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 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Businesses outside of the Twin Cities need a boost, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities says, and asks legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton to provide help. The most dramatic example of greater Minnesota businesses needing assistance comes from a tax credit approved in 2010, designed to influence people with money to invest in businesses.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's best-known citizen-lobbyist on open government issues says the Legislature needs to be, as they say around the Capitol, more transparent. Rich Neumeister has prowled the Capitol's halls for years fighting for public access and recently took on controversial departures of two state officials. He concluded that in both cases, "with these decisions happening within the Legislature, the public may never know why." The Legislature lives under different rules than other public bodies and can do more in secret.
Property taxes outside of the Twin Cities are rising faster than for those in the state's largest metropolitan area. Taxes to be paid this year are up an average 3.1 percent in the Twin Cities, a Minnesota House report shows, but for others the increase is 8.7 percent. Increases will reach the double digits for rural townships, cities in taconite mining areas and Duluth. DFL'ers say the increases prove Republicans failed when writing the state budget last year.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton has given Ramsey County and Minneapolis until Thursday to provide him and key legislators final proposals for a Minnesota Vikings stadium. "You need to have a deadline to get people to do what they need to do," Dayton said Thursday in announcing the deadline. Both entities promised to comply. "We appreciate Gov. Dayton's keeping the ball moving on the stadium issue and we are more than happy to provide him with the latest analysis and planning for a new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis," read a statement released by Minneapolis Mayor R.T.
ST. PAUL -- No radiation leaked and there were no injuries this morning when 522 gallons of chlorine bleach leaked out of a broken pipe at the Prairie Island nuclear power plant near Red Wing, Minn. "This is a non-radioactive event," state Emergency Management Director Kris Eide.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has filled out his leadership team with two committee chairs. The Rochester Republican on Tuesday appointed Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen as deputy leader and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria as the fifth assistant majority leader. Ingebrigtsen had considered running for majority leader last week to keep rural issues at the forefront. But he was not nominated. Senjem and Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie were the two senators in the running to replace Sen.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says that vandalizing roadway signs or other state property along highways can carry a fine of up to $3,000 and a year in jail. Shooting, vandalizing and stealing signs are illegal, as is attaching objects to signs and posts.
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.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota says law enforcement departments need to adopt uniform policies for when Tasers may be used. After a statewide study, the ACLU claims that policies about Taser use vary widely across the state. While a state policy is needed about when the electronic weapons may be used, each department also should have its own policy that accounts for dangers such as the risk of falling after being shot, the group says. The ACLU wants each Taser use to be reported to the state. "The recommendations we make pose a minimal cost to law enforcement agencies, wou