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 7 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans knew, or should have known, that the final state budget would not please people. "My proposed budget solution will be reasonable, balanced -- and painful -- because I see no easy alternative," Gov. Mark Dayton said in his inaugural address Jan. 3. After that, he repeatedly said that he himself would not vote for his budget plan, but with a $5 billion deficit there was no choice but to make deep cuts in some state programs. Legislators knew agreeing on a budget would take a long time. "I'm not making any summer plans," Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Looking back, it is hard to see much other than disputes between Minnesota's governor and legislative leaders. After all, they went 58 days beyond the Legislature's constitutional deadline before agreeing on a budget in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, including 20 days when government was partially shut down. But the future could be brighter. Minutes after Minnesota legislators passed that budget, Republican leaders were talking about making reforms through-out state government next year and saying that they think Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL - It's Christmas in July for Minnesota colleges and other state-owned facilities. Minnesota legislators early Wednesday approved $498 million worth of public works projects such as college building renovations, flood-fighting projects and developing the state's newest park. "It is about 75 percent shovel ready," Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, said. "It will put a lot of Minnesotans to work." It is something of a surprise gift to many of the recipients, who have lobbied for the projects but saw the regular legislative session end on May 23 with no public works bill. When Gov.
ST. PAUL - Gov.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's longest government shutdown is poised to end after state legislators Tuesday night rushed through a series of spending bills. While ending the shutdown, the bills fund state government for two years.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Capitol doors swung open to the public this morning for the first time since June 30, one of several signs that a state government shutdown could be nearing an end. An even stronger sign was that three of the nine budget bills have been approved by Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leadership and are available to the public at www.house.leg.state.mn.us/ss2011 .
ST. PAUL - Signs that the Minnesota government shutdown soon may end are surfacing, but work remains. Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the state Capitol to open again at 9 a.m.
Closed Capitol, closed meetings, but still no closed budget deal ST. PAUL -- Details of Minnesota's next budget slowly took shape Sunday behind closed doors in a state Capitol closed to the public, but a state government shutdown will not end as early as state leaders hoped. A planned Monday special legislative session to pass a budget is out of the question, given the large number of loose ends that remain. But leaders said progress is being made. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Judge Kathleen Gearin accepted a tough task, deciding what state programs would be funded during a state government shutdown, and she tackled it with an openness seldom seen in the often-mysterious court system. "We're making this up as we go along," she said while hearing arguments about whether road construction projects should continue. Talking about a previous ruling she had made, she declared: "I don't know if I'm right.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Capitol remained closed to the public Friday, two weeks after a government shutdown began, but it was busy with legislative committee chairmen, Dayton administration commissioners and staffers hammering out last-minute details to put government back to work. Facing a Friday night deadline, those involved in nine budget bills looked over spreadsheets and piles of papers as they eliminated controversial policy provisions while making sure spending matched what Democratic Gov.