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 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's speeches these days contain one sure-fire applause line: "We're not Wisconsin." That is true, and Minnesotans appreciate the fact that thousands of protesters have not descended on their Capitol. But by at least one measure, Minnesota is worse than its eastern neighbor. Minnesota's $5 billion state budget deficit exceeds the $3.6 billion gap Wisconsin faces.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative Republicans say they want to spend $34 billion in the next two years, about the same as in the current budget but $3 billion less than Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton proposes. House and Senate Republicans today released similar budget outlines, and said legislative committees have two weeks to decide how to spend the money. Dayton proposes a $37.4 billion budget.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Republicans say they want to spend $34.3 billion in the next two years, about the same as in the current budget. While big cuts will be needed in some spending areas, it appears local government aids would not sustain cuts as deep as many expected. House Republicans will release their overall budget outline later today, and it is expected to be very similar to the Senate plan. Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton proposes a $37.4 billion budget.
ST. PAUL -- No one argued over the need to continue state city aid during a Wednesday meeting of Minnesota mayors and Gov. Mark Dayton, but it will be a different story when Republicans who control the Legislature write their budget. Republicans are expected to release an outline of their budget plan today, and it could look like an earlier budget bill they offered that held Local Government Aid at the 2010 level, which is lower than what cities earlier were told to expect. LGA is the largest local aid from the state. Democrat Dayton vetoed that earlier bill.
ST. PAUL -- Professionals have a new pathway to become Minnesota teachers, but no one knows how many will take the new route. A bill designed to lure math and science professionals, in particular, into the state schools became law Monday as Gov.
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.