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 10 months
ST. PAUL -- Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Gay advocates have lobbied for allow same-sex marriages for years, but they made little progress. That appears ready to change Tuesday when House and Senate committees will hear bills overturning a state law outlawing gay marriage. With heavy liberal Democratic membership on the two committees, the concept has the best chance to pass ever. Those two committee hearings, which are to end with votes on the proposal, are the only two planned at the Legislature, Democratic-Farmer-Laborite leaders say.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton heard the complaints and is revising the tax reform proposal he announced six weeks ago. Gone is a business-to-business sales tax that drew most of the ire.
ST. PAUL -- Republicans call gay marriage a distraction from important duties legislators face, such as passing a state budget. On Thursday, Republican legislators packed a stage during a rally supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman. About 1,000 people jammed the Minnesota Capitol holding signs with slogans such as "marriage should be reinforced, not redefined." President Brian Brown of the National Organization of Marriage energized the crowd in the rally's keynote address. "Children deserve the chance to have both a mother and a father," Brown said.
ST. PAUL -- Janet Thompson was being treated for terminal lung cancer, but her thoughts were about others. She lobbied people she saw to check their homes for radon, a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Now, her sister has taken up the cause. Lori Thompson-Garry told a House committee Wednesday that she backs a bill that would require a radon test when a house goes on the market. "Lung cancer is very silent," said Thompson-Garry of Eagan. "She had no symptoms." Thompson, who had lived in Glenwood, died last September at 49, two years after being diagnosed.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislators expressed sticker shock Tuesday when they learned the state's Mayo Clinic expansion proposal would cost more than they thought. It could be $1 billion more than Mayo supporters had said. The Rochester-based health center known around the world asked the Legislature and Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans either will get a better deal on health insurance or they will face problems if the Legislature and governor agree on a new way for 1.3 million Minnesotans to buy health insurance. That is how the debate boils down about a bill the Democrat-controlled House Monday night approved 72-58 over Republican protests. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans may not know what the word means, but starting today they begin to feel the impact of automatic and deep federal budget cuts known as "sequestration." No one knows for sure how Minnesotans will be affected, but there is widespread agreement it will be felt. U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- New silica sand mines would be prohibited from opening for a year under a bill a state Senate committee approved Tuesday. Besides a moratorium, the bill would require a study on the environmental impact of sand mines, establish a board to deal with the issue and levy taxes that would go to state and local governments. The 8-4 vote in favor of the bill by Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's resorts, government and residents would benefit from a larger tourism marketing effort, supporters of a bill to double its state support told a House committee. Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, told the House Commerce Committee on Tuesday that his plan to spend more than $16 million in each of the next two years on tourism would attract more visitors and their money. "There are few ways government generates revenue and jobs," Ward said.