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
- 2 years 3 months
ST. PAUL -- Health officials are preparing for a pandemic flu that kills many Minnesotans. Or a flu almost no one notices. Or something in between. "Anything could happen," said John Stine, assistant Minnesota Health Department commissioner. "There is no way of giving you a forecast." The current pandemic flu strain has sickened millions, killing 94,000 worldwide and 34,000 in the United States. But Stine and other Minnesota health leaders fear it could get far worse if the current flu virus mutates as has happened in the past. "It's now everywhere," Stine said.
ST. PAUL -- The future of Minnesota's largest-ever industrial development is in the hands of three state Appeals Court judges. Environmental groups want the judges to order state Department of Natural Resources officials to take a closer look at how Essar Steel Minnesota's planned $1.65 billion taconite mine and steel plant would affect global warming. The project near Nashwauk, on northeast Minnesota's Iron Range, is due to begin producing steel slabs by 2014. It will employ 500 people and state officials have compared its economic impact to Bloomington's Mall of America.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota election experts say the state's election law is among the best in the country, but the protracted U.S. Senate race proves it can be improved. The state needs to instill more confidence and stability into the absentee ballot process, Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, told a University of Minnesota forum Friday. "It is highly irregular and inappropriate" to allow candidates' campaigns to reject specific absentee ballots, as current state law allows, Rest said.
ST. PAUL - A new study shows what rural Minnesotans already knew: Gasoline takes a bigger bite out of their budgets than their city cousins. Research by the Center for Rural Policy and Development shows that if gasoline costs $3 a gallon, 7 percent of an average rural resident's income would go for gasoline. At the same price, 3.9 percent of an urbanite's pay would go to fuel. The biggest reason for the difference is in their income. The average rural resident earns $3,700 a month, compared to the urban salary of $5,557.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate's top Democrat wants a chance to respond to what Gov. Tim Pawlenty says on his weekly radio show.
WASHINGTON -- Al Franken became Minnesota's second U.S. senator today, his hand holding the Bible that Paul Wellstone used when he was twice sworn into the Senate. Vice President Joe Biden swore in Franken 246 days after the Nov. 4 election and 183 days since the 2009 Senate convened. The scene was the front of the U.S. Senate chamber. Accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former senator and vice president Walter Mondale, Franken looked up at Biden and with the words "yes, I do" accepted the oath and became senator. He had nothing else to say.
FRIDLEY - Marty Seifert may have held the first, but many other Republican governor rallies will follow through election day, Nov. 2, 2010. The Marshall state representative opened his official campaign for governor Tuesday, hosting about 100 supporters in a northern Twin Cities suburban factory, then leaving in a motorhome to visit 13 other cities in four days. The economy and state finances were atop his mind. "I view the deficit as an opportunity," Seifert said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Al Franken became Minnesota's second U.S. senator today, his hand holding the Bible that Paul Wellstone used when he was twice sworn into the Senate. Vice President Joe Biden swore in Franken 246 days after the Nov. 4 election and 183 days since the 2009 Senate convened. The scene was the front of the U.S. Senate chamber. Accompanied by Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and former senator and vice president Walter Mondale, Franken looked up at Biden and with the words "yes, I do" accepted the oath and became senator.
ST. PAUL -- "Unallotment" is a strange word to most Minnesotans, although those who get state money know it well. In the coming months, De-mocrats are likely to drill home that word so all Minne-sotans hear that Gov. Tim Pawlenty unilaterally cut the state budget (known as unal-lotment), and Democrats will point out that occurred with support of other Republicans. It is the beginning of the 2010 election season. Legislative hearings al-ready are under way to inves-tigate the impact of Pawlenty's Wednesday budget cuts.