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 weeks
ST. PAUL - Rural lawmakers with resorts in their areas defeated an attempt to allow school districts to start classes before Labor Day. The bill failed in a Monday 13-11 House Finance Committee vote, but like most Minnesota legislative bills it still could come back to life. "This isn't the right time to do it," Rep. Tom Rukavina, DFL-Virginia, said, adding the economy already is hurting many small, rural businesses. "We don't need to lose any more businesses." Rukavina, who has no resorts in his district, said the move would have a devastating effect in rural areas. The bill by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Supreme Court Friday rejected Al Franken's demand to immediately become a U.S. senator. In January, Franken asked the high court to order Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to sign an election certificate so he could take office, even while a lawsuit by Norm Coleman was pending. They would not sign a certificate. Supreme Court justices Friday said there is no legal authority for them to order that a certificate be signed.
ST. PAUL -- Non-profit organizations, county assessors and the state have crafted a compromise that could allow charities to continue being exempt from property taxes. If the bill heard for the first time Wednesday becomes law, more than 4,000 properties owned by 1,700 nonprofit organizations could avoid paying property taxes. Those involved in the bill's draft met 13 times and rewrote the measure two dozen times -- and came up with a bill that puts into law what most counties already do. A late 2007 state Supreme Court ruling "sent shockwaves through the nonprofits," Rep.
ST. PAUL - Federal money may have saved Minnesota's budget this year, and will help the next two-year spending cycle, but state leaders warn that economic problems are far from over. Economic stimulus funds approved last month by Congress and President Barack Obama lowered Minnesota's projected 2010-2011 budget deficit from $4.8 billion to $4.6 billion. But 2012-2013 deficit is expected to be even larger. On the other hand, federal funds mean no deficit is expected in the current budget, with four months remaining.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota budget writers are thanking Washington today as finance officials announce the state deficit actually dropped from what was expected - thanks to an economic stimulus package. The deficit now is expected to be $4.57 billion in the two years beginning July 1 - out of a $33 billion budget - instead of the previously predicted $4.85 billion. Without the federally approved economic recovery money, however, the deficit would be $6.4 billion, according to budget documents leaked to reporters before this morning's official announcement. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Cities across Minnesota launched a public relations campaign to save state aid they receive, saying proposed budget cuts would cost police, fire and library jobs. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who wants to reduce those payments, said that cities could save some of those jobs by firing their lobbyists, such as those who organized the Web site. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and St.
ST. PAUL - Federal funds meant to spur the economy will help make this one of Minnesota's busiest road construction years. Federal economic stimulus money will provide $180 million for 60 Minnesota transportation projects outside the Twin Cities, Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Wednesday. By the time all money is received, Minnesota officials expect to receive $596 million for state and local highway and transit projects in the coming two years. But that is just a start.
ST. PAUL -- The Pawlenty administration plans to spend all federal economic stimulus money that it can get its hands on -- estimated at $4 billion. That announcement on Monday came weeks after Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized the package and hinted he would reject federal funds. "We are going to do our best to accept every penny or every dime," said Tom Hanson, commissioner of the office of management and budget.
ST. PAUL - Nine dead, three in Minnesota, with 654 sick in 44 states. It almost sounds like terrorists spreading a deadly disease.