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 – President Barack Obama makes new federal farm policy his third highest congressional priority now that the federal shutdown is history, but that is no guarantee a farm bill will have easy sledding. The bill is more complex than a combine filled with computers, global positioning system screens and equipment monitors. Like that combine, there are many parts that can fail. “We have things to work out,” U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson said in an interview. “Are they insurmountable?
ST. PAUL -- The current federal government shutdown overshadowed the end of many federal farm laws Tuesday, but the next federal fiscal crisis could lead to a stalled farm bill’s resurrection. At least that is the hope of many from farm country who see $24 billion in savings contained in the farm bill as part of the answer to continual federal money woes.
MORRIS -- Visitors to the North Central Soil Conservation Research Laboratory in Morris are now greeted by locked doors and a simple sign: “The U.S. Department of Agriculture office is closed, due to the lapse in federal government funding. The office will reopen once Congress restores funding.” A call to the Farm Service Agency office in Morris gives a similar message. Thanks to the federal government shutdown, the Morris Wetland Management District is also closed. "The U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Supporters and opponents of Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace disagree whether it will be able to launch as planned next Tuesday, but whoever is right, it will be close. Many of those involved in the federally mandated MNsure health insurance sales program have not been trained with less than a week to go.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators breezed through disaster-relief approval Monday, about as fast as winds that uprooted thousands of trees in June, but spent far more time discussing what Republicans called a "man-made disaster" of tax increases. Local governments in 18 counties from west-central to southeast Minnesota will split $4.5 million lawmakers approved to help recover from a June 20-26 storm and flood disaster.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers appear ready to spend money to help local governments affected by June storms, but during a Wednesday night meeting many questioned using a Sept. 9 special legislative session to spend anything beyond what is needed to plug holes left by federal funding. Kris Eide, Minnesota's emergency services director, said $4.5 million needed to aid local governments in 18 counties affected by June 20-26 storms and floods would come from money not used in northern Minnesota windstorm and flood relief last year.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans who essentially set the agenda for a special legislative session said Wednesday that it was more important to repay schools than to overturn a new tax affecting farmers. So a Sept.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. -- Gov. Mark Dayton says he is willing to overturn a new sales tax on farm implement repair when the Legislature next month meets to appropriate money for disaster relief.