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
- 3 years 8 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans' first look at a complete budget proposal in a $6.2 billion deficit era shows a picture of higher taxes on the rich and health-care providers, more money for education and some health-care programs and cuts for nursing homes. About 800 state jobs would be lost and local governments would continue to receive the same state aid as they do now under Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton wants to preserve state aid to local communities while raising taxes on the richest Minnesotans and increasing education spending in a budget proposal he released this morning. The Democrat's total budget plan for the next two years would be $37 billion, up from just over $30 billion in the budget that ends June 30. At the same time, he makes cuts to help balance a $6.2 billion budget deficit. There were few surprises, since he talked extensively about the budget during a year he campaigned for governor.
ST. PAUL - Students plan to rally against tuition increases on Wednesday, but state Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, already has introduced a bill placing a two-year freeze on state college and university tuitions. The bill also would limit tuition increases going forward. "With this bill, our Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and University of Minnesota systems will need to make true structural reform to push revenue to the classrooms and reduce administrative overhead," Carlson said.
ST. PAUL - A new report shows Minnesota produces the fourth most wind power. Three more wind farms came on line late last year, helping boost Minnesota three spots on the American Wind Energy Association ranking. The state's first wind farm was completed in Crookston in 1987. Since then, the state has been among the top ones producing electricity by wind. "Minnesota must maintain momentum in clean energy such as wind technology that will pay dividends in the future," said Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. "Wind energy helps create jobs and economic development for the state."
ST. PAUL - Roll Call newspaper reports that U.S. Reps. John Kline and Erik Paulsen, both Minnesota Republicans, are seeking Capitol Hill support for former Gov. Tim Pawlenty as he prepares to run for president. Reporter David M. Drucker writes: "Likely Republican presidential candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney are quietly but aggressively wooing members of Congress for endorsements and political support in campaigns that have yet to officially take flight." "I've been trying to make connections and offer opportunities to my friend, Tim," Paulsen said.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state budget woes have forced finance officials to borrow from school districts. It does not happen often, but school districts say it hurts their ability to serve students. So Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, has introduced a bill to ban the practice.
ST. PAUL - State Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, was on the House floor promoting his bill to provide an easier way for professionals to become teachers when he thanked another lawmaker who offered similar bills in the past. "Pioneers take the first arrows," Garofalo said about his colleague. After the debate wrapped up, Rep. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, rose to object to Garofalo's comment. Persell said American Indians that he represents would be offended by the Garofalo statement.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton took on former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in his State of the State address. It sounded a bit like last fall's campaign when Democrats running for many offices appeared to be running against Pawlenty, who already was working toward becoming a presidential candidate and not seeking re-election. The new Democrat governor brought an edge to the speech that has not been seen since he took office on Jan. 3.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton soon will have a bill on his desk that could set up the first major dispute between him and the Legislature. Senators passed on a 37-28 Thursday vote a bill cutting $824 million from the nest two-year state budget and $100 million from the budget that ends June 30.