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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Republicans who want a smaller federal budget and Democrats who oppose proposed food stamp cuts joined Thursday to defeat a five-year farm bill. Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, R-Okla., said there may not be a second chance to write a farm bill this year, but others said it could return as soon as next week. Lucas' bill called for the largest cuts in food stamps in a generation and has the biggest farm program reforms since 1996. The 234-195 surprise defeat came after a speeded-up debate, designed by supporters in part to avoid a potential loss of votes when congressmen headed h
A U.S. House vote on new federal farm policy may not come until next week. With 103 amendments to be debated after a late start on Wednesday, it appeared it would be difficult to meet today's 3 p.m. deadline to vote on the nearly $1 trillion bill establishing American farm and nutrition policies. The House began to examine 53 amendments by Democrats and 50 from Republicans Wednesday afternoon, starting with an argument dealing with a proposed $20 billion cut to food stamp spending over the next 10 years. Rep.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota plans to open a European trade office. Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday announced the office will be in Dusseldorf-Cologne, Germany, to promote Minnesota exports and foreign investments in the state. The office is the first of three that will open; locations of the other two have not been announced.
ST. PAUL - Food stamps are at the same time the biggest hurdle to enacting federal farm policy and a necessary part of passing the farm bill. Discussion about cutting spending for the program to feed poor Americans dominated Tuesday as three days of U.S. House debate began on the farm bill, a 2,000-page document to establish federal farm and nutrition policies for five years.
ST. PAUL -- Michele Bachmann promises to remain involved in government policy, but that promise has been heard from others who soon faded from the scene. Will the conservative Minnesota congresswoman be different? First, it should be noted that despite news stories that refer to Bachmann in the past tense, she has a year and a half left in her U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota child care providers who want nothing to do with a union are taking a new law to federal court. The law Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton signed Friday allows home-based child care providers who receive state subsidies to care for children to ask for a vote that could lead to joining a union. "We are not public employees," St. Michael child care provider Hollee Saville said Wednesday as she and 10 other providers filed the federal case. Attorney Doug Seaton said the case is based on claims that federal law prohibits the state from allowing business owners to join unions.
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.