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 -- 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.
ST. PAUL -- Michele Bachmann spent the summer and fall in Iowa, hoping to gain traction as a presidential candidate. While in the state to the south, the Iowa native's favorite line seemed to be: "Everything I needed to know in life I learned in Iowa." She told audience after audience, "I'm an Iowan," and usually did not mention Minnesota. When she left Iowa at age 12, she did not take the news from her mother well: "She told me that we were going to move to this exotic, faraway place -- I had hardly ever heard of it before -- called Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota lawmakers are considering allowing bigger and aerial fireworks. They already are being used, Rep. John Kriesel said, because they are brought in from Wisconsin, South Dakota and North Dakota. "My neighborhood sounds like Fallujah," said the Cottage Grove Republican, who lost both legs in an explosion near Fallujah during the Iraq war. Kriesel said Minnesota loses revenue from forbidding fireworks available in neighboring states.
ST. PAUL -- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann said she will continue efforts to build a new bridge linking Minnesota and Wisconsin, even though newly drawn congressional districts mean she will no longer represent the area where the bridge would be built. "I have committed to building this bridge," Bachmann said in an interview. On Tuesday, a Minnesota judicial panel released new legislative and congressional maps that removed much of Bachmann's Washington County territory.
ST. PAUL -- A judge deciding the fate of a child care providers' union election said Wednesday that Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's best-known U.S. House member will seek re-election in a district where she does not live and its top-ranking federal representative will run in slightly less friendly territory after a five-judge panel on Tuesday redrew congressional district lines. For the most part, the judges Tuesday lived up to their pledge to make few changes as they balanced population in the state's eight U.S. House districts.
ST. PAUL -- A 64-year-old man who confessed to sexually molesting 29 youths is scheduled to become the first person to leave a state hospi-tal sex offender treatment program, prompting the Minnesota House Monday to vote 127-1 to change state law so the public is notified near the halfway house where he is going. The Senate is expected to pass the bill Thursday and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- The Senate's top Democrat does not believe literature some Republicans handed out at the Feb. 7 precinct caucuses cost just $47. And Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, demands that the Senate Rules Committee take up the matter. Fifteen GOP senators planned to hand out fliers printed in the Capitol at state expense. It contained a link to donate to Republican candidates, which Democrats say violates a law that prohibits state-funded campaign material. Senate GOP Communications Director Steve Sviggum admitted to the mistake and said it was his fault.