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 – Gay marriage supporters feel victory in the air. Their confidence is high as Minnesota state representatives plan to vote on overturning an existing same-sex marriage ban on Thursday, with senators following in a few days. “We’ve felt pretty good in the Senate for a long time,” bill sponsor Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, said after the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday passed his measure on a split voice vote. Even gay marriage opponent Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said the bill likely will pass the Senate.
ST. PAUL – An 11-11 tie in the Senate Finance Committee stalled a bill that would allow child care providers and personal care attendants to unionize. While there remain several ways the bill could be revived, Monday’s vote was the first rejection in what generally had been partisan debate this legislative session. Democratic Sens. Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights and Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka joined Republicans in voting against the measure. The bill sponsored by Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota House leaders expect representatives to approve gay marriage Thursday, with the Senate following in the next few days.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota already is on track to establish a new way for its residents to buy health insurance, and now legislators are poised to change how the state takes care of its elderly, disabled and poor.
ST. PAUL – A debate about education funding goes beyond helping individual students: There is widespread agreement that a better education system would help the economy. However, there is less agreement about how to achieve those improvements.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota state representatives approved 70-64 a health-care spending bill late Monday without knowing how it would affect hospitals around the state. Most Democrats favored the bill while most Republicans opposed it. Highlighting debate was an amendment by Rep. Will Morgan, DFL-Burnsville, that the Democrat-controlled House put on the overall bill to change how funding would be distributed to hospitals.
ST. PAUL -- Communities across Minnesota should pressure lawmakers to support a public works funding bill, its House sponsor says. “I think those local communities absolutely have a vested interest in this bill,” Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said Tuesday after introducing her $800 million measure to fund projects ranging from renovating the state Capitol building to fixing college roofs. She used Red Wing as an example.
ST. PAUL – Baby boomers will make writing the state budget harder, reduce the Minnesota labor force and cause state health care spending to soar, State Demographer Susan Brower said. “Aging pressure” is how Brower termed the issue. The demographer said aging boomers will “place new pressures on the state budget, especially in the areas of health and long-term care.” An older population means more money would be needed for a Medicare supplement program, she said, as well as programs that fund health care needs of elderly, poor and disabled Minnesotans.
ST. PAUL – The federal government’s failure to agree on how to fix its debt problem could cost Minnesota more than $90 million this year. Early numbers show schools and health programs could be among those most affected, a legislative committee learned Friday. Still, many questions remain, such as when funds will be cut, what restrictions will be placed on state agencies and just how much money will be lost.
MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Frank Orton made sure Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton understands problems he faces in competing against North Dakota stores. “Minnesota must not adopt a tax policy that makes our businesses unable to compete,” Orton wrote in a letter to Dayton in connection with a Monday night Moorhead town hall meeting. “At times those of us on the Minnesota-North Dakota (line) feel like we are playing with the deck completely stacked against us. At some point the economics will be as such that we just quit playing the game.”