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.
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ST. PAUL -- Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle appeared before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, asking that his state get its share of money from a federal economic recovery package. Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and Majority Leader Tony Sertich met privately with the state's congressional delegation in Washington and again in St.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty would chop many parts of the state budget - including dropping 84,000 people off state-funded health care programs -- but promises to increase public school funding and keeping public safety programs mostly untouched. The Republican governor's solution to a nearly $5 billion deficit that most experts expect to grow dramatically in coming weeks included deep cuts in state aid to cities, eliminating boards governing humanities and arts programs and a 5 percent cut in most government programs.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty would chop many parts of the state budget -- including dropping 84,000 people off state-funded health care programs -- but promises to increase public school funding and keeping public safety programs mostly untouched. The Republican governor's solution to a nearly $5 billion deficit that most experts expect to grow dramatically in coming weeks included deep cuts in state aid to cities, eliminating boards governing humanities and arts programs and a 5 percent cut in most government programs.
ST. PAUL - Local governments, health providers, colleges and pretty much every other group that depends on state money are bracing for a punch in the gut today when Gov. Tim Pawlenty releases his proposed budget for the next two years. The Republican governor has been dropping broad hints that public school education will be spared most of the budget-cutting pain as state policy makers face a deficit of near $5 billion - although most in the Capitol expect it to near or top $7 billion when all is said and done.
ST. PAUL - Republicans want to require a photo identification card to be shown before a Minnesotan can vote. "The Voter Integrity Act of 2009 will simply serve as one more safeguard to ensuring that every Minnesotans' vote is counted fairly," said Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano. "Countless challenges and even the threat of litigation has irrevocably changed the way we as Americans conduct elections.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty is trying to tamper expectations that a federal economic stimulus package could significantly ease Minnesota's budget problems. Pawlenty said the state could receive more than $3 billion if the U.S. House version of an economic stimulus bill passes Congress and is signed by President Barack Obama. However, that version may not emerge from congressional negotiations. Even if it did, Pawlenty said, some of the funding is targeted to specific education, outdoors and infrastructure programs.
ST. PAUL -- A 2008 law change threatens farmland across the state - from the Twin Cities suburbs to land bordering lakes and rivers -- farmers Wednesday told a Minnesota House committee. The new law penalizes farmers who want to sell farmland for other uses, the farmers said. The law could backfire and convince many landowners to get rid of some of their property, farmers added, or to turn sensitive land into cropland that would get a better tax break.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty threatened, in a sense, Minnesota lawmakers in his State of the State speech. "One hundred years ago, John Johnson, another 48-year-old Minnesota governor, returned from the national campaign trail, stood on this very spot and called the state to unity, efficiency and investment," Pawlenty said, his recent history of campaigning to become John McCain's running mate left unsaid. "He dropped dead a few months later. "To my friends in the Legislature, you may not be so lucky.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty took the lead on the Minnesota budget dance Thursday, calling for a variety of business tax cuts while at the same time increasing education spending. But Democrats may cut in because they don't like some of the Republican's steps. Legislators said that the wish list Pawlenty presented in his State of the State speech was the beginning of a long performance. "The process is a dance," Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators face a historically large deficit, and most groups that normally would be at the Capitol with hat in hand say they realize their funding will be cut. But a few groups feel that what they do is so important that they need more state money despite a budget deficit now standing at $4.85 billion and expected to grow. Education Minnesota, the state teachers' union, is one of those groups that continues to seek more money.