday, following up on an earlier executive order he wrote to do many of the same things. "We're sending a signal that we want your projects done quicker," Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, said about the new law's message to business. "And we want to save you money in the process, because time is money." He credited lawmakers from both parties and Gov. Dayton for working together to settle differences.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans are using legislative votes against Gov. Mark Dayton's tax proposal as evidence it has little support. However, Dayton and other Democrats called the Thursday votes a charade. Republicans put the tax plan in front of the House and Senate, but opposed it in an effort to get Democrats to vote against the measure. "Recess is over," Dayton said to lawmakers, recalling his time as a teacher.