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 — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared a state of emergency Thursday as the number of poultry dead from an avian flu outbreak edges toward 3 million. It is the first Minnesota agriculture emergency declaration state officials could recall, including Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson, who has been involved in agriculture policy for decades.
ST. PAUL — Operators of large livestock production operations say they face uncertainty because of potential unfounded nuisance lawsuits, but Aimee Goodwin claims her family was harmed by an unresponsive hog-raising neighbor and lawsuits should be allowed. After a debate between feedlot and animal confinement supporters and opponents, a Minnesota House committee Tuesday approved 6-4 a bill that would forbid many nuisance lawsuits against large livestock operations. A similar law reducing the risk of small farmers facing lawsuits has been on the books since 1982, bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton produced 607 reasons why he thinks Minnesota should raise and spend $6 billion over 10 years to upgrade the state's roads and bridges. On Tuesday, he released a list of 607 projects across the state that he said would not be built if his proposal is rejected. The proposal includes two projects in Stevens County — the bridge on Highway 329 over the Pomme de Terre River going out to the West Central Research and Outreach Center and a 19 mile road project on Highway 28 from Morris to Starbuck.
ST. PAUL – Minnesota farmers think part of their property tax bills is unfair, but they probably should not get up their hopes that things will change immediately. Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, and Sen. Lyle Koenen, D-Clara City, offered bills Thursday that would keep farmland from being taxed to pay for school and other local government construction projects. That would shift costs to city residents and businesses, a tough sell in a Legislature with more urban and suburban lawmakers than those who represent rural areas.
ST. PAUL – This Minnesota legislative session is heavy on greater Minnesota topics, but the governor’s budget, which will be the base of whatever two-year spending plan that eventually passes, drew mixed reviews about how it would fund issues outside of the Twin Cities. Officials representing Minnesota cities complained that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget did not provide more state money for them; nursing home advocates were upset that he did not boost their funding.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota nursing home workers can earn more money at Fleet Farm, Dairy Queen and a sugar beet processing plant than helping the elderly, nursing home administrators across the state complain. That means, they told a House committee Wednesday, that nursing home residents are not getting care as good as they should. Staff turnover, they said, prevents nursing staff workers from knowing residents well enough to provide the best care.
ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House energy focus may change in 2015. Rep. Pat Garofalo, who will lead a committee dealing with job growth and energy, said that energy programs...
ST. PAUL -- Republicans who will control the Minnesota House the next two years make it abundantly clear they will focus on rural Minnesota when the legislative session starts Jan. 6. Or, as they prefer to say, GOP members will drop what they call a Minneapolis-St. Paul focus they claim has been the norm under Democratic control.