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
- 4 years 8 months
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota officials started planning a state Capitol renovation project in 1984, and chances are improving that serious work could begin in 2013. But work would begin only if politicians can agree on a plan and spending level. "This has been a decades-long effort with very little to show for it," state Administration Commissioner Spencer Cronk told representatives Thursday. Problems state officials say need to be fixed are widespread around the 108-year-old building, starting with aging air conditioning and heating systems that often fail.
ST. PAUL -- Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Thousands more poor, disabled and elderly Minnesotans would receive state-funded health care if Gov. Mark Dayton's budget plan passes. Also, programs designed to help children would receive a new emphasis. The plan to spend $12 billion on human services programs over two years would add 145,000 to health care rolls, Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson told a Senate committee Wednesday. "This is a substantial increase," she said. The state served 862,000 in fully state-funded and state-subsidized health programs last year.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton said tax changes he proposed Tuesday would not cost middle-class Minnesotans more money. Dayton said his state budget and tax reform plan is a starting point for conversation as the Minnesota Legislature works to set a two-year budget by May 20. While he highlighted key proposals, questions remain. Dayton's plan, which would bring in $2 billion in new revenue over two years, would reduce the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent in a year but expand what is taxed to include most services, such as haircuts and auto repairs.
ST. PAUL -- If Minnesota Democrats ever are to see a state budget they like, today is the day. Gov. Mark Dayton is ready to announce his proposal at midday, giving Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Laborites the only chance they have had in a generation to approve higher taxes and more spending on programs they hold dear. Specifically what he plans to propose has been a closely held secret, although he campaigned in 2010 on raising taxes on the state's richest residents and often discusses that philosophy. He and other Democrats also put a high priority on reducing property taxes.
ST. PAUL -- Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura was the king of deadpanning, a trait that got him in trouble more than once. He often would deliver lines, giving no indication he was joking. After some comments were taken wrong, he learned to end non-serious comments with his deep-throated: "Joke, joke, joke." In this world of social media, current Gov. Mark Dayton may have learned about the need to make sure jokes are taken the right way. Writing on Facebook, Dayton said he was improving from last month's back surgery, and planned to deliver his Tuesday budget proposal as planned.
ST. PAUL -- Genny Hinnenkamp travels the Duluth area, picking up proceeds from pulltab games, with profits destined for the charity she represents and the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. At the same time she dreams about getting more money as electronic pulltab games spread and statewide electronic bingo is added.
View the latest edition of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference update with conference coordinator Justin Heckenlaible.