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.
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ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota state commission provided a key approval Wednesday to a northern Minnesota oil pipeline expansion as chants of "shame on you" rang out in the downtown St. Paul meeting room. "We are the people you represent," one of more than 100 protesters shouted as all five Public Utilities Commission members approved increasing the pipeline's capacity after a brief discussion of the pipeline issue with no chance for public testimony.
BLOOMINGTON — President Barack Obama’s education secretary told an audience packed with Minnesota educators Tuesday that he would like to send the state millions more dollars to match state money...
ST. PAUL -- Trying to control dangerous synthetic drugs is a lot like playing the old carnival game whack-a-mole. In the game, every time a player uses a mallet to whack a mole sticking its head out of one hole, another mole pops up in another hole, Executive Director Cody Wiberg of the Minnesota Pharmacy Board told a state House committee Tuesday.
ST. PAUL -- A coalition of 532 organizations is putting pressure on the U.S. House to pass a farm bill. "This important legislation supports our nation's farmers, ranchers, forest owners, food security, natural resources and wildlife habitats, rural communities and the 16 million Americans whose jobs directly depend on the agriculture industry," read a letter sent to every congressman from a diverse group that includes the Democratic-leaning Farmers Union and Republican-leaning Farm Bureau.
ST. PAUL -- Some Minnesota businesses are pushing the pause button on constructing new facilities, awaiting word about whether state legislators will allow a new tax to be collected. A $20 million Red Wing Shoes distribution center is on hold "until we find out what happens," John Sachen of the company said Thursday during a state Capitol news conference. "We have already stopped business," said Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing. "That's jobs." Kelly and other Republicans asked Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Democrats wasted no time to begin cheering the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this morning to reject a federal gay-marriage ban. The ruling follows Minnesota's decision this spring to allow same-sex couples to wed. The federal ruling means those who do marry will receive federal benefits denied to gay couples in states that allow them to marry. "Great year for marriage equality in DC and MN, but there is still work to be done at the federal level," U.S. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Strange political bedfellows who disagree on about everything combined to slap down the U.S. House farm bill. Republicans who want a smaller federal budget and Democrats who want more money spent on food stamps joined in the 234-195 defeat. It is something being seen more and more in politics as political extremes often oppose moderate proposals. Many politicians blamed those in the other party for the defeat, an embarrassment to Republicans who control the House.
Republicans who want a smaller federal budget and Democrats who oppose proposed food stamp cuts joined Thursday to defeat a five-year farm bill. Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said there may not be a second chance to write a farm bill this year, but others said it could return as soon as next week. Lucas' bill called for the largest cuts in food stamps in a generation and has the biggest farm program reforms since 1996. The 234-195 surprise defeat came after a speeded-up debate, designed by supporters in part to avoid a potential loss of votes when congressmen headed h
A U.S. House vote on new federal farm policy may not come until next week. With 103 amendments to be debated after a late start on Wednesday, it appeared it would be difficult to meet today's 3 p.m. deadline to vote on the nearly $1 trillion bill establishing American farm and nutrition policies. The House began to examine 53 amendments by Democrats and 50 from Republicans Wednesday afternoon, starting with an argument dealing with a proposed $20 billion cut to food stamp spending over the next 10 years. Rep.