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 2 months
ST. PAUL -- The federal Justice Department agrees with Sen. Amy Klobuchar that Congress should ban synthetic drugs that pose threats to Americans. The department has announced it backs three bills by the Minnesota Democrat to ban 2C-E, bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, has hosted hearings on the issue in Washington and Minnesota after several communities reported problems with the drugs.
ST. PAUL -- Some well-known Minnesota Republicans announced Thursday they will fight the proposed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, a proposal their party strongly supports. "I'm Republican because I believe in individual liberty and freedom," Rep. John Kriesel said. "I believe this is an attack on that." The Cottage Grove lawmaker famously was one of four state House Republicans to vote last May against putting the issue on the November 2012 ballot.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. John Kline says a committee looking into how to deal with the national debt has no choice but to find a solution. The Minnesota Republican told reporters there is no option because without a bipartisan plan from the panel, Washington will see draconian cuts.
ST. PAUL -- Lee Byberg plans to run against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, his second straight time trying to defeat the long-time veteran congressman. Tarryl Clark moved from St. Cloud to Duluth to take on first-term U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Mike Parry is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Tim Walz. So is Steve Drazkowski. Potential candidates for eight U.S. House, 134 state House and 67 state Senate districts are lining up to represent Minnesotans.
ST. PAUL -- Workers removed chunks of marble from the Minnesota Capitol exterior in recent weeks, meaning scaffolding protecting visitors from falling debris soon will come down. But work will continue on the 106-year-old iconic building. A report on the status of the outside marble is due in a few weeks, complete with estimates of what further work would cost and how soon it should be done.
ST. PAUL -- Great Lakes-area state fishing regulators spend much of their time trying to defeat an Asian carp invasion, but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources thinks it has the answer: eat them. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Illinois is hiring a Louisiana chef to create recipes to prove that the invaders are as tasty as they are pesky. The new campaign is aimed both at providing food for the needy and reducing the number of Asian carp, including those that famously jump far out of the water and sometimes hit people in boats.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Agriculture Department Friday announced a trade mission to Vietnam for later this year. The announcement came as Gox. Mark Dayton leaves Minnesota for Japan and South Korea on his first trade mission as governor. He returns on Oct.
ST. PAUL -- The country's third major credit-rating agency has downgraded Minnesota's bond rating, meaning that borrowing money for new construction and repair projects likely will cost state and local governments more. Minnesota Management and Budget on Friday announced Standard and Poor's dropped the Minnesota rating from AAA to AA-plus. "This downgrade is a direct result of the recently passed state budget," Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter said. "The budget was substantially balanced using one-time measures and does not lead to a long-term financial solution.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The new University of Minnesota president promised to lower administrative costs every year he holds the job and in his Thursday inaugural address said professors must keep up or "step aside." "My friends, we have work to do," President Eric Kaler said as he was officially installed as the university's 16th president. Kaler spoke to 1,000 invited guests and others via the Internet, including students and staff gathered at each of the university's five campuses. The 55-year-old president, on the job since July 1, used some of his half-hour speech to praise those at the univers