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
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators talk little about a White Earth Band casino proposal to increase state revenue, but the band leader says she will continue to push it as lawmakers struggle to find money for everything from a stadium to schools. To answer one of the critics' nagging questions, White Earth hired former Minnesota Chief Justice Eric Magnuson to look into constitutionality of the state allowing the northwestern Minnesota band to build a Twin Cities casino.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Senate Ethics Committee stalled along party lines when trying to decide if a senator breached legislative ethics in dealing with an affair between the then-Senate majority leader and an employee. The panel Friday split 2-2 twice about whether Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, acted quickly enough and was discrete in handling an affair between Sen. Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, and Senate GOP Communications Director Michael Brodkorb. Committee work was interrupted when the full Senate went into session, delaying any final action. Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- Showing photo identification before voting may be inconvenient, but the senator sponsoring a proposal to require voter photo ID says it is worth it. "I will willingly admit that there is some burden placed on some of our citizens in exercising their right to vote," Sen. Scott Newman said Friday before Minnesota senators voted 36-30 mostly along party lines to require photo IDs. "On balance, I believe this (constitutional) amendment is the right thing to do." The bill will go to Minnesota voters in the Nov.
ST. PAUL -- Fixing the Minnesota Capitol building's crumbling outside walls and aging interior won easy approval from a key House committee Tuesday, but funding other public works projects around the state may prove more controversial. The Capitol renovation project earned support from all but one member of the House committee that recommends public works funding, with one more committee stop before it reaches the full House.
ST. PAUL -- The past week was full of big news under the Minnesota Capitol dome, everything from hundreds of workers protesting a proposal that would make joining unions optional to a sex scandal to the sudden stalling of a stadium construction bill. But the most entertaining episode probably was an unannounced appearance by a Minnesota football legend, former Vikings coach Bud Grant, urging lawmakers to raise hunting and fishing license fees to fund programs related to those activities.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's legislators want to go home for the year in a month, or a little more, but the crystal ball showing how to get there is murky. A stadium-construction bill may have a new life after it suddenly stalled Wednesday, but even some of its backers question the most critical issue it always has faced: funding. A Republican proposal to eliminate a requirement that some workers belong to unions may not have enough GOP votes to pass. The effort to pay back schools money the state borrowed from them faces a dark future after Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A new Vikings stadium remains possible after a Senate committee delayed a construction proposal Wednesday and Gov. Mark Dayton delivered some harsh words about legislative leaders' lack of support. Stadium supporters have lots of work to do if they are to salvage the plan this legislative session. After a decade of discussion and more than a year of intense work on a stadium-funding bill, the proposal stalled in the Senate local government committee after less than two hours of debate Wednesday over several questions.
ST. PAUL -- It is not something heard much around the Legislature: people suggesting fees they pay go up. But Minnesota anglers and hunters did just that Tuesday and the Senate natural resources committees complied, backing a bill that ups fees to replenish a fund running out of money and help fight invasive species.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.