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 7 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans either will get a better deal on health insurance or they will face problems if the Legislature and governor agree on a new way for 1.3 million Minnesotans to buy health insurance. That is how the debate boils down about a bill the Democrat-controlled House Monday night approved 72-58 over Republican protests. Rep. Jim Abeler of Anoka was the only Republican to vote for the plan, an attempt to be involved in a House-Senate conference committee that will craft the final bill.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative leaders say the governor has a good chance of getting $30 million he wants included in the next two-year budget to help businesses move to Minnesota or expand. The Minnesota Investment Fund provided more than 600 loans, some of which do not need to be repaid, since 1985. Rural businesses received $85 million while those in the Twin Cities were given $24 million. “It’s a major priority,” said Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL-Chisholm, who leads a key economic development committee.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota’s resorts, government and residents would benefit from a larger tourism marketing effort, supporters of a bill to double its state support told a House committee. Rep...
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans must loudly demand that lawmakers approve Sunday alcohol sales if the proposal has a chance to pass, its Senate sponsor says.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans fighting Asian carp think they may have temporary and permanent ways to slow the advance of the voracious eater. Organizations at a Wednesday Asian carp summit hosted by Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar agreed they would try to convince boaters to stop using a Mississippi River lock in Minneapolis so it can remain closed and act as a barrier to fish that can eat so much food that they push out native species. The hope is if the lock is not used this summer, or at least not used often, that could be a temporary solution.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota’s senior congressional Republican shows little optimism that massive automatic federal spending cuts can be avoided. “My expectation is that we will see the cuts take effect,” U.S. Rep. John Kline told reporters Monday after meeting with legislators in the Minnesota Capitol. Kline cited a report that shows if Washington politicians allow the cuts, more than 4,600 Minnesotans in defense-related jobs will be out of work. He did not have figures for how many others could be affected.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota’s financial picture is improving, Gov. Mark Dayton proclaimed in his Wednesday night State of the State address, but policies in the last decade have hampered progress. His solution? Approve the $38 billion two-year budget he proposed two weeks ago that includes more than $3 billion in higher taxes on the rich and a reworked sales tax.
ST. PAUL -- Sami Rahamim delivered a powerful message to Minnesota legislators: Don’t let other youths suffer through the shooting deaths of their fathers. The son of the Minneapolis’ Accent Signage owner, killed in a mass shooting last year, offered his support Tuesday to gun-control bills Minnesota legislators are considering. “My dad lived the American dream, but died the American nightmare,” the 17-year-old said about Reuven Rahamim, who built Accent Signage into a nationally known sign maker before he was killed by a gunman Sept. 27.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are pulling the trigger on gun-related legislation. Hours of House committee gun-related hearings are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with senators planning similar meetings later in the month. Bills still are being introduced, and probably will be for the next several weeks, so a full picture of what state legislators will debate is not clear as President Barack Obama plans a visit to Minneapolis on Monday to promote his anti-gun violence proposals.
ST. PAUL -- Cities would receive more state money next year if legislators approve Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget, but after that some could get smaller checks from the Capitol. Dayton proposes adding $80 million next year to the Local Government Aid program that primarily helps greater Minnesota and urban cities, a 19 percent increase. In two years, he proposes that a new formula be used to determine how much cities get, a formula that some fear would reduce their payments.