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 -- An election to fill the vacancy left by the death of Minnesota state Sen. Gary Kubly will be April 10. Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the election Wednesday, shortly after Kubly's funeral ended in Granite Falls. If a primary election is needed, it will be March 27. The election is in Senate District 20, which includes all or parts of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Renville, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties. People interested in running for the seat have until 5 p.m.
ST. PAUL -- Establishing wolf hunting and trapping seasons is popular among many at the Minnesota Legislature, but lawmakers are hearing from those who do not like the idea. So far, opponents have not slowed House and Senate bills from advancing. The latest vote came Tuesday, when the Senate natural resources committee unanimously approved allowing the Department of Natural Resources to establish the seasons. "We're trying to balance," Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, said about his bill.
ST. PAUL -- Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem walked across the front of the Minnesota Senate chamber Monday, pausing at a desk decorated with flowers and a photo of Sen. Gary Kubly. "He was a great guy," Senjem said about the Granite Falls lawmaker who died Friday. "We will really miss him." The desk is where Kubly sat this year, as Lou Gehrig's disease drained his energy. Senjem, a Rochester Republican, said senators respected Democrat Kubly.
ST. PAUL -- One of the old-style Minnesota state senators, not into partisan bickering, has died. Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, died in a St. Paul hospital Friday after suffering a medical problem Wednesday morning. He was diagnosed with Lou Gerig's Disease in 2010 and his health gradually failed. Funeral services are expected to be in Granite Falls on Wednesday. Condolences from politicians of all stripes began soon after Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, announced the 68-year-old's death Saturday afternoon. "Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers from both parties signal they plan to use last year's rough budget debate as foundation for this year's legislative election campaigns. With all 201 legislative seats up for election, Minnesotans will hear a lot about state spending. And the two sides will spin the budget outcome. House Minority Leader Rep. Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, appears eager to bring up the issue. He called the two-year budget passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Smiles surrounding a Minnesota Vikings stadium announcement seemed to indicate victory, but in reality they represented something else: a beginning. "Now, the real work begins, persuading a majority of the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota Legislature to approve this agreement," Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's economy is doing better than the country, helping generate a modest state budget surplus, but that does not translate into extra money. That is because the money, in essence, already is spent. State finance officials Wednesday announced a $323 million projected surplus, because a little more revenue is coming in and, mostly, less money is being spent.
ST. PAUL -- The annual debate about how early to allow school to begin is headed for the full Minnesota House. The House Education Reform Committee on Tuesday sent a bill to the House allowing schools to begin before Labor Day, but would not allow classes on the Thursday and Friday before the end-of-summer holiday. "It is about giving locally elected school boards the ability to adopt a school calendar that best meets the needs of their community," bill sponsor Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Legislative Republicans put a high priority on keeping government out of businesses' way, and making it easier for firms to build is keystone of the effort. "We need to be friendly with businesses," Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen, R-Alexandria, said Tuesday after a Senate committee advanced his bill to speed the permitting process. Bills that Ingebrigtsen and Rep.