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 -- The new Minnesota State Colleges and Universities leader promised Wednesday to continue serving students despite what he called "the darkest cloud on the educational sky." Chancellor Steven Rosenstone used a speech during his installation to both encourage the higher education community and warn of problems, especially funding woes. He became MnSCU's fourth chancellor during a state Capitol ceremony, attended by a few hundred education and political leaders.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton gives himself a Nov. 7 deadline for releasing a Vikings football stadium construction plan, but only if others get him information on time. "I am still in a listening mode," Dayton said Wednesday, adding that he has asked the Vikings and others to deliver information he needs to draw up "a more specific proposal." Nov.
ST. PAUL -- The federal Justice Department agrees with Sen. Amy Klobuchar that Congress should ban synthetic drugs that pose threats to Americans. The department has announced it backs three bills by the Minnesota Democrat to ban 2C-E, bath salts and synthetic marijuana. Klobuchar, a former prosecutor, has hosted hearings on the issue in Washington and Minnesota after several communities reported problems with the drugs.
ST. PAUL -- Some well-known Minnesota Republicans announced Thursday they will fight the proposed anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment, a proposal their party strongly supports. "I'm Republican because I believe in individual liberty and freedom," Rep. John Kriesel said. "I believe this is an attack on that." The Cottage Grove lawmaker famously was one of four state House Republicans to vote last May against putting the issue on the November 2012 ballot.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. John Kline says a committee looking into how to deal with the national debt has no choice but to find a solution. The Minnesota Republican told reporters there is no option because without a bipartisan plan from the panel, Washington will see draconian cuts.
ST. PAUL -- Lee Byberg plans to run against U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, his second straight time trying to defeat the long-time veteran congressman. Tarryl Clark moved from St. Cloud to Duluth to take on first-term U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack. Mike Parry is considering challenging U.S. Rep. Tim Walz. So is Steve Drazkowski. Potential candidates for eight U.S. House, 134 state House and 67 state Senate districts are lining up to represent Minnesotans.
ST. PAUL -- Workers removed chunks of marble from the Minnesota Capitol exterior in recent weeks, meaning scaffolding protecting visitors from falling debris soon will come down. But work will continue on the 106-year-old iconic building. A report on the status of the outside marble is due in a few weeks, complete with estimates of what further work would cost and how soon it should be done.
ST. PAUL -- Great Lakes-area state fishing regulators spend much of their time trying to defeat an Asian carp invasion, but the Illinois Department of Natural Resources thinks it has the answer: eat them. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Illinois is hiring a Louisiana chef to create recipes to prove that the invaders are as tasty as they are pesky. The new campaign is aimed both at providing food for the needy and reducing the number of Asian carp, including those that famously jump far out of the water and sometimes hit people in boats.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Agriculture Department Friday announced a trade mission to Vietnam for later this year. The announcement came as Gox. Mark Dayton leaves Minnesota for Japan and South Korea on his first trade mission as governor. He returns on Oct.