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
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ST. PAUL -- Good news to the tune of $1.2 billion changed little about Minnesota's budget debate. There was little evidence after Monday's news that a projected budget deficit has dropped from $6.2 billion to $5 billion smoothed differences between Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who control the Legislature. "It is still a matter of serious concern," Dayton said. Democrats and Republicans could not even agree on who was responsible for the better budget news. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, thanked employers and employees for paying more taxes to the state.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's new budget deficit will be about $5 billion, down from $6.2 billion, but there are so many unanswered economic questions that the budget also could end up in worst shape. Even with the better number, the state faces a massive deficit that legislators and the governor will debate through the spring. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A thousand Minnesota union workers, some still wearing their hard hats, rallied in the state Capitol after work Tuesday to show support for their Wisconsin brethren who are fighting a Republican governor and legislators working to remove most public employee bargaining rights. "We are all in this fight together," Stillwater teacher Josiah Hill said. "Today, we are all Badgers." The Minnesota rally, one of the largest ever inside the Capitol, was one of many staged around the country as leaders in other states wait to see if the Wisconsin strife spills over. Minnesota Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Two former Republican lawmakers survived partisan controversy Monday night to become University of Minnesota regents. Ex-House Speaker Steve Sviggum of Kenyon will represent the 2nd Congressional District, mostly south of the Twin Cities, and former Rep. Laura Brod of New Prague will be an at-large member of the university's governing board. They join former Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The "cheeseburger bill" overcame opposition from trial lawyers and Democrats Monday to notch its first victory in its seventh run through the Minnesota Legislature. Rep. Dean Urdahl's much-traveled bill to prohibit lawsuits against food makers and sellers by people who gain weight passed on a voice vote, with Democrats opposed, in the House Civil Law Committee. With a large McDonald's drink cup in hand, Urdahl said his "Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act" likely will pass this year.
ST. PAUL -- A lobbyist says he regrets how he worded an e-mail that Minnesota's top senator interpreted as calling on city officials to lie. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, alleges that J.D.
ST. PAUL -- Monday night's selection of new University of Minnesota regents could be contentious. Democrats accuse Republicans of playing politics in picking former House Speaker Steve Sviggum of Kenyon and ex-Rep. Laura Brod, who represented the New Prague area.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans often compare their state budget and population with Wisconsin, so when 35,000 protesters packed the Wisconsin Capitol this week, it was only natural to wonder if the same could happen under the St. Paul dome. Democratic-Farmer-Laborites say a smaller version of the protest is possible.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota representatives Thursday rejected an attempt to require a local vote before a nuclear power plant is built as they decided to lift a ban on building those plants. On an 81-50 vote, the House joined the Senate in dropping a 16-year-old moratorium on building new nuclear power plants. However, Gov.