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
- 4 years 11 months
ST. PAUL -- Businesses outside of the Twin Cities need a boost, the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities said, and the group is asking legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton to provide help. The most dramatic example of Greater Minnesota businesses needing assistance comes from a tax credit approved in 2010, designed to influence people with money to invest in businesses.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's best-known citizen-lobbyist on open government issues says the Legislature needs to be, as they say around the Capitol, more transparent. Rich Neumeister has prowled the Capitol's halls for years fighting for public access and recently took on controversial departures of two state officials. He concluded that in both cases, "with these decisions happening within the Legislature, the public may never know why." The Legislature lives under different rules than other public bodies and can do more in secret.
ST. PAUL -- A Thursday deadline and the approaching Minnesota legislative session are pushing Vikings stadium talk up front. Stadium talk dominates this week, especially on Wednesday because of an unexpected proposal to build a stadium in Shakopee. Brad Tabke, mayor of the southwestern Twin Cities community for a week, unveiled his plans for a Shakopee stadium a day before Gov. Mark Dayton wants all proposals on his desk. "Shakopee hosts 6 million visitors each year at ValleyFair, Canterbury Park, the Renaissance Festival and many other attractions," Tabke said.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton and Democratic legislative leaders said cutting a business's taxes for hiring people and passing a large public works bill would create thousands of Minnesota jobs. Key to a proposal the Democrats offered on Wednesday is providing a $3,000 tax credit for the unemployed, veterans and recent graduates this year and a $1,500 credit next year. The plan would cost the state $35 million. Dayton plans to release his proposal to fund public works projects, funded by selling bonds, on Tuesday.
ST. PAUL -- Iowans like it when they swipe the Floyd of Rosedale football trophy from Minnesota, they make jokes about Minnesota and, apparently, Hawkeye State residents enjoy showing Minnesota politicians the door. Iowa Republicans gave U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann the boot after their famous caucus Tuesday less than five months after fellow Minnesotan former Gov.
ST. PAUL -- How Minnesotans use roads could help determine the shape of new congressional districts. Most major rural Minnesota roads go east and west, one of several similarities that Republicans say should lead to three mostly rural congressional districts that stretch from Wisconsin to the Dakotas. Democratic leaders, meanwhile, claim there are so many differences between eastern and western Minnesota that they should be in separate districts.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem has filled out his leadership team with two committee chairmen. The Rochester Republican Tuesday appointed Sen. Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen as deputy leader and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen of Alexandria as the fifth assistant majority leader Ingebrigtsen had considered running for majority leader last week to keep rural issues at the forefront. But he was not nominated. Senjem and Sen. David Hann of Eden Prairie were the two senators in the running to replace Sen.
ST. PAUL -- The new year could be one of government reform. Minnesota legislative Republicans and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton agree reforming is a top priority, but they may differ on just what that means and how to get there. A year ago, the two sides said the same thing, but a big money debate got in the way. By necessity, legislators and Dayton had to concentrate on plugging a $5 billion hole in the state budget. With a slight budget surplus heading into the 2012 legislative session, which begins Jan.
ST. PAUL -- It is back to the future for Minnesota Senate Republicans with Dave Senjem back in charge. "The direction is nothing but forward," Senjem said, adding that despite his history as GOP leader "it is a new day." A 69-year-old senator from Rochester, Senjem moves into the majority leader's position a year after he ended four years of service as minority leader. In his last year in that job, he and Sen.