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 2 weeks
ST. PAUL -- Eight is enough. That is the message tea party darling and Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota delivered Wednesday when she announced that she will not seek re-election next year, leaving the U.S. House after eight years.
ST. PAUL -- Democrats almost were giddy when Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill upping education spending $485 million in the next two years. Democrat Dayton had pledged to increase education funding in every budget as long as he is governor.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two provisions of a bill funding outdoors and arts projects, saying a House committee ignored a citizen advisory panel. The vetoes eliminated $3 million to fight aquatic invasive species that was destined for tribal and local governments and $6.3 million to improve Twin Cities parks. "This decision is extremely difficult for me," Dayton wrote to legislative leaders, because he supports the causes but had said he would veto projects the advisory committee did not recommend. Dayton blamed a House panel led by Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative sessions have consequences, and 2013's version will be felt by many Minnesotans. Republicans say Minnesotans of all stripes will pay higher taxes. Democrats claim residents will receive better service. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Katie Sieben, DFL-Cottage Grove, spelled out how this year's session, especially the budget Democrats passed, would produce "real, tangible results." "My neighbors won't pay $2,600 for all-day, everyday kindergarten," Sieben said.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Legislature decided to renovate the state Capitol building, help communities fight floods, give veterans a new facility and provide disaster assistance Monday night as it ended its 2013 session. Some votes were pending press time, but legislative leaders had negotiated details to finish lawmakers' work as their constitutional midnight deadline neared. The key to the session-ending deal is a $177 million public works bill, funded by the state selling bonds.
ST. PAUL -- Paint will cost more and be recycled. Bees will be protected. Financially troubled farmers will be able to access state aid. And an island to provide more wildlife habitat could be built in the Mississippi River. Those are a few of the impacts from a diverse environment, natural resources and agriculture funding bill headed for Gov. Mark Dayton's expected approval. The overall bill spends $312 million on programs such as in the Agriculture Department, Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources.
ST. PAUL -- The keystone of Minnesota Democrats' budget plans, $2 billion in tax increases, was headed for final legislative passage while late Sunday a public works bill remained in doubt as time runs out in the 2013 legislative session. The tax increases are for plugging a $627 million state budget deficit and giving more money to Democratic priorities such as education. The tax provisions include raising income taxes on Minnesota couples with $250,000 or more taxable income and individuals making at least $150,000.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators have taken baby steps in passing a $38 billion, two-year budget that must be finished by midnight Monday. The biggest step so far was set to come late Friday or early today as the House edged toward approving money for state-subsidized health programs, the second-largest part of the state budget. "I think we have time to get the budget bills done," House Majority Leader Erin Murphy, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House defeated a public works funding bill this afternoon, but even with a Monday adjournment deadline looming it still could come back up. Bill author Rep. Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, said today's vote would be the only chance representatives would have to pass her $800 million bill, to be funded by the state selling bonds.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota House, Senate and governor's office agreed to a tax plan Thursday night, four months after the Legislature started and four days before lawmakers must wrap up work for the year. The tax plan is a merger of what the Democratic-controlled House and Senate and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wanted.