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 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Questions abound two weeks before some Minnesota in-home day-care providers vote about whether to join unions. Key among those questions is how many of the 11,000 in-home day-care providers will be allowed to vote. Also unanswered is whether anything the unions negotiate with the state will affect those who are not part of unions. "We are in uncharted waters here," Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said Monday, because no one can recall a similar election in which private businesses are being asked to vote to form a union to negotiate with the state.
ST. PAUL -- Democrats make it clear they blame Republicans for rising property taxes, and will do that even louder in next year's campaigns. They hope the charge sticks this time. Democratic-Farmer-Laborite candidates for years have said GOP budget cuts, or lack of tax increases, have forced local governments to raise property taxes. It is happening again after a the Republican-controlled Legislature passed and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton approved a new law that changed the homestead market value credit program, which basically cut state payments to local governments.
ST. PAUL -- Ted is ready for the spotlight. Really ready. In fact, he is so ready he escaped from his cage in a dark corner of the governor's reception room Friday and made a break for the bright television lights. Ted proudly strutted past the gubernatorial podium and into plain sight in a large empty area in front of it. Still cameras clicked, video cameras whirred and reporters scribbled notes that looked like turkey scratching. Val Brown quickly launched into action, as the Willmar FFA's chief turkey handler saved the surprised politicians and media from Ted. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A health-care spending political battle between Minnesota Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton heightened Tuesday when each side basically called the other a liar. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans whose taxes are soaring would get a larger property tax refund under a bill House Republicans will push in next year's legislative session. "This is a top-tier priority for our caucus," Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, of the House Taxes Committee said Monday in announcing his bill to increase property tax refunds for homeowners whose property tax bills soar. The Davids plan also would cut $411.85 from every business property tax bill.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans thanked veterans Friday, but one of their most desired honors needs an act of the Legislature and younger blood. Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito said that many ex-military personnel have two major requests: a bronze marker at their grave denoting their veteran status and an American flag on their casket. Honor guards, which handle flag duties, were endangered when state officials forgot to include continued funding in their budget requests, so Gov. Mark Dayton and Shellito found the needed funds on a temporary basis.
ST. PAUL -- Older Minnesota veterans need education help, like those just returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, so the Dayton administration proposes expanding a program to include them, too. Gov. Mark Dayton and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Larry Shellito on Thursday announced plans to ask the Legislature next year to increase the Minnesota GI Bill's reach to provide benefits to all Minnesota veterans.
ST. PAUL -- A federal grant will give rural Minnesota veterans, their families, disabled and elderly looking for rides to places like doctors' offices an easier way to line up transportation. Administrator Peter Rogoff of the Federal Transit Administration made the announcement Wednesday in St.
ST. PAUL -- A state senator said he blocked spending $60 million of federal health program money in Minnesota because he did not have enough information about how the money would be spent. "It is my intention to give every federal grant scrutiny," Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said Tuesday after Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Julie Rosen helped produce a winner in a Las Vegas sports competition and is now back in St. Paul trying to work that same magic on another sports issue. It was about a week ago that the Minnesota state senator from Fairmont watched as a bull, in which she owns a 50 percent share, gave a spectacular bucking show to a packed Vegas arena. Yellow Jacket Jr. helped Brazilian Silvano Alves maintain his Professional Bull Riders' point lead with a 92.25 ride, giving him the 2011 title and $1 million after the Vegas world finals title round. A couple of days later, Rosen was in St.