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 11 months
ST. PAUL -- Five judges guaranteed there will be plenty of new faces at the Minnesota Capitol next year. A five-judge panel Tuesday redrew legislative district maps, pairing 46 of the state's 201 lawmakers and creating 23 seats with no incumbent. "That is a good positive thing for people who say they want to throw the incumbents out," said Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, the lead House redistricting Democrat. The new maps, required every 10 years to comply with U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota politicians pored over maps this afternoon trying to figure out what it means to them and their parties. For rural Minnesota, it was no surprise that congressional and legislative districts grew geographically as people moved to suburban districts that shrunk. In the U.S. House, relatively little change was in order as a five-judge panel released new political maps, although former presidential candidate U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The long trend of rural Minnesota losing lawmakers continued today as five judges released new U.S. House and state legislative maps that reflect fast growth in Twin Cities suburbs. Even so, in the U.S. House districts released today, the judges kept the districts fairly close to current boundaries.
ST. PAUL -- New Minnesota teachers would be required to pass a basic skills test before going into classrooms under a bill awaiting Gov. Mark Dayton's signature. Senators voted 60-1 to accept a bill a House-passed bill. A Senate bill had required that teacher education students take the test, but the House version required the test before a person earns a teacher's license. The bill by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- A 64-year-old man who confessed to sexually molesting 29 youths could become the first person to leave a state hospital sex offender treatment program this week, prompting the Minnesota House to vote 127-1 Monday to change state law so that the public is notified near the halfway house where he is going. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday and Gov. Mark Dayton said he supports the measure, so likely will sign it before the week ends. The public should be notified when sex offenders are sent to halfway houses from the state treatment program, said bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann made her first Minnesota Capitol news conference since leaving the presidential race to support a state effort to increase health care organizations' accountability. The Minnesota Republican on Monday said she plans to introduce a federal bill similar to one recently introduced in the Legislature to require indpendent au-dits of he-alth maintenance or ganizatio-ns. The push began last week when Minnesota lawmakers heard that one HMO returned $30 million it said the state overpaid it.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann hosted a Minnesota Capitol news conference Monday for the first time since she ended her presidential campaign to support a state effort to increase health-care organizations' accountability. The Minnesota Republican said she plans to introduce a federal bill similar to one recently introduced at the state level to require independent audits of health maintenance organizations. The push began last week when Minnesota lawmakers heard that one HMO returned $30 million it said the state overpaid.
ST. PAUL -- A five-judge Minnesota panel plans to release new congressional and legislative district maps at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The courts earlier had refused to announce a release date, but on Monday said the maps will be available at www.mncourts.gov under a "special redistricting panel" link. Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea established the judicial panel last year in case the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton did not agree on a redistricting plan.
ST. PAUL -- The most important day of the 2012 Minnesota legislative session, for some at least, could be Tuesday. That is the day when a state judicial panel is expected to release new legislative and congressional district maps.
ST. PAUL -- School officials could lay off teachers based on their effectiveness rather than just how long they have taught under a bill Minnesota representatives approved 68-61 Thursday. "We have an urgency," Rep. Sondra Erickson, R-Princeton, said. "We have students waiting for an answer to why they are not learning at the level where they should." The bill would not begin the new policy until 2016.