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 -- Nine dead, three in Minnesota, with 654 sick in 44 states. It almost sounds like terrorists spreading a deadly disease.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's ethanol industry could help produce jobs in a time they are most needed, agriculture supporters say. "We can help Minnesota recover from this recession," Brad Nelson told a state Senate agriculture committee Thursday. Nelson, a south-central Minnesota farmer and Minnesota Ethanol Producers Association president, said, however, that federal government rules limit how much ethanol can be used in gasoline, which stifles the state's industry. He said the rules need to be changed before ethanol can reach its potential.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota college students delivered a simple message to legislators: Don't forget us. But their delivery was a bit more colorful than many people who lobby lawmakers. "This sucks," recent Bemidji State University graduate Cody Nelson told a Wednesday Capitol rally. "We are sucking away the future of this state." About 250 students crisscrossed the Capitol complex Wednesday, attempting to convince lawmakers as they try to fill a massive budget deficit that they should keep any higher education cuts to a minimum.
ST. PAUL -- Workers will fix roofs and walls, renovate buildings and, in general, improve state facilities later this year if some key legislators' wishes come true. Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, on Tuesday announced he plans to push a $300 million public works bill, nearly three times what normally would be expected this year.
ST. PAUL -- Jeff Almer wants his mother's death to mean something. Shirley Almer of Perham died Dec. 21 from salmonella poisoning blamed on contaminated peanut butter. It was the first of at least nine U.S. deaths, including three in Minnesota, attributed to the deadly organism from a Georgia peanut butter factory. "I want to make a difference," he said after appearing with scientists and the son of another victim in a Monday University of Minnesota roundtable discussion. "It is in honor of my mom that I am doing this." Almer and U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators roughed up Gov. Tim Pawlenty's budget proposal in the past week. As Democratic-controlled legislative committees began to look at the GOP governor's budget, some Republicans joined Democrats in criticizing it.
ST. PAUL -- Current economic conditions could cost the state a college, the Minnesota Colleges and Universities system chancellor warns. "This is such as difficult challenge that the board has suggested that everything is on the table," James McCormick told the state Senate Higher Education Committee Thursday. McCormick said, however, that no college is targeted and a decision to close a school has not been made. McCormick and University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks warned the committee that Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Proposed business tax cuts would do little to immediately boost Minnesota's economy, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top aides heard Thursday from a fellow conservative Republican -- as well as Democrats who control the Legislature. The toughest attack on Pawlenty's plan in a Senate Taxes Committee discussion came from Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, who normally sides with the governor. "In order to avail itself a tax credit, a small business must have money," Ortman told Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess. "There is no money in the economy. ...
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Senate Republicans want to freeze all state and local government workers' pay. The proposal goes a step beyond Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, who last week said he favored a freeze, but has not offered a bill to do that. Assistant Senate Minority Leader Geoff Michel, R-Edina, on Wednesday said his plan would freeze salaries for two years.
ST. PAUL -- Bill Clinton was president. Arne Carlson was governor. Gasoline was $1.15 a gallon. Six more years of new television episodes were in "Friends" future. Google was two people in a garage. And Minnesota cities received $368 million in local government aid. Fast forward a dozen years, and all that has changed, except LGA could still be at $368 million. That is how Steve Peterson of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities sees the situation as Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposes to chop local government aids by 25 percent as part of his budget-balancing plan.