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 -- Perhaps a hardy breakfast can lead to a truce between one of Minnesota's most conservative Republicans, who wants to serve in Congress, and the state's liberal Democratic governor. After a day of back-and-forth emails and letters sharply criticizing each other, Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, late Friday afternoon accepted an invitation from Gov. Mark Dayton for a fence-mending breakfast next week. The spat, the latest of several between the two politicians, was about a day care unionization vote Dayton wanted but a judge ruled was not within his power to call.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton is challenging a court order blocking an election that would allow in-home day care workers to join unions. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, said he will dispute the issue at a Jan. 17 Ramsey County Court hearing. Judge Dale Lindman on Monday ordered a temporary injunction to stop the election, set to begin this week, saying such a decision should be made by the Legislature. He scheduled a Jan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota cattle producers faced six emotional and financially challenging years, but now they celebrate a re-opening of markets nationwide after the state has been declared free of bovine tuberculosis. Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday issued a proclamation proclaiming TB free day for the state's cattle industry after 58 herds were destroyed and 800,000 animals tested. The TB battle began in 2005 when a northwestern Minnesota cattleman reported that one of his cattle headed to slaughter appeared sick.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota daycare provider vote to join unions is least temporarily on hold. A judge Monday ordered a stop to an election that was to begin Wednesday. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last month ordered the vote, which two unions have sought for six years. Ramsey County District Court Judge Dale Lindman issued a temporary restraining order and said the proposal should go through the Legislature, not be ordered by a governor. Dayton said he would meet with Attorney General Lori Swanson before deciding how to proceed. Lindman set a Jan.
ST. PAUL -- A projected state budget surplus so shocked Minnesota political leaders Thursday that they did not know how to respond. Their talking points, drawn up long ago, featured placing blame on the other side for a new deficit. But then everyone, including the state economist, was surprised with an $876 million surplus.
ST. PAUL -- A Republican-controlled Senate committee voted 6-1 to support a lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's decision to order an election to allow in-home child care provider unions. The Rules Committee Thursday ordered its attorneys to file paperwork in Ramsey Country District Court to back a suit 11 day care providers filed to stop the election, which is set for next week. "There is nothing in state law today that would permit the action that the governor has taken," Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said. Sen. Richard Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, opposed the committee's action.
ST. PAUL -- The revelation of an $876 million Minnesota budget surplus includes a dark side. Gov. Mark Dayton showed the two sides by calling Thursday's announcement "terrific news," moments later adding that it is "no time to celebrate." "We're not out of the fiscal woods by any means," he said. The takeaway for an average Minnesotan is that no one should expect a return to the old days of higher state spending. For the time being, the projected surplus will stay in the bank, where the state economist said it should remain.
ST. PAUL -- A new method of funding Minnesota outdoors and arts programs needs better oversight, the Minnesota legislative auditor warns. "Things generally are OK," Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said in an interview. "But given the amount of money involved and the expectations, we can never be satisfied." Nobles' staff Wednesday issued two audits that showed concerns about oversight of how up to $300 million a year is spent from so-called legacy funds, money raised by a three-eighths of a percent sales tax increase voters approved in 2008.