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 -- 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. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, told the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday that his plan to spend more than $16 million in each of the next two years on tourism would attract more visitors and their money. “There are few ways government generates revenue and jobs,” Ward said. “Tourism does both.”
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.
ST. PAUL -- Patrick Lunemann is not convinced the agriculture industry will get a fair shake from a Minnesota House committee that decides farm program funding, even after farmers learned of a change to give them more of a voice. “It is to be determined whether it is going to work,” the Clarissa dairy and crop farmer said Tuesday after the two House agriculture chairwomen discussed the issue with the Minnesota Agri-Growth Council.
ST. PAUL -- Gov Mark Dayton says taxes on average Minnesotans would not increase under the budget proposal he released at mid-day. The plan includes a mixture of tax increases and decreases and it would spend more on education and jobs programs.