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 9 months
ST. PAUL -- Fixing the Minnesota Capitol building's crumbling outside walls and aging interior won easy approval from a key House committee Tuesday, but funding other public works projects around the state may prove more controversial. The Capitol renovation project earned support from all but one member of the House committee that recommends public works funding, with one more committee stop before it reaches the full House.
ST. PAUL -- The past week was full of big news under the Minnesota Capitol dome, everything from hundreds of workers protesting a proposal that would make joining unions optional to a sex scandal to the sudden stalling of a stadium construction bill. But the most entertaining episode probably was an unannounced appearance by a Minnesota football legend, former Vikings coach Bud Grant, urging lawmakers to raise hunting and fishing license fees to fund programs related to those activities.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's legislators want to go home for the year in a month, or a little more, but the crystal ball showing how to get there is murky. A stadium-construction bill may have a new life after it suddenly stalled Wednesday, but even some of its backers question the most critical issue it always has faced: funding. A Republican proposal to eliminate a requirement that some workers belong to unions may not have enough GOP votes to pass. The effort to pay back schools money the state borrowed from them faces a dark future after Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A new Vikings stadium remains possible after a Senate committee delayed a construction proposal Wednesday and Gov. Mark Dayton delivered some harsh words about legislative leaders' lack of support. Stadium supporters have lots of work to do if they are to salvage the plan this legislative session. After a decade of discussion and more than a year of intense work on a stadium-funding bill, the proposal stalled in the Senate local government committee after less than two hours of debate Wednesday over several questions.
ST. PAUL -- It is not something heard much around the Legislature: people suggesting fees they pay go up. But Minnesota anglers and hunters did just that Tuesday and the Senate natural resources committees complied, backing a bill that ups fees to replenish a fund running out of money and help fight invasive species.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- If there ever was a full committee room, it will happen at 8 a.m. Monday in Room 15 of the Capitol when the Senate Judiciary Committee hears a proposed constitutional amendment that would remove a requirement that some workers belong to unions. Union workers from across the state are expected to arrive at the Capitol in buses to oppose the proposal by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- An election to fill the vacancy left by the death of Minnesota state Sen. Gary Kubly will be April 10. Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the election Wednesday, shortly after Kubly's funeral ended in Granite Falls. If a primary election is needed, it will be March 27. The election is in Senate District 20, which includes all or parts of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties. People interested in running for the seat have until 5 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Establishing wolf hunting and trapping seasons is popular among many at the Minnesota Legislature, but lawmakers are hearing from those who do not like the idea. So far, opponents have not slowed House and Senate bills from advancing. The latest vote came Tuesday, when the Senate natural resources committee unanimously approved allowing the Department of Natural Resources to establish the seasons. "We're trying to balance," Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, said about his bill.