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 -- The Minnesota House agriculture committee chairman for the past two years is concerned Democrats are putting agriculture on the back burner as they take control of the chamber. Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, said agriculture and rural finance issues were discussed in their own committee for years. But when Democrats become the House majority on Jan.
ST. PAUL -- It is a busy, busy time in legislative offices these days. Some legislators and employees are packing up to leave after election losses or voluntary retirements. New folks are moving in.
ST. PAUL -- Americans could see their federal tax bills increase, in some cases dramatically. People who depend on federal programs may not receive services or funds they expect. Rural doctors could see payments drop. With businesses reluctant to spend money in uncertain times, finding jobs may be harder. The stock market could tumble.
ST. PAUL -- Lots of talk comes from Washington about a "fiscal cliff" approaching Dec. 31, after which all kinds of serious financial problems could appear, but that talk is subsiding. The federal government could fall off that fiscal cliff if political leaders cannot agree on measures to tame the national debt and reduce spending. But interviews with upper Midwest members of Congress show they are optimistic something will be done, and the problem will end up as what could be described as a "fiscal pothole." With tax increases and drastic spending cuts due to happen Jan.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Vikings say Gov. Mark Dayton and others are jumping the gun in criticizing the idea of selling pricey seats to some season-ticket holders. In strong language, Dayton wrote to Vikings owners complaining about their interest in selling high-priced seat licenses to raise money that would count toward the team's contribution to a new nearly $1 billion stadium.
ST. PAUL -- No wave appears in Minnesota's political forecast. A wave, in political terms, is when events influence voters so much that one party does well nationwide. "This is not a wave year," House Majority Leader Matt Dean, R-Dellwood, said. The parties may disagree about who will win Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Here are some issues related to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesota voters to produce photographic identification before casting ballots: Process: The Minnesota Constitution is amended when the Legislature passes a proposed amendment and a majority of voters in a general election approve it. The governor has no official role. The proposed amendment will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. Politics: In general, Republicans support the amendment and Democrats oppose it. The GOP- controlled Legislature passed a photo ID bill in 2011, but Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Both sides in Minnesota's voter photo identification debate try to paint pictures about how life would look if the requirement passes Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Many Minnesota voters don't know where they are. At least, many don't know where they live in terms of political districts after congressional, legislative and many local boundaries were redrawn earlier this year. Fewer than a quarter of Minnesotans stopping in the state Senate's State Fair booth knew their new legislative district and candidates, long-time Senate public information official Scott Magnuson said. "We have looked up hundreds" of districts for fair visitors, he said. The confusion comes after the every-10-year redrawing of political boundaries.
ST. PAUL -- Joe Biden is ready to give up his job. Well, only if he could become a high school football player. The vice president made a surprise stop at South Minneapolis high school football practice after delivering a 37-minute speech to a campaign rally. "Hey guys, how're you doing? My name's Joe Biden," the vice president said as he approached the team. Biden, a U.S.