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 — Primary care doctors may soon be in short supply, a Minnesota Hospital Association report showed Monday. “Many of our hospitals, especially those in greater Minnesota, already have...
ST. PAUL — The moose population in northern Minnesota’s forests is dwindling, but a tax that voters raised in 2008 could help save the giants. “All of us came together on this project, Minnesota Moose Collaborative, to do what we know would work for one element to improve the moose’s existence: improving habitat,” President Mark Johnson of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association said. The $3 million the organization has received is being used to clear forest areas of brush, some of which was 20 feet tall, to make way for better grazing areas.
ST. PAUL — Leaders of the southern Twin Cities suburb of Farmington offered Thursday to host a special legislative session to fund flood recovery. “Minnesota has a proud tradition of coming together to provide relief for those in need following natural disasters, and Farmington would be a unique and well-suited location to host any upcoming special session given the current state of the Capitol,” state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said. The invitation came as much of the Capitol building is closed for a $273 million renovation.
ST. PAUL — Although many Minnesota property owners could see some tax relief this year, farmers can expect higher taxes for at least the next two years. “What I am...
ST. PAUL — The Renewable Fuels Association says major oil companies strong-arm retailers that sell gasoline under their brand names to avoid using any more plant-based ethanol than legally necessary. Independent gasoline stations are four to six times more likely to sell higher blends of ethanol, usually made from corn, than those that carry major oil company names, the association reported. At stake is whether high ethanol blends will be readily available to consumers. Those blends include E85, which features 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent petroleum-based gasoline.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday asked that counties damaged by floods last month be declared a presidential disaster area. Dayton also added 16 counties to the state disaster list, meaning 51 of Minnesota’s 87 counties reported damage from flooding that began June 11. If President Barack Obama honors Dayton’s request, state and local government will get federal money to pay 75 percent of flood-related costs.
ST. PAUL — A $273 million Minnesota Capitol building renovation will close most of the facility when construction workers return to the job today. The central rotunda will be among areas closed, along with all of the east wing and the ground and first floors of the west wing. The closures are a continuation of the gradual emptying of the Capitol during a three-year renovation project. The governor’s and attorney general’s offices already have moved elsewhere, as have many Senate employees’ offices.
ST. PAUL — Adding something to a petroleum-based fuel always has been controversial, so it should be no surprise that soybean-based biodiesel brings disputes. “It’s blatantly unfair and costly to the trucking industry,” President John Hausladen of the Minnesota Trucking Association said about a law that took effect Tuesday requiring diesel fuel to contain 10 percent biodiesel. His association’s chairman, Daniel Svaloja, complains that truckers are being forced to use the biodiesel blend even though other industries, such as mining companies, are exempt.
ST. PAUL — Local governments across Minnesota and state agencies should receive federal aid to recover from widespread flooding last month, but it is not so clear where homeowners stand. Commissioner Mary Tingerthal of the Minnesota Housing Finance Authority said Tuesday that her office has received relatively few reports of home damage, despite about 40 of the state’s 87 counties reporting flooding problems. However, Gov.