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
- 5 years 1 month
ST. PAUL — U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer summed up the past few weeks of federal political debates, including a 16-day government shutdown, like many Americans would: “What in the Sam Hill is wrong with this town?” Most around Washington seem to expect better results when the next budget deadline arrives, or at least they hope so.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Vikings football season ticket holders will contribute $100 million toward a new stadium by purchasing seat licenses and team owners will pay the same amount from their own pockets under an agreement signed Thursday night. Owners Zygi and Mark Wilf are responsible for $477 million, most of which will be borrowed, for the $975 million stadium.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s health-insurance marketplace opened Tuesday afternoon with hiccups, but a massive federal computer-based system suffered more severe symptoms for other states’ residents. Systems in most states were running by Tuesday night, although some users continued to report issues. “We are very happy and pleased to be open,” MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov said Tuesday night. Todd-Malmlov pushed a few keystrokes shortly after 3 p.m. and the system went online at mnsure.org, at one point serving 3,000 people at once.
ST. PAUL — The impact of a federal government shutdown on Minnesotans was spotty Tuesday, but an extended one would cause more widespread problems. State officials are examining the situation, and Commissioner Jim Schowalter of Minnesota Management and Budget activated the “Statewide Contingency Response Team.” “Due to the size and complexity of federal funding, determining impacts is complicated,” Schowalter said.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota legislators breezed through disaster-relief approval Monday, about as fast as winds that uprooted thousands of trees in June, but spent far more time discussing what Republicans called a “man-made disaster” of tax increases. Local governments in 18 counties from west-central to southeast Minnesota will split $4.5 million lawmakers approved to help recover from a June 20-26 storm and flood disaster.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature overwhelmingly approved disaster-relief funds for 20 counties today during one of the shortest special sessions in recent years. The Senate passed the bill 59-0, with eight absentees, followed by the House 127-1 as six members were gone. It took four hours for the formalities, committee meetings, floor debate and the vote.
FALCON HEIGHTS -- Democrats who control state government showed disagreements and problems communicating while discussing a special legislative session this week at the Minnesota State Fair and the state Capitol.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers appear ready to spend money to help local governments affected by June storms, but during a Wednesday night meeting many questioned using a Sept. 9 special legislative session to spend anything beyond what is needed to plug holes left by federal funding. Kris Eide, Minnesota’s emergency services director, said $4.5 million needed to aid local governments in 18 counties affected by June 20-26 storms and floods would come from money not used in northern Minnesota windstorm and flood relief last year.
FALCON HEIGHTS — A young northwestern Minnesota woman received a chilly and warm reception Thursday, hours after receiving the coveted Princess Kay of the Milky Way crown. The reception was warm for MarJenna McWilliam because Princess Kay candidates always rally around the winner. It was chilly because she spent most of Thursday in a 40-degree rotating, glass-walled Minnesota State Fair refrigerator. The 20-year-old Winger woman is the 60th Princess Kay, the state’s most visible dairy ambassador.